MadWorld's bloodbath challenges, presided over by the aforementioned Baron, are also a hoot. These are minigames, but not the ones you're used to seeing on the Wii. Rather, these brutal bits provide some of the game's most explicit imagery, and many of them are funny in a macabre way. In one of them, you throw enemies into a giant hand, which then squeezes blood from this handful as if juicing an orange. In another, you stick your targets in barrels that then launch into the air, creating a bloody fireworks display. Most of these are enjoyable for the limited time in which they occur, though some are better than others (the imperfect targeting methods of Money Shot and Man Golf make them weaker entries). You can revisit them with a friend in a split-screen multiplayer mode in which you compete for high scores, but out of context, these challenges are far less enjoyable and get real old, real fast.
As a rule, the game's control scheme uses the Wii's capabilities well, offering sensible doses of button mashing and remote waving. As in Manhunt 2, the motion of the remote simulates the onscreen action during a variety of finishing moves, from swinging your victim around by twirling the controller, to cutting through enemies with your chainsaw by swiping with your wrist. Although most of these motions hit the right notes, some sequences require a bit too much wild shaking, and a few of these moments seem to wear on a bit too long. Nevertheless, most of MadWorld's control frustrations stem from basic annoyances that often magnify each other. The visual design and camera troubles can lead to slight disorientation, which in turn means occasionally grabbing thin air, rather than the lamp post that you meant to snatch. The lock-on option is meant to alleviate these troubles, but it doesn't always work when you need it to, especially in boss battles, where it should come in most handy.
This is exactly what it looks like.
Those boss battles are a lot of fun once you discover their tricks and weaknesses, which shouldn't take too long. Aside from aggravations like cheap attacks and the lingering camera problems, the boss fights aren't often difficult and won't require you to mix up attacks for the most part. Rather, contextual quick-time events normally do the most damage, so you'll want to keep a keen eye on the screen, considering that the onscreen prompt flashes by almost too quickly. The ensuing scenes are not only deliciously bloody, but can be rather comical as well (such as a brief instant when Jack gets distracted by his female foe's abundant frontal assets). However, should you lose in battle, be prepared: MadWorld gives you limited lives to work with, though you can pick more up within the level. Using up the last life means game over, and though the levels are short, it can still be frustrating to repeat them all over again rather than start at the beginning of the battle. That's especially true in the less consistent levels, such as one in which a couple of mechanical monstrosities, a surplus of aliens, tight environments, and a difficult camera may conspire to cause prolonged sequences of unavoidable damage.
Even if you need to replay certain sections, the experience is over in five hours or so. It's a tempting repeat visit, however, not just to beat your high score or try the unlockable difficulty, but to discover new and satisfying ways to fry your foes. Although MadWorld has its inconsistencies, adrenaline junkies will relish its visual design and steady deluge of savage death and dismemberment.