When Donkey and Dragon invite the rest of the gang to the castle to watch a little TV (err... Magic Mirror), they find the kids (the Dronkeys, that is) causing a ruckus (the keen eye might even notice a reference to a classic Activision game) and the gang need to get the little tykes to sleep before they can enjoy the evening. So now the Shrek gang decide that it's time to tell the flying, fire-breathing donkeys a story to get them to sleep.
This is how the Story Mode of Shrek Super Slam starts off. Each fight is part of an overall story ... well, okay there doesn't seem to be one story, just a bunch of scenes that lead to a fight. The only real story is the others telling the short adventures. One scene will have an outlaw Puss in Boots facing off against the sheriff Gingerbread Man in the wild west, while another one will pit Donkey against Prince Charming in a completely different scenario. Story Mode allows you to unlock new outfits for your available characters.
So how do you unlock new characters? That's what Mega Challenges Mode is for. Here you will move a game-piece across a large board modeled to look like Far, Far Away and its surrounding environment. You will move your Shrek token from location to location trying to overcome challenges and earn Mega Points. These challenges range from winning a tournament to keeping objects away from other players to successfully landing a certain number of slams and so on. This is where the game's variety lies, and to me, this mode was more fun that its Story. I got a wider range of challenges and pretty much each fight was something different.
The last mode of interest is Melee Mode. Here you and three of your friends will be able to use your unlocked characters and go head-to-head in an all-out brawl.
The fights themselves (no matter which mode you are in) seem to fit the standard melee, cookie-cutter format. You will find yourself in an open arena with various levels of height while various environmental hazards try to hurt anything that comes near them. Where Super Slam stands apart is in its destructible environments and its unusual health bar (or lack there of) system.
Since every hit you land increases a power meter, when it fills up and you activate your character's Slam Mode, you will be able to send your enemies flying across the screen. Typically they will hit a wall, part of a building or some other obstacle and that object will crumble. From what I could tell, pretty much every part of the environment was destructible (well... not the ground).
And as for the health system, you won't find your characters getting knocked out and regenerating with a full bar of health, with the winner being the fighter with the most KO's in the timeout (like other melee games). Instead, the game just keeps track of how much damage each fighter has inflicted and the one with the most has a crown icon at the base of his/hers/its feet. When the clock runs out, whoever has the crown is king. This is an interesting way to handle things. Not only does it help to keep the less confidant younger-gamer's hopes up (since they aren't getting KO'ed every time they turn around), but it can cause one gamer to go all out when time is running down in hopes of taking the crown. The other aspect of this feature that makes it notable is the fact that just because you have the crown, you don't really know what kind of lead you have. This will keep everybody (even if you are in the lead) trying to land as many hits as possible and not let anyone get too over confidant and lazy.