The Shrek DVD contains footage of what happens when animators incorrectly program ogre and pals. Donkey turns into a jive-talking afro and Shrek's skull pops out of his own gob. Nightmarishly hideous, sure, but it goes to show that even when Dreamworks seriously mess up they do so in a mirth-filled way. More than can be said for Shrek 3 on Wii.
A GREENER SHADE OF RAGE
While Shrek isn't as weak as, say, Spider-Man 3, it's not the most welcome visitor. Considering that Shrek finds its lifeblood in lampooning tired Disney conventions, it isn't half willing to follow in the footsteps of just about every kid's-movie-to-game transition that came before.
A platformer/beat-'em-up, Shrek presents a not-so-heady mix of bopping angry mobs, with a whole five different moves and 3D platforming so simple that you want to sit Amaze down and show them what Mario's been capable of since 1996.
Fighting is this ogre's strong point. Remote swishes strike foes easily - it's tighter than TMNT. Shaking the nunchuk winds up power attacks, while C activates finishers. But before Mortal Kombat-y visions of Princess Fiona gouging out some sap's eyes come to mind, remember this is a kid's game, and so substitute Shrek-aided spine removals with comical pummellings.
Funnily enough, the game feels a tad God of War-sy. Whether it's combo rankings, button bashing to open crates, collecting blue orbs to activate a slow-mo rage mode, or Donkey fighting a 100ft mechanised Colossus of Rhodes (made up fact) the game plays like PS2's blood spiller. But, y'know, for 'the kids'.
The kids will forgive monotony. They shouldn't, however, forgive licence laziness. The writing is painfully poor, cutscenes star characters interpreted by animatronic dummies and the original cast is shamefully absent. When a narrating John Cleese sounds more like Donkey than the guy they've actually hired2 you know you're in trouble.
It's going to sell by the bucket-load to the younger fans of the film, and most of them will find it a diverting enough adventure. Just a shame that it throws away such a knowing premise.