Comic Jumper Review
By -- Craig H.
Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley is the third original IP from developer Twisted Pixels. Both of the studios previous games, ‘Splosion Man and The Maw, were met with high praise and Comic Jumper is no different. If they were not considered already, Twisted Pixel is easily the best original downloadable game developer in the business.
Comic Jumper follows Captain Smiley and his chest-attached sidekick, Star, as they are trying to regain their own comic book series. Shortly after beginning the game the duo’s comic is canceled and they must raise enough cash in order to relaunch the franchise. In order to obtain the necessary funds they must do guest appearances for other comic books. The game covers four distinct comic book styles including: Modern, Manga, Fantasy and Silver Age. Each style has a completely different art style but maintains the same general gameplay. The game consists of 11 missions that take roughly 5-6 hours to complete.
The gameplay in Comic Jumper is varied between four different styles. This was done on purpose to break up any monotonous grinding that is typical in a side-scrolling shooter. In addition to the standard side-scroll shooting the game features melee combat, on-rail shooting portions (similar to the gameplay found in the Sin & Punishment franchise) and the classic shootem’ up gameplay. Each of these styles is changed on the fly. What’s remarkable is how well each of them control. After pouring hours into the game no particular gameplay type felt better then the other…they all felt great.
Twisted Pixel likes to inject a heavy dose of comedy into each of their games and they lay it on thick in Comic Jumper. Each cutscene pushes the envelope of what could be considered offensive. The game is not to be taken seriously and if you come into it with an open mind you will be laughing the entire way through. The dialogue is delivered expertly by the voice actors and is partly the reason the comedy comes off so well.
After completing the campaign players have 8 challenges to play through. Each challenge awards cash that can be used to upgrade your character and unlock loads of bonus content. With how much you have to unlock, it will take a few campaign playthroughs or challenge completions in order to unlock everything. With how much fun the game is to play I doubt anyone will have a problem replaying levels again and again.
The only major issue with the game is the overall difficulty. Casual gamers will have a difficult time passing certain sections without having to replay the section a few times. The checkpoint system does work well but, typically in a boss battles, it seems like you die right before the end and are forced to replay the entire section. This could be 15 minutes or more of gameplay to do over and over until you just squeeze by. Captain Smiley does not have any health regeneration, but can take a fair amount of damage. The game is challenging but should not be enough to deter anyone from trying the game out.
Overall, Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley is one of the best downloadable titles I have played. The gameplay feels right and the varied environments all look fantastic. The game is worth every penny of the $15 (1200 Microsoft Points) asking price and gamers will not be disappointed. The game features a bunch of unlockables, upgrades and bonuses that will keep you playing well after the campaign is over. Twisted Pixel shows yet again why they are the best in the downloadable business.
- Each of the four distinct level designs is expertly crafted
- Dialogue is intriguing, delivered well, and extremely funny
- Loads of unlockables and upgrades
- Game looks and plays fantastic
- Worth every penny of the $15 asking price
- Games default difficulty may be a bit too hard for some
- Some checkpoints are bit oddly placed that require more replay then necessary