Two things: that kill was done in the tutorial of the game, meaning there is plenty left to do and explore. Secondly, MadWorld ranks your level of violence and creativity with five designations; that detailed one earned me a “Hardcore” violence rank, which amazingly, is only the second of five rankings. As you learn the ins and outs and just how long you can stretch these environmental kills out, you will earn better rankings and higher scores.
You unlock weapons, health bonuses, additional environmental killing devices (for example, in Little Asian Town, the Wang Bang Bus-a roving rose bush, for all intents and purposes-is unlocked after you hit the required point level)the Bloodbath Challenges and the boss fights as you score more points from kills. The weapons are fun and come with their own motion controlled maneuvers and finishers, and you can unlock additional ones after completing the game once.
The Bloodbath Challenges are hosted by the Black Baron, a pimp who loves violence as much as he loves his girls. I don’t want to spoil these for you, but here are a few examples of what you do. In Death Press, you grab enemies and throw them into the middle of a pit, where they squirm for a moment until a giant spiked weight drops onto them; when you’re done, it looks like you were making juice out of people. Man Darts has you swinging a spiked baseball bat at unwitting baddies, using them as living darts to score points. Money Shot has you using enemies as projectiles as well, but instead of a dart board, you’re aiming for…well, you know what a money shot is.
Like No More Heroes, the boss fights are one of the best parts of the experience. Each one has a specific weakness that is not immediately apparent, and you need to figure it out before they cut your run for the championship short. I am not revealing a thing about any of these bosses, besides the fact that there are “power struggles” in each fight that will cause massive damage to your opponent; these are started by countering one of their attacks with a Wii Remote motion at the proper time. They are different for every boss, and highly enjoyable to watch play out. The final fight is a little easier than most of the other contests in MadWorld, but it’s still a worthwhile experience.
While you fight, you get to hear a hip hop soundtrack in the background. This soundtrack is well done, and you will catch yourself getting caught up in it while you play. If it’s not your thing though, you can adjust the volume levels and throw it into the background to make room for the announcers.
Yes, announcers. Death Watch is a game show after all, so you need announcers. Greg Proops (stand up comedian and one of the stars of Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and John DiMaggio (the voice of Bender from Futurama) are your commentators in this game, and if the violence wasn’t reason enough for mother to say no to Little Timmy about MadWorld, then this pair is going to finish that discussion. The commentary is hilarious, gleefully reveling in the death they are witnessing while taking the time to make jokes about ex-wives, cheating lovers, drug abuse, and essentially anything you can think of that a depraved individual might enjoy. The tracks do repeat, but the commentary is so spot-on most of the time that you won’t even care that it happened. Not only are both men funny on their own, but they sound as if they have been a team for years, playing off of each other brilliantly and significantly adding to the game’s, dare I say, charm.
There’s only one serious complaint to make about MadWorld, and that is its length (no jokes from the announcers, please). It comes in at 4-6 hours, depending on how long you stick around racking up your score after unlocking the boss fights in each level. I won’t lie though, your fun to dollar ratio is still through the roof, as MadWorld’s few hours include more fun than you will have with many titles that are exponentially longer, and given it’s nature as a brawler with multiple difficulties, high scores, unlockable weapons and a campaign that is as brilliant as it is short, you shouldn’t have any trouble replaying this one a few times. There’s also a multiplayer mode where you can challenge your friend in the Bloodbath Challenges, but out of context, these are not as fun; they work as a showcase to convince your buddies that they want this game for its single-player mode though.
MadWorld is not just what the Wii needs more of, it’s the kind of game that any “core” gamer needs. The story is solid, enough to keep you entertained during cutscenes, the announcers make senseless killing funnier than it ever should be, the comic book style is a wonderful fit for a game of this type and the system it is on, and the gameplay-wonderfully executed controls as well as the basic premise-are nearly flawless. This game comes highly recommended from this reviewer, and is one that every Wii owner clamoring for more “hardcore” needs to purchase.