In life, there are several undisputable, scientific facts that will ring true for eternity. There's that one law about gravity concerning that 'what comes up, must come down thing'? and then there's that one theory about light, speed, and relativity or something... Really, though, none of that matters cause we're here to talk about videogames, and if there were an undisputable law that applies to videogames, it'd be this: videogames based off movies will always suck. Period. Oh, but it seems that there's been slight shift in the cosmos - a rippling in the seams of the known universe, if you will - because that last law has been broken with Shrek 2, a videogame tie-in that indeed does not suck.
I'll give you a minute to cope before we begin.
Shrek 2 is based off the movie of the same name, which stars the unlikely hero Shrek, a large green ogre, who treks across a land filled with magical fairy tale heroes to meet his newly wed wife's parents. It's like the movie Meet the Parents, but with a fairy tale twist. However, that fairy tale twist appears throughout the entire game and gives the game an undeniable charm, a charm that will appeal to both children and adults. The Shrek license may not seem like it'd work in a videogame, but it really is used well in Shrek 2 and is one of the game's main strengths. Add in the sharp visuals and fine audio (voice acting especially), and you'll find one tight and well-rounded package.
Shrek 2 is a hybrid action game of sorts: one-part Gauntlet-style action and one-part classic platform-style action, with an ample amount of mini-games thrown in as well. You control a group of four fairy-tale heroes from a top-down perspective and solve puzzles in mostly linear levels while occasionally bashing, mashing, and slashing the baddies. There's nothing terribly new here, but there's an undeniable polish in the gameplay that makes Shrek 2 a good deal of fun. The adventure never feels mundane either since the gameplay is often mixed up, with levels switching from basic platform gameplay elements to a diverse array of mini-games on the fly. And of course, if the fairy tale laden trek gets a bit lonely, then you can plug in a multi-tap and traverse the world of Shrek with three other friends.
But if there's a downer to be found in Shrek 2, it lies in the fact that while it's an enjoyable romp, it's also a fairly short romp that's easily beatable as well. Granted, Shrek 2 is aimed at kids, but even a child's developing motor skill shouldn't have much trouble plowing through the game in less than a rental period.
If Shrek's trek weren't such a short one, then Shrek 2 would get the full recommendations, but it's hard to justify putting down 50 bucks for a game that's beatable in a rental period. However, whether you're a Shrek fan or not, a kid or a kid at heart, know that Shrek 2 deserves a look, because even big, ugly ogres need a bit of love every now and then.