Gaming: 'Madagascar 3' and 'One Piece: Pirate Wars'

Hayden Meikle looks at a couple of offerings for younger gamers.


Madagascar 3

For: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS

From: Monkey Bar Games

Two and a half stars out of five


Melman, Melman, Melman. I like to move it, move it. I like to move it, move it.

Oops, sorry. Pavlovian response there. As soon as I hear the word "Madagascar", the songs start playing in my head. That's what happens when the kids watch it 25 times in a year.

This is a dinky, very simple game released to accompany the third film in the Madagascar series.

Fans will know the main characters are Alex (lion), Marty (Zebra), Melman (neurotic giraffe) and Gloria (hippo), and others, including the magnificent, military penguins.

All four characters can be controlled as they seek to escape the clutches of Captain Chantel DuBois and return home to New York City.

The overall idea is to collect enough equipment to build a circus, with a few mini-games in between the levels.

It really is very simple.

The gameplay - a little bit of running, a little bit of jumping, a little bit of exploring, a lot of basic button interaction with the environment - will be excruciating for anyone older than about 12.

But for the younger kids, the sights and sounds and simplicity will be just delightful.


One Piece: Pirate Warriors

For: PlayStation 3

From: Namco Bandai

Three stars

Through the years, a few games in the Dynasty Warriors franchise have reached this part of the world. It isn't clear how popular any of them have been.

Pirate Warriors is a sort of spin-off, a Japanese action/fighting game aimed at gamers in their early teens.

It features a main character with the spectacular name of Monkey D Luffy and some folks called the Straw Hat Pirates.

The gameplay primarily features combat, with some grappling sequences and puzzle-solving thrown in. Very repetitive, as these games usually are, but that won't bother the young ones.

Luffy is an entertaining character and controlling him - especially in a stoush - can be fun, as he bends his body into all sorts of shapes.

The game looks nice and colourful, and those who actually know the series will appreciate the work done on rendering the characters.

It won't be a game you play for 100 hours but it's a pleasant little diversion.



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