The Play-by-Play

Shrek 2

Shrek 2

(Activision; multiplatform)

We rate the ''Shrek 2'' videogame

YOU PLAY AS... Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, the Gingerbread Man, and others

GAMING GOAL Help Shrek and his pals make it to the Land of Far, Far Away, jumping up to collect lots of Super Mario Bros.-style magic beans as you go.

VOICE TALENT A bunch of no-names imitate the film's stars, often unconvincingly. But the game-exclusive dialogue still has its charms (''Please -- I'm only a cookie,'' whines the Gingerbread Man when he's hit).

COOL MOVES You can use Fiona's ''Matrix''-esque karate, Shrek's ogre-strength, Donkey's formidable kick, or, best of all, Gingerbread Man's ''Ninja candy cane.''

JUST LIKE THE MOVIE? While the game loosely follows the film's plot, many of the adventures and nemeses (such as, um, Larry the Leprechaun) are fresh inventions.

BONUS POINTS Playing the high-jumping Gingerbread Man is always fun -- this tasty little fella deserves his own game.

LOW POINTS While the ''Shrek'' films reach the child in everyone, this tame game is best suited to ACTUAL children -- preferably ones willing to play the entire thing with the help of three controller-wielding friends. Since four characters are onscreen simultaneously, anyone playing alone is forced to constantly switch between them (as in a sports game), which quickly grows awkward.

FINAL GRADE C+