By D_Bones 2 Comments
Figure I have a bit of time in between exams (yeah three down one to go!) to talk about some games. Hopefully you guys have some time to read about them mostly because I am just super pumped about Costume Quest! But first I’ll go through my traditional spiel about why I write these blogs. It basically boils down to me wanting to take part in the game of the year craziness even though I don’t play enough current year games to qualify. This is as a result of more modest financial situations (being a fairly poor student) and being reasonable with my purchases (not buying every game brand fucking new). So I play a lot of older games primarily from the previous year as they have a nice price drop and it makes more sense to buy them in that manner. I still enjoy discussing the games I did play though so here is another installment in my series of blogs about my 2012 games. They are presented in the order I played them in not in a particular preferential order (I may do that later). So here is another October game I played. Just for anyone interested the list as it stands right now is Resistance 3, Infamous 2, Rage, Twisted Metal, Mass Effect 3, Bulletstorm, Rayman: Origins, PixelJunk Monsters, Batman: Arkham City, PixelJunk Shooter, Infamous: Festival of Blood, Yakuza 4 and L.A. Noire so far.
But on to the burst of fun that is Costume Quest. I picked this game up as a part of the PSN stores Halloween promotion. As someone who is always looking for a sale I was extremely excited there was a price drop for a game that I was genuinely interested in. I had never played a Double Fine game before but had heard that their games implemented great humour and I was really happy with those moments in Costume Quest. I had watched the quick look on Giantbomb and enjoyed the look of the combat which was fairly old school RPG style. As a sucker for turn based I was looking forward to this aspect of the game. However, the most enticing part of this game was simply the premise of kids on Halloween believing that their costumes were real and that it is reflected in the gameplay. The whole imagination kid thing makes this a great moment of nostalgia for me at least and how kids are always pretending to be superheroes or monsters or what have you. A game based on that sort of idea is not only awesome for stealing ideas from childhood but also creates this incredibly charming cutesy atmosphere of little kids saving Halloween from having no candy. The game sets you up as being either the boy or girl in a Halloween twin situation. Whoever you choose you get a sweet robot costume and look over to see your sibling wearing a lame candy corn costume. Because of your siblings lame choice in costume when the troll like candy obsessed Repugians who are stealing all the candy in the neighbourhood come along they are kidnapped after being mistaken for giant candy. There is the overarching plot, saving your sibling and collecting candy on the way! That’s awesome right? This game could have easily been a typical random encounter system but instead they integrate trick or treating. Just another one of the things that are awesome is that you actually go door to door and either get a Repugian who is ransacking the house for candy and begin a battle or an adult who loads you up on candy which is the games currency (of course it is).
The battles themselves are what you would sort of expect from an RPG with one difference which kept me paying attention to the screen. Each attack you perform has some sort of timing based button press or other distraction which keeps you focused. For example your attack is more effective with certain costumes if you press the button prompt at the right time, so it will go PRESS O now and if you hit it in time your attack will be more effective. I know this isn’t a big deal but it was a nice touch that made CQ more interactive and interesting than the typical attack wait attack wait of regular turn based RPGs. The costumes also each have a special attack that charges up after about three turns and becomes an important aspect of battles. Because this game has no real item inventory (with the typical potions or phoenix downs and what have you) you have to rely on all recovery from these special moves and dress accordingly. For example the unicorn costume (which had sweet rainbow action) is the revive character who brings a dude back to life. In my playthrough I was more defensive (apparently I didn’t need to be a buddy of mine was all offense all the time) and chose the robot (special is a big rocket attack) the knight (who raises defence of a character with a big shield) and either the unicorn (mentioned above) or the ninja (throws smoke bombs and makes a character invisible to the enemy). There are many costumes however and the game encourages you to try them all (the trophies and exploration powers reflect this) which is great and I had a lot of fun simply seeing the “monster fighting” versions of these kiddie costumes (of particular note is the hilarious and frightening version of a French fry costume).
When you are not in battle slaying Repugians and collecting candy you are running around a few hub areas. In these areas there are people to talk to in order to receive sidequests so that you can get more CANDY!!! The exploration of these areas is also encouraged because you can find materials to build new costumes. You first need to receive the blueprint which is normally by doing a sidequest but then you can find tinfoil or yarn and when you get all three required materials you get a sweet new costume. The costumes in the game also have uses when you are exploring. Several of them have abilities that allow you to access hidden areas. For example the robot costume has roller skates and allows you to jump over ramps or the knight can use his shield to block water so that your costume doesn’t get wet etc. These are small things but appreciated as they further differentiate the uses of each costume I also spent like twenty minutes trying to figure out how to get into a certain area before I realized I needed the knight shield.
One of the major complaints I hear about this game is that it is too short and I will agree with that to a point. One of the benefits from buying this in the Halloween sale was it was the bundle with the games dlc. After finishing the game I was like I need one or two more areas to explore. That is how much I enjoyed this game, I was desperate for more. Luckily I had that extra area because of the dlc and it adds a wintery area to explore. Since I played this game in three sittings (and only that many because you know work and school) I can testify to it’s addictiveness as well as its brief running time. However that one extra area went a long way for me and satisfied my need for more. The dlc is not necessary viewing however if you want more costume quest (and if you are like me and loved this game) then get it because it gives you another area, new costumes and more of the shit you loved about CQ.
Alright let’s talk about the couple of trophies in this game. I liked this simple list because it just encouraged you to see everything there was to see in this game. This game was not hard but the trophy list encourages gamers to perform everything and use every ability which they might not have unless if they particularly liked their set of dudes. The game also had a set of treat cards which were amusing to collect and read their names which were like “Jaw Hurters” or “Banana Beard” and helped add to the Halloween atmosphere of the game. Overall getting all of these trophies were a cakewalk but since they encourage you to see all of this magnificent game I can’t hold that against it. If you’ve read up to this point I’m sure you’ve realized I liked Costume Quest.. A LOT. If I had to say what game I had the most pure fun with this year it would go to this wonderful little game (and I know I’m not crazy because a buddy got it at the same time and couldn’t put it down either). The premise was enough to get me interested but the charm and humour of this game blew me away. Maybe I haven’t played enough Double Fine or smaller games up til now and so I’m particularly impressed but I really think this game was tailored to my play style. It was short and sweet (tooth rottingly so) and I loved the hell out of it. The next time someone asks me what PSN game to get this is going to be my first answer. The game was a little short and a little easy but everything else overshadowed these shortcomings (and wanting more of a game is more of a compliment anyway) and created a great game with amazing knowledge of kids on Halloween and their imaginations. PLAY THIS GAME!!!!!!! Alright that is enough for now hope you enjoyed this. Next up on my list is Valkyria Chronicles which was a game I was interested in for years and finally played this year. See ya soon.