Gorillaz - Escape to Plastic Beach Review
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Gorillaz - Escape to Plastic Beach Review

Our Review by Chris Hall on July 30th, 2010
Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: SNOOZE
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Gorillaz is a great example of a licensed game with no creativity and no purpose.

Developer: Matmi
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

There is nothing more frustrating in the video gaming world than a licensed game that doesn't produce. As a consumer, I feel like the developer is given the characters, the style, and in this case, the soundtrack, and all they have to do is run with it.

Given the Gorillaz theme, especially after the most recent "Stylo" video and the previous "19-2000" video, I would've expected a vehicle game of some sort, but instead they went with a Glyder clone. Each level starts with you, as Murdoc, either taking off to catch 2-D before he escapes or rushing back home after catching 2-D. There is no plot other than that, plain and simple. You just glide around the screen going through hoops while destroying whatever target you find.

What kills me the most, well, the two things that kill me the most are what they are most known for, graphics and the sound. Gorillaz has been known for their 3D concert experiences and their amazingly sharp music videos, but even on my iPhone 4 screen, nothing looked as sharp as I would've expected. The characters were extremely choppy during gameplay which was a huge disappointment.

The sound was even more frustrating though. With a full catalog full of easily identifiable songs, it would've been easy to throw some actual tracks into the levels, or at least parts of songs. Instead, there is a constant MIDI sounding track that seems like it belongs on a 15 year old console. The lack of full songs with lyrics is a complete blunder in a game about a band. Inexcusable.

I admittedly am not a Gorillaz worshiper and definitely feel like the last album was a bit of a letdown, but their presence is undeniable. Their whole existence as a band made up of digital characters seems like the perfect makeup for a great video game, but instead the developer went with a safe clone of another game. It almost feels like they didn't try.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Gorillaz - Escape to Plastic Beach screenshot 1 Gorillaz - Escape to Plastic Beach screenshot 2 Gorillaz - Escape to Plastic Beach screenshot 3 Gorillaz - Escape to Plastic Beach screenshot 4 Gorillaz - Escape to Plastic Beach screenshot 5
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