Reviewed: November 17, 2005
Released: October 25, 2005
Gassing your opponents may not be the socially acceptable attack in a game, but in Shrek SuperSlam it sure is one of the funniest. Whether you play as Shrek, Fiona or any of the other characters from the Shrek universe your sure to be in for a fight in Activision's latest game for the GBA based on the delightful Shrek franchise.
Play as any of ten characters from the Shrek films as you explore various fight combo's and special moves totally unique from the console versions. Challenge your opponents in ten challenging and totally destructible environments inspired from the film and loaded with weapons, potions, and 25 magical items to boost your health or combat abilities.
You can duke it out as any of the main characters from Shrek and fight in Story, Mega Challenge or Melee Mode. Whether you play the story or other modes you choose the character and fight against the rest if the Shrek cast in a series of brawls to finish your objectives. The objectives vary from most knockouts or slams to collecting items in the game like fairy dust.
Shrek SuperSlam is played in small arenas that automatically scrolls a little to each side and up and down. There are platforms composed of different parts of the scenes that you can jump onto to launch an attack or simply run away from the other characters. There are also plenty of objects and weapons in the scenes along with things like furniture that can be destroyed or even used as makeshift weapons.
In Story mode you'll follow the tale of Shrek and Donkey trying to have a quite night with the boys playing cards and those pesky Dronkeys keep interrupting. Donkey tries to put the "kids" to bed with a story. But alas, one of Donkey's kids has burned the book in his enthusiasm to hear a tale. Shrek then tells them a story based on a series of "epic encounters" which are merely the standard brawls from the other modes.
You then continue on into different fight scenes earning more French Flies and fighting other characters of the story. The French Flies you collect can be turned in for bonus items. Moving from one fight scene to the next you continue until the story for that character is finished.
In both Mega Challenge and Melee mode you fight other Shrek characters and have goals like most Slams or the most fairy dust collected when time runs out. In Mega Challenge you have 25 mini-games to play and earn rewards to open up bonus features using French flies. Melee Mode is much like the Mega Challenge but you must set the different game attributes like time, win method and characters.
Whether it's playing as Fiona or any of the other characters each one has a special attack like PussNBoots "cuteness" or Shrek's "gassing". The attacks are done with the A and B buttons but to jump you have to use the up arrow. Picking up objects like weapons and potions is done with the left button while the right is for a guard move. The objects are either weapons to use against the others or potions like one that shrinks you to make it harder for other characters to hit you.
I found one of the hardest parts of the game was using the up arrow and trying to move to one side or the other to jump to higher levels. Part of your time in any game will be spent trying to find others to fight. They have made this easier by having a number in the relative direction of that character that is off screen.
In the game when you hit someone a meter for your character grows giving you parts of a slam. When you get the bar full you can do the SuperSlam and they will really get knocked out for the count along with your slam count increasing by one. Your opponents will also be able to slam you when their meter gets full so watch out.
The gameplay is all right but it would probably be better on a bigger screen. Fighting against others is pretty easy as you just keep punching and on occasion using your alternate attack. The game is a pretty basic fighting game with the characters of Shrek and the few cute things like the Dronkeys and PussNBoots. While this is probably fun for younger kids, adults will probably get bored with it pretty quickly.
Multiplayer is simply fighting against each other using the various Shrek characters. You connect two Game Boy's together using either the Gamelink cable or the wireless of the Game Boy Advance SP. Sadly, multiplayer battles require no more skill than the solo modes and simply become a test of who can mash the attack button the fastest.
The graphics of Shrek SuperSlam are pretty standard for the Game Boy Advanced. The story scenes are small but look surprisingly good for the GBA screen despite the limited colors. Character design is adequate given the 2D nature of the game and the sprite-like animation is smooth and fun to watch. The game is a little dark but there is a gamma setting in the options menu that will make it a little brighter on the GBA.
The surprising thing is the scenes during the story mode and how well they look. They are small but look surprisingly good for the small screen, and look more like the CG film than your standard GBA cutscene.
Sounds for Shrek SuperSlam are limited to some generic effects, mostly the sounds of exaggerated combat, and some repetitive background music that is forgettable. The lack of speech (easily the best part of the console version) is sorely missed and nobody will likely take the time to read the text that tries to tell the story, especially since you can skip the text-dialogue with the A button.
In Shrek SuperSlam the story mode is pretty much like the Melee and Mega Challenge just in a little different presentation. The whole game boils down to fighting using the Shrek characters and getting French flies to unlock features of the game such as costumes, more levels or other characters. The fighting is pretty simple and repetitive and not that interesting to play if you are above the age of six.
There is not much substance to Shrek SuperSlam. Sure you get a good selection of charcters, all with unique attacks, but the gameplay doesn't change that much so everybody plays the same. There are some nice customizable options in the Melee Mode and 25 Mega Challenges to complete but none of them are that different or exciting.
Due to the smaller size of the GBA some games just don't work on the system, Shrek SuperSlam is one of them. Kids may enjoy the game more than I did, but I would rent it first before spending the money on the this version. The graphics were pretty good but the fighting is all the same with little difference between the game modes. If you absolutely have to have a Shrek fighting game on a handheld system you might want to check out the DS version.