Shrek the Third Review

In Shrek the Third, players adventure as Shrek and his friends to save Far Far Away in a hilariously twisted fairy tale from the movie and beyond. Fans play as their favorite heroes from the film: Shrek, Donkey, Puss-in-Boots, Fiona, Fiona

Frankly, I was dissappointed. Jagged edges and fuzzy graphics are sort of expected with the Wii, but I thought the PS2 would deliver much higher quality. It’s on the same par as the Wii overall, so I give it the same score, but it seems it should have worked better. It didn’t work well on the PC either.

There were some good parts. I really enjoyed the cut-scenes involving wodden puppets used. It makes for a nice antique look and the PS2 makes it look as good as anything else so far. The 2D marionette-action is done well and a classic visual-effects method harks back to the days before CGI took everything over. The game is little grainy which sometimes was great, but overall was distracting.

There were no issues with the really bad stuff like polygon tears, flickering, or pop-up at least so for what they had to use they did it well.

The voice acting was very good. I’m told that they are voice impersonating actors used, but I was really beliving the stars put some time into the soundtrack. I suspect that a good bit was taken from the studio recording of the actual voices, but there were parts that are original to the game that had to be “fudged” a bit. I did occasionally pick them out, but overall the game does well to sound authentic to its source. Some of the music was a bit drab. A dreary horn section just kept playing over and over and was distracting. I spent a majority of the game not noticing the music, but that was disturbing. Even though the music wasn’t so hot, the voice acting was good, and sound effects did their part admirably.

The controls were spot on for the most part. There was a few issues where the camera would shift in mid-hop and so I ended up jumping away from my target rather than towards it. That was frustrating. There were also several bits where you can pick up and throw objects to affect the action from a distance. The problem is that the targets were often off-screen and nearly impossible to hit except from point blank range. Reaction was quick and mostly did what I expected, but it would have been nice to be able to change some of the buttons elsewhere.

The game isn’t excessively challenging, but there is a lot of gameplay. Activision put 20 different levels into the game. Some of the levels are exclusive to the game and not found in the movie, but the license is used accordingly to immerse you into the movie. You get to interact with the characters from the film as well as a few extras and each has a distinct style for you to use in your advancement. Some occasionas call for ogre’s strength, “cute puss” charm, make the men swoon and do your bidding, or let loose a devastating flying kick. I won’t say who’s talents are whose to keep some of the mystery left for you.

On the latter half of the game you get to control Artie who chimes out with “Lame” in every other sentence. Yeah, that it is after enough time. I fail to see the pertinence to his special attack, but I haven’t seen the movie either. His battle with a what I shall vaugely call “a large beasty” was very frustrating and would have been impossible without the special attack.

The storyline does have to follow along its movie tie-in so there’s not a lot of wiggle room. The linear path negates a lot of chance for replay, and there were no difficulty settings so once you beat the thing you’re pretty much done. There are some mini-games which extend the value a bit. You can even collect enough gold coins to hit a gift shop that will add options to these which can be fun at parties. There’s Shrekleboard, a shooting gallery, a castle game, and a frogger-like dungeon which isn’t too difficult to get the hang of.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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