Reviewed: November 8, 2005
Released: October 25, 2005
Shrek SuperSlam throws the characters from the Shrek movie series against each other in a 3D melee fighter, which in some respects mimics Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers. All 12 main characters from the Shrek franchise are here as they battle it out through 16 unique and destructible environments.
Shrek SuperSlam for the Nintendo DS is a smaller version of the consol game. It doesn’t have a ton to offer adults, but does manage to be a fun game for a little while.
After selecting single player mode, you’ll be given a few choices: story mode, mega challenge, melee, or training mode.
The main game throws you into story mode after allowing you to choose your character. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t fit with each character because there’s only one story no matter what character you choose to play. The only reason for selecting a character is personal preference.
Each character has its own unique moves and special attacks. Furthermore, you can collect and use items against your opponent using the DS touch screen. This feature may sound cool, but all you really do is touch the screen to activate the item. The DS screen has one other function, which is to activate the super slam move. Once the meter fills up (by players causing the opponent damage) you can touch the screen and the super slam move will be performed. Whoever performs the most super slam moves wins the match.
Although the items are helpful, the main source of gameplay is done through the buttons…err… button mashing, rather. All it takes to beat your opponent is your trusty thumb, no prior experience. You can essentially beat the game by pressing a single attack button and performing super slam moves once the meter fills up, it’s just that simple.
Mega challenge mode is a bunch of single player mini-games that prove to be a lot of quick and simple fun. For example, one mini-game will have you tapping the heads of characters popping out of tubes while another might be a matching game. There is nothing really new or innovative in mega challenge; just a bunch of old but fun games that can open bonus content.
Melee mode allows you to jump right into a fight and also gives you options to customize it. You can make the game a timed match, a race to collect super slams, a fairy dust challenge (first to collect a number of fairy dust points), or a game of tag; you’re it. You can customize your game, but there’s really no benefit to playing this mode other than for your own enjoyment.
I chose to do the training mode before I played the games multiple other modes. It teaches you how to perform each move a character can perform by making you do just that: perform them. You’ll be punching, kicking, and throwing like a pro in no time. The training mode is simple, short, and sweet (much like the entire game).
One of the games strongest points is its presentation. The large destructible stages you battle in each fit a specific theme. For example, Shrek’s level is a swamp, Fiona’s is a bedroom, and Gingy’s is a gingerbread house. Each one has multiple areas to explore and that becomes a problem. With the levels so large, sometimes characters get trapped behind objects and walls, which makes it hard to see them. The only control you have over the camera is a zoom in and out, but because of its limited range, it isn’t very helpful.
Overall, the graphics are solid and so are the character models. The frame-rate is solid, which is good when you consider the fast paced combat. While the animation appears to be smooth, they eventually come across as jerky because of the limited and constantly repeated character moves that look very abnormal.
The sound in the game is plain. All of the characters holler and groan while they battle and, while they differ slightly in the groans, it won’t be enough to keep your sound on. The same goes for the uninspired music that, while it makes an acceptable job of matching music to the themes of each stage, it never becomes catchy or memorable.
That’s really the limit to the game’s inadequate sound. In my opinion, the game should have had the story voiced by the original characters themselves or at the very least some half decent impersonators. It also would have been nice if during the battle each character had a few catchy one-liners that they used to a certain extent. In the end those things never happened and the sound ended up being just as bland as any Nintendo Game Boy game (yes, I realize this is a DS game).
There really isn’t a lot of value here. You can blaze through the story mode in 20 minutes, and although you can go back and play it again with another character, the story is the same. There really isn’t any replay value unless you are a young child who likes the Shrek series and enjoys watching the characters fight each other.
The multiplayer mode is the best part of the game. While it supports up to four players, the only way you can play is if each person has a copy of the game (good luck finding someone else with it). However, if you’re able to find someone else or willing to shell out the money for an extra unit then you’ll be able to customize your multiplayer games just like the single player melee mode. Unfortunately the game doesn’t tally wins versus losses and it’s something you don’t think about until it’s missing.
Bonus content can be unlocked by beating the game’s various modes, but it never unlocks anything great.
Shrek Super Slam is a decent 3D melee button masher for the Nintendo DS, but one that lacks enough variety to warrant a purchase. However, if you have a child (age 6 or younger) that loves Shrek, then you really can’t go wrong with this easy to master game. For everyone else, this game will leave you with a dry taste in your mouth after only one hour.