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31 Reviews

MadWorld

Bloody brilliant?

To watch exclusive MadWorld footage, click here for our daily countdown to the March 20 launch

Sex, gore and bad language are the key ingredients in Platinum Games's bloody bruiser, Madworld. Which is exactly the sort of stuff over-fit and over-brain trained Nintendo fans have been gagging for.

Impaling men on a giant, spiked women's breasts as commentators announce, "if no means yes, then yes surely means anal!" is just another day in the angry life of Jack (just Jack). Jack's been thrust into a violent game show in the captured city of Varrigan, which is being held hostage by mental terrorists.

The set-up's a bit like Running Man: Varrigan's captors have released a deadly virus into the city and only those who receive the cure will outlive the 24-hours it takes to put you on the ground.

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There is a of course, a catch; the twisted terrorists will only award the antidote to individuals who kill, and the last man standing has been promised a $100m cash prize. Thus, with the introduction of television cameras and camp, armoured-up 'contestants', the world's most extreme and deadly episode of Gladiators begins.

The coupling of "motherf***ing" chainsaws with mum-friendly Wii Remotes is definitely an odd one, but the two ends of the spectrum bizarrely end up complementing each other.

The distinctive black and white pallet offers some of the most visually pleasing scenes Nintendo's console can afford, while convincing motion controls provide a bloody brutal combat system.

Dealing death with a chainsaw in one hand and a 7ft street sign in the other is - funnily enough - all about being creative. The game show set-up unsurprisingly lays a lot of emphasis on point scoring, which means that boring dispatches of enemies isn't going to get you far.

MadWorld's level structure challenges you to reach a specific, astronomical score before rewarding you with a brutal and hilarious set piece (more on those later).

Reaching the numbers on the board requires experimentation and style. Picking up tyres with the A button, smashing them on the heads on foes with a Remote gesture and then lobbing them into spinning jet fan is a winning move.

Scraps are kept fresh with the introduction of different weapons such as twin blades or spiked staffs, while God of War-calibre finishing moves - perhaps the most bloody and hilarious we've seen - provide even more entertainment.

Quickly putting a bin on a chump's head, setting him on fire and then impaling him on the side of a spiked bus (called the "Wang Bang Bus") becomes your ultimate end goal.

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Where motion controls are shown to be massively inaccurate in most Wii action games, MadWorld does an incredible job of making your moves feel credible.

Holding B to slice cronies with your chainsaw, swinging a ninja by the legs and teeing off a zombie's head with a golf club; it all works and feels like it should. MadWorld would undoubtedly be a less satisfying, fuelled experience on any other console.

But ultimately the inventive sandbox combat sequences are just the support act to MadWorld's real main attractions; the brilliant boss fights and Bloodbath challenges.

The game's twisted mini-games - hosted by the ever-offensive pimp, the Black Barron - are as diverse as they are hilarious. Ranging from hurling blokes at a giant dartboard to knocking them in the path of a giant, spiked train, the Bloodbath challenges never fail to offend or entertain.

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