Monsters vs. Aliens: Video Game Does Justice to the Movie
After striking comedic gold with an ogre and donkey duo, DreamWorks is at it again with another unlikely match; Monsters vs. Aliens. After faring well with moviegoers, does the videogame adaptation have what it takes to be an out-of-this-world experience?
Monsters vs. Aliens features your classic ‘visitors from outer space’ tale, but with a slight twist. Told through humorous cut-scenes, the story follows a top-secret government agency that houses a small army of charismatic monsters as Earth’s last defense against the unknown. Using benign humor, fart jokes, and the power of teamwork, the lighthearted story is presented in a fun--albeit predictable--way. And with DreamWorks’ solid foundation of A-list voice actors, colorful art-style, and well-scripted plot, the development team at Beenox had it easy, simply having to reanimate choice scenes to flesh out the story.
The game is designed so that you take turns playing as one of three monsters through four chapters, with five to eight scenes per. Locales include San Francisco and the alien mother ship, but each chapter manages to mirror its predecessor with the same exact design. You must take down a single larger-than-life alien robot. Sounds impressive, but déjà vu sets in quickly, and remains steady throughout the nine-hour adventure.
What little solace there is to be found, is provided by three highly poised characters, each with their own unique strategy. Ginormica’s 50-foot height restricts her to the street level, as she speeds along a fixed path on make-shift car skates. B.O.B, the gelatinous blob, penetrates the alien invasion from the inside, tackling various puzzles and mazes. With his ability to tread on walls and ceilings, there’s plenty of Super Mario Galaxy-esque elements that’ll take you upside down, sideways, and right-side over. The Missing Link is the brawns of the group. With super strength, he solves all his problems with his fists, and amusing one-liners.
A buddy can join in on the action at any point. Again, much like Super Mario Galaxy, they only have a cursor that’s used to shoot at enemies. The real bonus, outside of the single-player mode, is the DNA lab, where collecting enough DNA orbs yields character upgrades, movie trivia, stills, and monster challenge rooms. The bite-sized challenges are all score-based, offering a quick fix of action, though it’s nothing that can’t be found in the single-player game.