Game reviews and editorials. Simple, and clear.

Posts tagged ‘thq’

Costume Quest – Double Fine Productions/THQ – 360

This was the review I wrote to get my job at UnknownGamer, hence the difference in style. This is probably how most of them are going to look from now on.

Game: Costume Quest
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: THQ
Genre: RPG
Release Date (NA and EU):
NA: October 19, 2010 (PS3)
EU: October 20, 2010 (PS3)
NA: October 20, 2010 (360)
Rating: ESRB E10+
MSRP: 1200 Microsoft Points
Console Played On: Microsoft Xbox 360

Costume Quest begins with the role of young Reynold (male) or Wren (female), who just moved into a new town around Halloween. On Halloween night, their parents insist that they should go out with each other to make new friends, but their actual goal is to ditch the sibling and come home with as much candy as possible. Either sibling (depending on your choice) is then abducted by creatures called Grubbins, who are there to take all of the candy from the unsuspecting town. Costume Quest is one of the most innovative twists on an RPG that I have seen in quite some time.

From the moment the game is turned on; the player will immediately notice that this game is unlike any normal RPG tale: the sense of humor is subtle, but it is hilarious within the story. The relationship between the main character and the sibling is easy to relate to (assuming one has a sibling to relate to) and makes for some interesting dialog and snarky remarks. The objective of Costume Quest is simple: find the sibling, while raiding the neighborhood of as much candy as possible in a door-to-door trick or treat fashion.

Throughout the course of the game, there are many side quests to obtain that have many rewards, including various objects from battle stamps to Creepy Treat Cards. The battle stamps can be equipped to each of the party members to give them different abilities in battle. These range from added HP and attack power to paralyzing an enemy for a few turns with toilet paper. Creepy Treat Cards are simply a collection that must be filled in order to complete an achievement during the game’s progression. There are also various costume parts hidden throughout the town, which are one of the games main premises and carry with them many abilities both inside and out of battle.

Battles take place by either smacking a Grubbin with your candy pail, or by fighting random Grubbins who have invaded the houses around town. It is a typical turn-based RPG in the sense that each side takes turns fighing, with the heroes generally taking the first turns. When attacking, the game prompts the player to enter a certain button or perform some action (such as rotating the joystick) to allow for more damage. Likewise, when being attacked the player can press a button accordingly and reduce the damage to the characters. This usually is the difference between life or death, so a player cannot mindlessly jam the A button like some other RPG’s allow. One of the most unique aspects of the game is that the abilities that each costume offers are incredibly well thought out for each. The player is offered the option to use the ability after three turns have passed, and every one does something different from normal damage with fire damage over time, to healing and resurrecting party members. This is usually accompanied by an amusing animation that works to highlight the characters ‘superpower-like’ ways.

The music and visuals are very fitting for the game. Musically, the game’s eerie soundtrack is soft, but powerful enough to set the tone for what’s going on within the game’s story. There are haunting soundtracks that add just a touch of suspense (but not much, compared to the cutesy graphics). The art is very clean and well manipulated, and while I noticed a little slow down during the graphically intense parts, there was nothing so overbearing that absolutely could not be overlooked. The shadows and atmosphere are key to providing this game with the Halloween-ish feel through and through.

Overall, the game was a very solid game to play, giving a new take on the traditional RPG, with elements fun enough to keep the player engaged. There is a very low level cap, so there is never a feeling of grinding out levels to beat bosses. As long as the player keeps in mind the elements of pressing a button during battle, chances are the game will not be challenging to the point where it cannot be completed. My only peeve with the game was that it felt incredibly short, with only a few areas the player was able to explore). They have recently added DLC, however, which I have not had a chance to experience yet. With over 20 quests, nine costumes, and enough dialog to keep the player from ever getting bored, this game is a must have for any gamers who love RPG’s and are looking for something that brings a new element of game play to the table. After all, how many times can anyone say they saved their sister/brother AND brought home more candy than their pillow case can hold in a single Halloween night?

Liked:
+Originality and story.
+Creative costumes/abilities.
+Refreshing RPG elements.

Disliked:
-Too short.
-Repetitive.
-Difficulty wasn’t consistent.

Innovative:
~A holiday meets an RPG.
~Amusing dialog.
~Costume utilization.

Unknown Gamer gives Costume Quest an 8/10.

Advertisements

Drawn To Life – THQ – Nintendo DS

Again its been another period of absence, and I apologise, but I have returned, and with a great game!

Drawn to Life is almost exactly what it sounds like. You are the hero, a old wooden mannequin brought to life by a God (who is essentially the player) and you are asked to make right what is wrong in the little world of these strange bunny like creatures (Sorry, I haven’t played in a while so I’ve forgotten the names of them).

The game is compelling, to say the least. Literally everything they ask you to draw is implemented into the game. From clouds, to springs, to submarines, even your hero is drawn by you. It makes you feel a little more involved with the game itself. The idea of using your own creations to play the game puts you on a whole new level. Ever thought, “Wow, if I made that, I would want it to look like this?”. Well, now’s your chance. They also offer TONS of palettes of colors, so you’re never lacking any colors, or limited to just one shade of every color.

The gameplay is a little simplistic for more hardcore gamers, but there’s no doubt that the drawing of everything will keep you more than occupied. There are tons of secrets and unlockables to keep you going at it for a good while. There wasn’t any point in the game where I felt like I was doing something repetitive.

The music in the game is really great. THQ wasn’t always my favorite publisher, but they seemed to work well with 5TH Cell, and composed a decent soundtrack. Granted I wouldn’t go to the Overclocked Remix site and download their music, but it wasn’t annoying enough to just shut off and have a different source of music.

One of the downfalls I think is that sometimes they ask you to draw a bit too much. Say if you draw a cloud, and you happen to come across the same cloud a few stages later, they’ll give you the option to redraw it. Its a little annoying, seeing as how you’re allowed to edit the first time you draw something as much as you want. The only other nuisance is for people like me who have no artistic skill. My hero was named Insomnia, and basically he was all black, with white circles for eyes and a mouth. It was really a sad sight to see. Haha. They do offer character templates, so you’re never left hanging.

Overall, the game is a great game for the DS library. The little fuzzball people are quirky and lovable, the storyline is decently strung together, and add in the fact that you draw your own graphics for just about everything, and you’ve got yourself a solid game that is Drawn To Life.

Rating:
7.5/10