cincaid's Costume Quest (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

Sugar Sweet!

Double Fine, Tim Shaffer's company behind the titles Brütal Legend from 2009 and the overlooked classic Psychonauts from 2005, brings us with Costume Quest a charming and adorable RPG for XBLM and PSN. It's perhaps not the longest or most memorable downloadable titles out there, but it's certainly a perfectly fine first entry by the developer for the downloadable scene. And while this isn't directly a Shaffer development, but rather Double Fine's lead animator Tasha Harris project, it has that certain comedy and warm feeling we come to expect from Double Fine by now.
 
You play as either of the twins Reynold or Wren, and the game kicks off with the other sibling being kidnapped by mysterious monsters that just can't get enough of candy. Of course your sibling decided to dress up as a giant candy during halloween, and it's up to you, and two friendly kids from the block, to find and rescue your lost twin before it's too late. The nasty monsters are invading your local neighbourhood, mall and countryside to satisfy their sweet tooth, but luckily you have powerful costumes to switch into when it's time for battle.
 
 A costume made of french fries you say? Humbug, I say giant spider!
The costumes, which serves as your "equipment" (for lack of a better RPG reference), come in different flavors, and range from knight to vampire (and ninja!). It's wacky and delightful to watch your characters switch into their respective role in battle. One minute you're out walking about, wearing nothing but a cardboard box claiming to be a knight in shiny armor, and the next moment when you encounter a monster you swing that sword and shield like you've done it all your life! You really have no idea if all of this is in the child's mind or not, but frankly you really don't care. It's all very clever made, and you quickly make it your personal goal to find and use every costume there is.
 
The gameplay is very simplistic, and while the game is obviously aimed at a very young audience, it sometimes drags on a bit. There really isn't much more to it than running around, picking up very simplified quests, encounter a battle, and then enter a traditional "attack > block > use superpower > win"-fight. However the artstyle, storytelling, and pretty much everything surrounding all of this is so well made you quickly forget you're playing something juvenile. Hell, I'm 28 years old when I'm writing this, and I simply couldn't put the game away until I finished all of it.
 
Knights of the Cardboard Box Table
The length and replay value might be a wee bit disappointing, looking at the (currently) $15 pricetag. Finishing the story and all of the achievements took me around five hours of nonstop playing, but as I said those five hours were filled with smiles and feelings of a childhood almost forgotten by now. If you have younger children in your household I definatly recommend picking up Costume Quest, if not for the excellent story and artstyle, at least as a first attempt of introducing RPGs to the little ones.
 
 
 
(Apologies for bad spelling, as my native language isn't English)
2 Comments
Posted by Bucketdeth

I played this game with my girlfriend's niece and nephew, they loved it. Can't wait for the dlc to be released.
 
Great review!

Posted by uniform

I agree with the review, and love the game in spite of the obvious flaws. Nostalgia not only for the good times of youth, but also games of the past.

Other reviews for Costume Quest (Xbox 360 Games Store)

    A Brief But Charming Quest 0

    Costume Quest is the ultimate childhood fantasy. The ideas of monsters being real and people transforming into vicious creatures are ones that most of us have probably entertained as children, and thanks to Double Fine and THQ, this whimsical fantasy is finally coming to fruition. Luckily, Costume Quest hits the perfect balance of intuitive game play and nostalgic subject matter to make for an excellent weekend of gaming for anyone who still holds a fondness for ...

    5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

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