Shrek has quickly turned into one of the most successful film franchises, so of course it’s not a big surprise that they try and turn it into a successful game franchise as well. The games have been pretty successful, even if they haven’t been exactly well received by the critics. Shrek the Third tries to build upon the film by filling in some of the gaps and letting you play through some of the more memorable moments of the animated flick. Though the Shrek series has done catering towards the broader audience of children and adult alike, the games seem to be aimed squarely at children with their simple play mechanics and collection quests.
If there’s one thing games based on computer animated films can easily excel at is graphics. The mediums are so closely related that it’s a simple translation. Shrek the Third is no exception. The game really does look like the film and feels like you’re controlling the cartoon. The characters are fairly well animated and look good. Unfortunately, the rest of the graphics can’t match the attention to detail given to the main characters. The backgrounds are decent, but mostly confined to small areas. The camera also finds itself in bad positions during some of the more intense platforming sequences. That means, when you need to make that series of jumps you’ll probably be at it for quite a while because the camera has a problem with keeping up with the action leaving you to fall and fall often.
One major fault that you’re bound to find with Shrek the Third is that being a game based on the movie, they don’t even use the actors voices! It can’t be stressed any more than that. One can understand that the voice talent especially from actors such as Mike Meyers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz doesn’t come cheap, but couldn’t it be found in the budget somewhere to have audio from the actual movie? It’s terrible to hear impersonator’s attempt to sound like Mike Meyers’ Shrek or even Antonio Banderas’ Puss ‘n’ Boots. No offense for those doing the impersonating, but part of what makes Shrek appealing to many is the voices of the actors and if the game can’t deliver then it definitely loses much of the charm. This is rather unfortunate, because there’s a lot of dialogue used in the game, whether it’s the occasional quips uttered by the characters or just the cutscenes that expand the story, there’s a lot of talking going on and it might be hard to get past the fact that they’re not being mouthed by the original actors. It’s like going to see a concert for your favorite band and find out it’s a tribute band instead. It’s just not the same.
Those things aside Shrek the Third is a decent platformer for the younger set. It’s mostly a button masher. You perform the same combo moves over and over again, with very little skill needed to get through the game, which is fine for children. They don’t always comprehend the intricacies of a move which can require four different buttons and pressing the analog stick in three different directions. So, if you’ve got a Shrek fan in your house they might enjoy this, but be ready when they come to you because they can’t pass a certain level in the game, because it might happen more often than you think.
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