The target audience for this title is no doubt younger players so naturally you can expect a game with simple gameplay concepts with the enjoyment coming from the characters, vibrant levels and basic gameplay, such as shooting and puzzle solving. It is also imperative that from the start everything is clearly explained to the player without boring them.
If a child it playing, chances are that they will get bored from a slow paced tutorial or frustrated if key controls and/or concepts are poorly, or not at all explained. Obviously then, for Megamind the tutorial has to be pretty solid.
The starting level is a bit of a let down. I was distracted when loading into the level when I spotted some message informing me about the HUD, area I was currently in or something else. This could be a problem, however I was able to get started anyhow as navigating was easy enough.
Your first mission acts as a tutorial, providing various set pieces to refine learning the controls. It is all very easy to avoid the disappointment of failure but this did lead to it feeling a little flat and dull. The player starts by learning how to shoot, destroying stationary targets. The button is clear enough in the text instruction and the voice over clearly informs the player what to do. Unlike entering the home area, the camera pan and voice made sure that I was paying attention!
The player then learns about switches, picking up objects and jumping through a variety of set pieces. Nothing new or original in that, however what I did like is that the controls were clearly displayed above the character’s head when near the action location. The radius at which you able to lock on and perform the action was pretty wide, making it even easier and simpler.
As such only an idiot could really get seriously lost on what to do with an object. Even I coped! Action locations are highlighted, there’s camera pans with voice over and text instructions then reminders of the buttons. Megamind does an excellent job in ensuring that you are able to get to grips with the game. Perhaps a bit slow if you are experienced with games, but for their target audience it is perfect.
I actually started playing this game with someone who doesn’t play many games. Usually when playing co-op with a non-gamer I find myself having to say “go here” and “press … button” etc. Neither myself or the second player really appreciate this nagging, but equally having to wait around is dull and can make the newbie embarrassed.
When we were playing Megamind everything was so clear and colourful I didn’t have to provide my own walkthrough. This provides a much more enjoyable co-op experience. Unfortunately there was no instructions at all for the second player, but as there wasn’t much to do… I guess it doesn’t matter.
Overall, solid tutorial for the type of game and audience. Having the big clear buttons in the centre of the screen with highlights around objects made sure that anyone can pick up the game and learn.
Source: Xbox 360
Completion: Just a few levels