Friday, February 28, 2014

Adventure Time: E.T.D.B.I.D.K. Review.

I actually have two copies of this game now...I had to buy the collectors edition because...well, its a collectors edition. I believe it was $40. I bought the PS3 version used from Gamefly recently, and it was ~$15 I believe. So, I spent about as much on this as I would on a new game.

I'll start off by saying that despite reading a lot of negative reviews about this game, I didn't want to be biased. I didn't want to hate this game. I wanted to like it. I really liked the first Adventure Time game, and I was super excited to play this with trophies.

This game plays like a true old school game. Think Gauntlet with Adventure Time characters. Unfortunately, in emulating the old school feel...they did a little TOO well. There are many many things that could have made this game great. Such minor tweaks, such little things that would be insignificant on their own, but add up to equal one great big headache that ended up a mess.

The voice acting is excellent. The visuals are excellent. It has that old school 8-bit look and feel to it. The music is repetitive at best but doesn't really get obnoxious quickly. There is an abundance of your favorite characters from the show, and a fair diversity of enemies. From what I played (mostly as Jake) the game is fairly easy. I did experience a bit of frustration, but I finished every boss level (so far) with very little difficulty. There are plenty of weapons and health restoring pickups, although the weapons are hugely underwhelming (only one or two of them are worth the effort of moving your thumb from the square to the triangle). Traversing the levels and fighting enemies is very simple and self explanatory. Anyone should be able to pick up this game and play it (including younger audiences).

The problems that ruin this game are the smaller details. The biggest and worst problem is that you are forced to play through 5 floors of the dungeon at a time. There are no checkpoints, no save opportunities, no option to exit the dungeon (minus completely exiting the game) until you've finished a multiple of 5 floors. This may not sound like much, but sometimes the exit stairs are a complete pain in the ass to find. There is no map, nor a compass. Knowing which corner of the floor you are on you missed is next to impossible. When you've explored most of floor 3/5, it seems crazy to give up and come back...because you'll have to do all of it again. This is very reminiscent of the old days (who remembers leaving SMB3 on for days at a time?) and is completely unnecessary with our current technology. This was an extremely stupid idea.

Other than that one huge problem...there is no inventory. Each time you go into the dungeon, you pick two "medals" that give you an enhanced ability...but there is no swapping of abilities. You find these medals in the dungeon, and they have a one time use. When you come back, they are spent. There are a ton of different weapons you can use (although they are mostly useless) and you can only pick up one at a time. There is a very primitive upgrade system- you pay NPCs in treasure to upgrade a handful of stats you have. The huge problem with this is that every time you enter the dungeon, you lose your treasure as a "Candy Kingdom Tax". I managed to upgrade 2 stats and was unable to do any more because they cost too much. I'd exit after 5 floors with just under 100 treasure...and everything cost over 100. I could solve this by doing 5 more floors...but that is a huge time commitment and there is no way to exit the dungeon if you need to take a break. Just awful.

Those are just a few of the problems I can remember off the top of my head. I'm trying to keep this short. I'm a huge Adventure Time fan - which I really want to stress as much as possible. I really wanted to like this game. I really like old school games. This just isn't doing it for me. This does everything wrong in all the wrong places. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish the story line of this. I don't think I have it in me. Unless you can find this at a sub $10 price yourself a favor and skip it. Even if you're a huge fan of the show.


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