Reviewed: November 14, 2005
Released: October 25, 2005
Ahh yes, the adorable classic from DreamWorks. Shrek SuperSlam combines the best of the series, with the tested, frenetic, gameplay of Super Smash Brothers, and other quality fighters. The whole zany cast is here as well; Shrek, Fiona, Puss ‘n Boots (YES!) Donkey, Pinocchio, Quasimodo, Robin Hood and more! This colorful party game is brought to us from Shaba games (maker of extreme games like Wakeboarding Unleashed and Razor Freestyle Scooter) and venerable producer, Activision.
So lets dust off the ‘ol multi-tap, order some pizzas, and get some controllers greasy with this off the wall game.
You have a few options in this sucker. First, you can try the story mode, where you have to help out Dragon and Donkey with their kids…that ends up into a made-up bedtime story of fisticuffs between all the characters. Secondly, you can try the melee mode, where you just go at it with a host of options, with less plot to muck things up. Mega challenges will also test your strength, being placed in some odd mini-game situations. Rounding it out is a decent training area to hone your slamming skillz.
One thing is certain throughout- you will get bruised and battered. Each of the characters has a combination of strong, quick and weak attacks, as well as a collection of throws. Add to this the ability to block and dodge, and you have a wide array of moves at your disposal. They also have their own natural abilities and distinct styles, like the lithe Puss n’ Boots, to the lumbering Shrek. You can even toss your foe in and around the 3D levels, bust down doors and walls alike.
Being 3D, you can jump around from ledges, overhangs, stairs and so on as you grapple. You can also wield items such as meat sticks, hammers and more. The game itself surprised me in having no health bar, not unlike a wrestling game. See, you have to “slam” your opponent into submission, by building up this meter from scoring hits on your adversary, and whoever slams the mosteth, winneth! The ease of control and sheer ease of playability really strikes you throughout this title- kudos to Shabba.
If the basic fighting mode grows old, you can always branch out into the insane Mega-challenge mode. You can mix it up with lava filled areas, a deadly racing course, and the outrageous Slamagedon game to name a few. In the latter mode, everyone has unlimited slams all the time, so needless to say, it’s a pretty wild experience. Of course, this is all about the multi-player party atmosphere, and a multi-tap is a must. I invited some of my friends over and we had some great times with this sucker, as much as our manhood doesn’t want to admit. But hey, how can you say no to Puss ‘n Boots? Have you seen his pouty eyes?
If you assumed the game would look like the high CGI quality of the movies-well you sir, are a winner! While not silky smooth, it’s pretty dang close, showing some great respect to the original characters. Better yet, the scenes from the movies are transported to the small screen faithfully as well, complete with the lovely destructible effects. This is by far the best visual aspect of Shrek SuperSlam; it never gets old tossing each other through the levels.
There is also a wealth of quality cut scenes peppered throughout the game, which really show off the personalities even more. Occasionally, the frame rate did chug along with a lot of action onscreen, with scenery flying around getting destroyed and whatnot. This wasn’t that big of a deal though, but some of you may be surprised to still see the PS2 chug this late in it’s lifespan.
Sadly, none of the original voice work from the likes of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderes and Cameron Dias, make it into this game. Still, the replacements do a stand-up job…although Donkey sounds a bit off to me. The sound effects are your usual, exuberant cartoony stock, mixed in with some G-rated fighting grunts, cries and so on. Lastly, the musical score is upbeat and energetic, perfectly adding to the frenzied atmosphere.
Wow…umm, can you say short? The story mode takes a few hours to plow through, and while the rest of the gameplay is fun, it’s pretty much more of the same. True you can pit a wide variety of characters in lots of levels, and toss in multi-player and mini-games, and you have a pretty decent amount of giggles ahead. But just don’t think you will lose your life in this title, it’s meant to be played casually, and with others. Better yet, it makes the perfect bonding experience with your kids; not many games can cross over both generations, and keep everyone entertained.
Shrek SuperSlam is a quality fighting game, combing raucous arena style battles with a party game atmosphere, not to mention the high-spirited cast of characters from the hit films. It’s just too bad the ride doesn’t last very long, although the die-hard fans should gobble this up for awhile. Still, if you want a great time with your kids, or just another excuse to bust out the Shrek DVDs, then you owe it to yourself to check out this title in the Shrek franchise.