Games based on movies are released so that the cinema experience can be extended to the home though very few receive rave reviews. Megamind released in cinemas prior to Christmas and received great critical praise. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the accompanying video game.
Unlike the vast majority of movie-based games, Megamind: Ultimate Showdown is set after the film’s events. The narrative consists of a sudden wave of crime led by The Doom Syndicate and their Doom Goons hits the city which the hero of the day, Megamind, must save the day from, using his arsenal of weapons. Basically, your typical superhero story.
The game’s weapons are limited to three in total. The De-Gun can be used to de-stroy and de-hydrate enemies and obstacles, the Blower Glove can be used to blow enemies and obstacles away and the Tesla Glove can be used as a close-range weapon, as well as to control electrical devices. While each weapon is upgradable by collecting B.I.N.K.E.Y. – orb-type items scattered around the game’s levels and accessible through destroying elements of the environment, there are no real advantages to doing so. Players will spend the vast majority of the game hammering the X button to fend off enemies, with the game’s auto-aim system removing any form of challenge.
Enemies within Megamind: Ultimate Showdown come in the form of builders, rock band members, cooks and chefs that use their appropriate weapons (e.g. guitars, rolling pins) in order to prevent Megamind from progressing. Also spread throughout the game is a series of boss levels, none of which is particularly difficult to overcome.
As players progress through the game’s story mode, mini-games are unlocked. There are four mini-games in total. Rampage sees players scoring as many destruction points as possible while in the special battle suit within the time limit. B.I.N.K.E.Y. Slalom consists of players collecting B.I.N.K.E.Ys. Sticky Boots consists of climbing a building in the midtown area, available on the easy, medium and hard difficulties. Finally, Mega-Pod is a race through the streets of Downtown in the Mega-Pod with three tracks available all-in-all. As a package, the mini-games are quite poor; while they do provide a slight variation and increase the game’s length by half an hour at a push, they are more than likely to grab the player’s attention once and never again due to their lack of depth and replayability.
The lack of depth and replayability is also evident in the single player adventure. The gameplay sees the player often repeating the same goals (such as placing a weight on a plank of wood and jumping on boxes) and even repeating identical parts of the level, with many portions of the game looking as if they were simply copied and pasted to expand the already short playtime.
Multiplayer comes in the form of co-operative action in which the second player takes control of a robot that has the same abilities as Megamind. Oddly, enemies don’t take notice of the second player who can walk through every level untouched. While the implementation of multiplayer could have been done better, it’s still a welcome feature within the game.
Graphically, Megamind isn’t to a good standard. With the exception of the opening and ending sequence which are fantastic quality, matching those you’d see at the cinema, the remainder of the game’s graphics are quite poor, especially the lack of detail. As for the audio, the inclusion of Jonah Hill as a voice actor (from the film itself) makes up for the weak soundtrack.
It’s probably also worth mentioning the game’s achievement which, as you would expect, are easily obtainable. Arguably the hardest to unlock is for defeating the bosses without losing any health but even that isn’t difficult. The remaining achievements come with story progression and the collection of B.I.N.K.E.Y.
Overall, Megamind: Ultimate Showdown is a fairly poor game. The lack of anything innovative makes it just like the other movie-based games currently on the market. This is only one to purchase if you’re an achievement junkie, and even they might think twice.
David Wriglesworth is a Northern lad with a passion for gaming, who graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA (Hons) Journalism degree. If you can drag him away from the consoles, you can probably find him Tweeting or watching Coronation Street.