Shrek 2

Review

posted 5/27/2004 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: Xbox
A few months ago Activision released Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure which was essentially a kid-friendly version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Many saw it as just another kid’s game but those who were lucky enough to play it were privileged enough to find out that it was probably the best made “kid’s game” on the market. Now with the release of Shrek 2 in theatres Activision unleashes another bombshell on the 13 and under market with this self-titled game.

What makes this game so good is that although it was developed for kids it has adult-style production values. Instead of going the cheap route and trying to cash in on the license like TDK did, Activision went to an established developer who it knew could develop a competent game. What you have here is a game that’s excellent no matter which way you look at it, Shrek 2 license or not.

Although the video game shares the same name as the movie it takes some liberties with the story. It takes you to new places and introduces you to new characters that you didn’t see in the movie. For instance you’ll encounter Little Red Riding Hood and venture through a graveyard with her in the video game, a scene that’s not in the movie. The overall storyline is the same though with King Harold conspiring with the Fairy Godmother to kill off Shrek and marry Fiona and Prince Charming. Some of the setups are different too such as the way that Shrek encounters Puss in Boots. Here he runs into him because he takes a walk in the woods after reading Fiona’s diary while in the movie he runs into him when the King invites him out for a hunt in the woods. Otherwise you get the basic gist of the movie here in the videogame but it’s much more fleshed out for your benefit.

Most kids games go with some stupid mini-game concept but Activision took a different route. It’s a full-fledged adventure, dungeon romp style. Think of it as a child friendly version of Hunter or Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and you can get a pretty firm grasp of the game’s concept. There are always four characters on the screen at a time; Shrek, Fiona (in Ogre form), Donkey and a special guest star. All of the characters have their own special unique abilities that are required in order to pass the levels. For instance, in the first stage you have to use Fiona’s ability to slow time to catch some lightning fast fairies. Later on you’ll need to use Donkey’s special burrow kick ability in order to knock down trees that block your path. What’s great about this is that it encourages the use of each and every character. It makes the four-player aspect seem less gimmicky and more like an integral part of the gameplay.
Page 1 of 2