thephantomnaut's Comic Jumper (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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Twisted Pixel has been doing very well with their first two original games, The Maw and ‘Splosion Man. But with their third outing based on the many eras of animation styles filled with constant humor and very challenging yet fun gameplay, they have made Comic Jumper the best in their collection so far.

Following superhero Captain Smiley and his chest-embedded sidekick Star, their short lived action comic book series has been a failure. To help Smiley get back on track, developer Twisted Pixel games agree to fund his return series. In order to do so, Captain Smiley must do some jobs in helping other comic books based on different styles of animation. The Fantasy age takes influence of washed out imagery and Conan The Barbarian (even an Arnold Schwarzenegger-like character appears), the Silver Age details the many censorship regulations during its time in the mid-20th Century and Manga showing a very stylized approach with narration from right to left.

  Press Y and Twisted Pixel Chief Tech Officer Frank Wilson will help you kick ass.
  Press Y and Twisted Pixel Chief Tech Officer Frank Wilson will help you kick ass.

Through 11 levels, the plot always gets over the top and sometimes gets confusing but thanks to the constant amount of metahumor appearing almost all the time, it makes perfect sense to have things like Twisted Pixel and cinematics of people reading the comic book integral to the story. There are so much outside jokes between Smiley and Star and other humorous sections that is better left experienced.

Each style is visually beautiful and unique from each other.  Although fundamentally similar, it’s great to see their attention to detail with the looks of the enemies. Captain Smiley and Star have the most distinctive differences when traveling through the eras. While during the fantasy age they looks grimey and buff, the Manga section defines them as a completely cute and happy looking.

Captain Smiley's progress transitions are by panels, similar to reading comics. To compliment that, the game is played in a 2D side scrolling perspective from left to right (while the Manga issues are in reverse directions). Generally, Captain Smiley fights his many foes using guns using the right stick to aim and right trigger to shoot. He can freely maneuver while shooting and jump like pie by using the left trigger. No other inputs are needed but when times are tough, the Y button calls out Twisted Pixel to destroy every enemy on screen.

Those helps don’t come all the time as they need to be earned through beat ‘em up sequences. That and many others including rail sections and quick time events occasionally appear and are very fun to play.  

 The Silver Age has villain Mistress Ropes demanding woman rights... That's crazy.
 The Silver Age has villain Mistress Ropes demanding woman rights... That's crazy.
Completion of the game can last about 5 hours or so but it ain’t a cakewalk. Comic Jumper tries to emulate the difficulty similar to what is in Mega Man games (even the dying animation is almost the same) and works to an extent. While the initial levels gets players comfortable with the controls, the Silver Age comics and so-on test off the nerves and becomes extremely difficult to survive on one life. Death is not the end though as infinite lives and checkpoints are a necessary relief.

When not in a comic book issue, Captain Smiley’s home base along with the pause menu serves as the main menu. Players can communicate with characters from the game as well as replay missions and do special challenges for higher scores that can be used to upgrade Captain Smiley’s abilities and unlock bonus content including behind the scene videos and various artwork pieces.

Twisted Pixel has done it again with Comic Jumper. This is not for everyone though thanks to the difficulty but if you can survive the trouble and also enjoy non sequitur humor, this is definitely a fun game to download and play on your Xbox 360.

Other reviews for Comic Jumper (Xbox 360 Games Store)

    Heavy on self-adulation, painfully short on gameplay. 0

      Indie developer Twisted Pixel has made quite an impact upon the XBLA scene, showing early promise with the underrated 2009 downloadable title The Maw, and rocketing to superstardom with last summer’s excellent ‘Splosion Man.   ‘Splosion Man in particular was noteworthy for mixing excellent and inventive gameplay with a depraved and wickedly delirious sense of humor.   This, combined with pitch-perfect challenge that followed a punishing--yet fair--learning curve, made for one of the be...

    7 out of 7 found this review helpful.

    Comic Jumper: Superhero with a twist. 0

    No jumping in here? That's too bad cause I look pretty dang cool when I jump! Comic Jumper gets you in the shoes of Captain Smiley and his biologically attached friend Star. Together they starred in "The Adventures of Captain Smiley", a comic book that is published by (developers of the game) Twisted Pixel. When the readers stop enjoying reading the comic, Captain Smiley is forced to work under a new contract with Twisted Pixel as a cameo comic superhero aiding other superheroes of comics from t...

    2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

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