As I started to play Monsters vs. Aliens I didn’t quite know what to expect. Games that are tied into movies generally don’t do very well and unfortunately Monsters vs. Aliens seems to fall into that category. When you first start out the game is a lot of fun and it looks like this might actually be one of the rare instances when a movie tie-in game will actually be good. Sadly, once you get past the first area the game becomes increasingly repetitive. You are basically doing the same thing in every area throughout the game. The only real difference is that the difficulty changes as you progress through the game.
You play as three main characters throughout the adventure. The first one is Ginormica who was a normal girl until a meteor hit her during her wedding which resulted in her growing to a “monster” size. Her main thing throughout the whole game is using various vehicles as roller skates and then dodging whatever might be coming her way. She’ll skate through canyons, cities and alien compounds all while ducking and dodging and at some times jumping and grinding on walls. These mechanics are introduced in the first scene and don’t change throughout the game. Then you have “The Missing Link” who is from the ice age and is half-ape/half-fish. His main thing is that he can climb up giant robots and slowly dismantle them to try and help out his other teammates. Then of course there is B.O.B. which stands for Bicarbonate Ostylezene Benzoate. B.O.B. can mold his shape to help get to areas others can’t access. Throughout the game B.O.B. is faced with numerous mazes that he must try and get through. It can quickly get a bit boring as each maze is pretty much the same. This is also when you realize how poor the controls can be. The way you move around can be clunky and the detection is off which will result in a lot of cheap kills. When you aren’t in a maze you are clinging to something whether it be a wall, a ceiling or whatever the case may be to try and reach your destination. It is one of those things that is cool at first but can quickly get repetitive.
As you progress through the game you can visit the DNA Lab any time you choose. This is where you can unlock everything from concept art to movie stills to alternate commentary. You have these DNA nodes that you have to unlock using monster data which you collect as you progress through the game. Some of this stuff can be pretty cool, especially the alternate commentary. Once you unlock this simply play through levels again that you have already gone through and you will hear your character talking in the background telling you about their experience going through the level. It is a pretty good idea and should add a little replayability to the title for people who really enjoyed the movie.
Overall Monsters vs. Aliens had a lot of potential, however, sadly it was not realized. What showed promise early on quickly became repetitive as you progress from area to area. The voice acting was another thing that became really repetitive. You would hear the same thing over and over again which will get on your nerves. It’s a shame because this could have easily been one of those rare fantastic movie titles. All of the ingredients were there, they just weren’t cooked properly. If you have kids that loved the movie then they will probably get a kick out of controlling these monsters. Just be sure to rent the game first to see whether that love translates to the game as well.