Archive for the ‘adventure’ Category

Castle Crashers Review

October 13, 2008

Castle Crashers finally arrived in late August and has been surrounded by controversy. First, there was the alleged rumored price of $22.50 that caused the internet to erupt in outrage…no worries though, the game is only $15. Then there were the 2 heinous bugs that caused the Behemoth’s devlog and Castle Crashers site to crash. I have actually suffered both bugs…. 1 bug being that I cannot play online at all and the other being that my Level 28 knight, unlockables, and save file were erased on me right when I got to the Marsh level. Despite these bugs, I’m still a huge fan of Castle Crashers and have happily surpassed the point of first game erasure.

Castle Crashers exudes tremendous personality. Dan Paladin’s hand drawn graphics are superb and there is a ton of humor and extra animation work that create mostly great moments (thief washing scrubbing clothes in the river, Ice/Barbarian Boss taking the time to laugh at you, Barbarian punching knocked down gray knight) and some not so funny ones (Thieves Forest animal crapping is just too much…Owl ok…deer & bear excessive). The sheer amount of work, animations, characters, levels, etc that went into this game is incredibly commendable.

Let’s get to the particulars. I’ve already talked about the great graphics and animations, the story is thin… 4 knights have their 4 chicks stolen, but all the animated sequences (there’s no dialogue) put together an interesting, if shallow story. The music is very catchy especially the shop theme and suits the eccentricity and theme of the title very well. The gameplay recreates the arcade co-op beat-em-up gameplay perfectly. It’s instantly playable, and the leveling system gives the game depth. Leveling up unlocks deeper combos and magic abilities. There’s also an immense amount of content to unlock from weapons, animal orbs, secret characters, etc.

It is a very big letdown that Online has been completely unplayable (I got about 30 secs of all you can quaff online once) but the Behemoth has assured its fans that a title update and downloadable content is on the way. I have played the game splitscreen and it is way more fun with a friend, even if a little less challenging. The major negatives for me have been the bugs (erasing my save was especially infuriating) and the annoying enemies that stand off the stage and shoot projectiles at you. All in all though this game is superb, utterly unique, and a must buy on XBLA. Hopefully, the online issues will be fixed and we’ll all be questing online in the coming weeks.

Orange Knight Rules!

Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 10/10
Sound/Music: 9/10
Lasting Appeal 9.5/10

Average: 93.75%
Tilt: -0.75% (sorry gotta take some off for the bugs)

Verdict: 93%


Super Jazzman Review

October 13, 2008

Super Jazzman is a real homage to the classic 2D Adventure games popularized on the PC in the late 80s and throughout the 90s. It offers a great adventure experience if that’s a genre you enjoy and have missed, but has a few flaws that keep it from greatness. In the end though, if you like adventure games and feel the need for one and a charming one at that, then Jazzman is for you.

Gameplay: 9/10
Pros: The same mind bending puzzles and click interface make it into Jazzman. Click to use, look at, move, etc. standard move set/controls in a game genre long forgotten. Anyone remember Lost Secret of the Rainforest?…just checking
Cons: The excitement of these games is never in the gameplay, but rather figuring out what to do. There’s also no replay value in these adventures since once you figure it all out and get the story, you’re ready to move on since figuring out the mystery and what to do next is the whole point of the game.

Graphics: 7/10
Pros: The graphics are well animated and have excellent sprite and pixel work…\
Cons: …the problem is that the game window is incredibly small…like 320 x 200 pixels or something. It’s really hard to see the object you need to pick up when it’s a whole 10 pixels.

Sound/Music: 8/10
Pros: The sounds are all done really well and fit the mood of the music. I love the walking echo.
Cons: There’s not really any music and the sounds are somewhat minimal. It is nice to not have elevator music repeating over and over as you are trying to figure out where Jazzman should fly to next.

Lasting Appeal: 8/10
Pros: This is hard one for me to judge since I haven’t played the whole adventure, but so far it’s been a charming story that works well.
Cons: As stated earlier, the nature of these games is the initial puzzle solving and figuring out the story. Like most books, you’ll read it (or in this case: play it through) once and be done with it.

Average: 80.00%
Tilt: +/- 0.00%

For my little closing, I would like to point out that Herculean Effort is very paranoid about piracy. Super Jazzman has the most ridiculous protection I have ever gone through with an Indie Game. Even after downloading the full version, getting a password to unzip it and install it. You still have to put in a code when it boots up and then it’s only registered on one computer. A little overzealous if you ask me, but again it doesn’t really effect gameplay. I just thought it was an interesting factoid.

Verdict: 80%