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I've played my share of movie tie-in games. Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar 2, and Open Season just to name a few. With my previous experience in mind, I went into Monsters vs. Aliens for the Nintendo DS with my review already written. It'd say something along the lines of "this game is boring, full of bugs, and just not even worth the cartridge it's on." Surprisingly enough, I was almost wrong.
Not knowing much about the story of Monsters vs Aliens, I was correct in my assumption that it featured monsters (the good guys) in a struggle against aliens (the bad guys). Turns out I was completely right. I also decided that I'd just skip through the cutscenes, because really, I didn't care to sit through poorly written dialog with crappy voiceovers just so that I could play the game. Truth be told, I watched some of them and have a general gist of the story elements.
The game plays out across 20ish levels with 5 different characters. Giant Girl's levels are your basic jumping levels with a few enemies to punch, Blob Guy's levels focus more on platforming and avoiding enemies; Weird Insect-Lizard Thing's levels involve lots of enemies to battle; Gigantic Catepiller/Gerbil combo stops around the city like Godzilla, and Cockroach Scientist's levels are puzzles. It may not seem like much, but the variety found between these five choices really adds a lot to making the game interesting. I actually found myself enjoying certain parts of the game, most notably the Cockroach's puzzle levels. Other than the variety in the levels, there's nothing much notable about Monsters vs. Aliens. The levels are littered with collectables that allow you to upgrade your characters between levels and purchase new costumes.
I guess the most important part about Monsters vs. Aliens is that I didn't hate playing it. For a two-hour diversion, there are worse ways to spend your time. I wouldn't suggest running out to buy your very own copy, but if you've got a son/cousin/neice who's into the movie, it'd be a good way to get them a movie game that isn't an abomination. And then you could play it when you're bored.
Platform(s):Nintendo DS (reviewed), Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2 and 3
ESRB:E for Everyone
Website:Monsters vs. Aliens Game Site