Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 3


Looking back in the storied history of video games, the beat-em-up is one of the most common choices game developers chose to use on a licensed title, just behind the platformer. SHReK the THiRD, beyond being an abysmal piece of grammar, falls firmly into the beat-em-up category. While it handles itself admirably in this regard, it completely falls apart in every other aspect.

shrekthird1xbox360.jpg (189178 bytes)As if on cue, the fetch quest rears its ugly head in the early going. Once acclimated to the basics of taking down a small selection of repetitive enemies as Shrek, players begin a long journey with the task of finding hidden objects that are not so well hidden. Switches need to be toggled, keys need to be found, and mission objectives range somewhere between borderline ridiculous and you've got to be kidding.

In an even odder move, the mission objectives rarely need to be completed to advance. Missing many of them is no cause for alarm (unless you're going for the fairly routine achievements).

A variety of characters are at the player's control, though you're given no choice in the matter. This single player affair assigns the player a famous face from the movie series to pound their way through stacks of enemies. Defeated foes leave either money or fairy dust. The latter fills a meter, which can then be used to unleash a devastating attack. Fill it entirely to slow down time.

Breakable objects litter the game, the majority containing the so-called "hidden" objects. By paying attention, you could very well find everything on the first play through, which will last roughly four hours at the most. Dying brings with it little penalty, so don't worry about falling in a pit. The screen goes blank for a second the generous checkpoint system will get you on your way.

At its core, the basic beat-em-up engine is fine. Collision is solid, there's a decent sense of power, and a fair variety of moves are at the players' disposal. For the work done to ensure the fighting it correct, it's utterly amazing how shoddy the collision is elsewhere. Beyond countless spots in the game where you'll be sucked into the floor at random, some collectibles simply won't register when you touch them, even as the models clip right through your character.

While somewhat dry, at least the fighting can be enjoyed. The same cannot be said for the jumping puzzles, especially late in the game. Without any camera control, the characters can be completely obscured by the platform they're trying to reach. It's sheer luck to make it through without missing a step in situations like this.

It feels rushed, it looks like it belongs on the Dreamcast, and at some points death is unavoidable. It's a shame some basic fighting mechanics are stuck inside the drab levels and pathetic camera. SHReK the ThiRD is broken.


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Last updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 09:27 PM