• Shrek The Third is your typical movie tie-in game. At points you feel as if Activision only released this title to try and make more money on the Shrek franchise. After all, it has been proven with movies in the past that no matter how bad a game is, it will sell well if it is attached to a popular franchise. With that being said, there certainly have been worse movie tie-in games than this one. If you are a big fan of the Shrek universe or have kids that are you might enjoy playing through this game. The game is so incredibly short that you will be able to play through the whole game in an afternoon, making this game a perfect rental.

    Throughout your journey you will get to play as most of the main characters throughout the Shrek universe. You will get to play as Shrek, Donkey, Puss In Boots, Fiona, Sleeping Beauty and Arthur. Each character has their own stages and in some instances you will use more than one character in a stage. For example on the second stage you start out using Shrek to pound on some enemies but then become Puss in Boots to sneak in the castle and lower the bridge to allow Shrek to enter. Other stages you will play solely as Donkey or Fiona or Sleeping Beauty. Each level is relatively short, although there are a bunch of items to find that will extend the play time if you choose to search them out. You will also be given various challenges to complete in each level. You do not necessarily need to complete these challenges to get through the game, it just adds some extra challenge.

    Shrek the Third

    You start the game in the land of Far Far Away. The king has just died which leaves either you or a lost brother that needs to become the next king. Shrek does not want to be king so he sets off on an adventure to find Arthur. The premise of the game follows the movie pretty well, although it expands on the movie in certain areas. For example, in the movie you never see the Evil Queen’s castle but in the game that is one of the levels. The cinematic sequences between levels are one of the more interesting things to see as it is done like a puppet show. The opening cinematic for the game has you flying over Far Far Away and then into the theatre inside the castle. As you are entering the theater you see Shrek and Donkey walking to their seats as the puppet show is getting started.

    You hear Donkey talking about how he thinks they are late and how he is one of those people who doesn’t like to miss the previews and then inadvertently sits on Shrek’s lap. You’ll get a chuckle out of it and the Shrek humor is definitely there. Fortunately the developers of the game used the same actors from the movie to maintain that authentic “Shrek” feel.

    Unfortunately even though the “Shrek” feel is intact that doesn’t mean a whole lot when the rest of the game is mediocre. The vast majority of the combat in this game is nothing more than quickly pushing the “X” button so that you can plow through enemies on your way to the next room where you will do the exact same thing again and again. The developers did try to add a little variety by adding in a couple of levels where you were trying to knock down castle walls by using a catapult, however these levels where few and far between. This game is also incredibly buggy which you will make you wonder how it got out of the testing phases. There is on spot in the evil toy shop where you have to jump on a moving hand to get to the room above. However while you are on the hand moving up the game will randomly freeze up, causing you to have to restart your console and start all the way back at the beginning of the level. This happened to me multiple times until I was finally able to get past it. Upon checking various forum boards it would appear that I am not the only one who seemed to suffer from these bugs as others are reporting the same issues with the game. There was also another one in the Evil Queen’s Castle where after my character died, the level didn’t load properly. Instead of loading as it should, it looked like my character was simply standing in the clouds with my destination in the distance looking like a jpg image rather than a place I needed to get to. My character was able to move around, yet it didn’t matter because if I ran forward I would suddenly fall off some type of imaginary cliff and then respawn at the same place. It got to be pretty frustrating until the game somehow fixed itself and the level loaded as it should have in the first place. This glitch does not happen every time so gamers will get frustrated when they do have to start at the beginning of a level because of this random bug.

    The game features five different difficulty settings, although you have to buy both the “Charming” and “Grimm” difficulty settings from the “Gift Shop”. The way that you earn money for the gift shop is by collecting money that enemies drop and things of that nature. Within the Gift Show you can buy various outfits for your characters, director commentary, the two difficulty settings and things of that nature. There are also a bunch of mini games that you can take part in such as shooting pirate ships with a canon before they reach shore and things like that. The achievements for this game are fairly simple, some just take time. The achievements range from beating a boss on normal or higher difficulty setting to locating all of the pages from the coloring book that Fiona had as a child. There are also achievements for using Shrek’s “finishing moves” a certain number of times as well as getting a “Perfect” on each level. You can obtain a “Perfect” rating on each level simply by completing the level without your character dying. There are times when you don’t know whether your character died or not so that can be frustrating as well. Sometimes you will fall off a cliff and the computer won’t count that as a death, yet other times in others spots it will and you won’t know until after you complete the level and look at your stats.

    Overall, if you are a big fan of the Shrek universe or have a kid that is you might enjoy this game for what it is and for being able to control your favorite characters. However that fun might not last very long depending on whether you run into any of the aforementioned bugs throughout the game. If you plow through the game not doing any of the challenges or anything you can finish this game in approximately 5 hours, if not sooner. For this reason this game should really be nothing more than a rental at your local video store. If you really like the game I would recommend waiting a few months until the price drops on the game as it is no where near worth the $50 price tag that they are asking for it.

    For those people who just want easy achievements this would be a good game to give a try. Otherwise just save your money and buy the actual movie on DVD when it is released.

    Score: 6/10

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