Madagascar 3 Review “getting up to all kinds of shenanigans”

Filed under Game Reviews, Reviews

Madagascar 3 is the third film in the Madagascar series from Dreamworks Studios. It all started when a lion, a hippo, a giraffe and a zebra was accidentally shipped off to Madagascar. Since then they’ve been trying to find their way back home to the New York City Zoo.

If you haven’t watched the film, don’t expect to understand where the game picks up. The game starts off after many things have happened to our awesome foursome but their story is never told. Please, allow me.

After enjoying their time in Africa (Madagascar 2) the four animals, Alex, Gloria, Melman and Marty, decide that it is time to go home. Their only ticket home is the always hilarious penguins, but they took off to Monaco. The only logic thing to do is to follow them there. It is at Monaco where they run into a vicious animal control lady, Dubois, who wants to “mount ze head of ze lion on ze wall.”

They flee for their lives and finally come across a circus; the only place where they can safely hide from Dubois.  They purchase the (horribly failing) circus from its owners and make it their duty to improve the circus so they can get home through the sponsorship of a rich American man.

This is where the game starts off. You are doing everything possible to make the circus work. What does this mean? Collecting. Lots and lots of collecting.

The circus will have four opportunities to perform in order to impress the sponsor. These four cities (Rome, Pisa, Paris, London) are spread across Europe and the visual differences between them offer a nice change of scenery. Each city has a set of missions you need to complete, and this is where the monotony sets in.

Each mission is a basic fetch quest with a “collect” quest tacked on to it. You will, for example, have to fetch a fish tank for one of the acts, but also collect 10 pizzas for King Julian and 15 pieces of wood for the Penguins. Rinse and repeat for all 4 locations. While you are out on your collection hunt there is “animal control agents” lurking about. They are supposed to add some tension to the game, but really all they do is annoy you. If you are spotted, they chase after you, but avoiding them is as easy as simply ignoring them. Just go on your way. They never catch up.

There are some sequences that try to break the pace between missions such as running from Dubois, supply races and poster tagging. These do well to add some variety to the game, but they also fall victim to the monotony that reigns in this game eventually.

Once you have completed the collection missions, you can finally throw your circus open to the public. Each circus has the same acts but they vary in difficulty. Each acts is basically a mini-game, offering very little challenge.

Now that all the negative elements have been covered, what is left? The entire game can be played in co-op. This is where the fun comes in. Doing the circus on your own is boring, but playing with a friend and attempting to beat each other’s scores turns this monotonous trip across Europe into one that warrants a smile.

For trophy/achievement hunters there is an easy platinum or 1000/1000 here. Just turn off the volume, put some music on and be on your way!

The audience this game is intended for is obvious, and I’m sure kids who are massive fans of the movies will love taking control of their favourite characters and getting up to all kinds of shenanigans. For adults though, let’s face it, there is only one good circus in this world and it comes from Russia…

Madagascar 3 tries to bring the joy of a circus to the living room, but it ends up taking a pie in the face.

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