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

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Comic Jumper: Superhero with a twist.

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 the past and the present so he can regain his place in his own comic again. 

 Twisted Pixel within the game is refreshing to see.
 Twisted Pixel within the game is refreshing to see.
Twisted Pixel took liberty of owning their own game and not allowing anyone to stop them from making fun of themselves, and much to their right, even though it may seem silly to some, the notion of the developers being in the game works really well. It was pretty funny hearing their name, seeing their logo or even seeing the actual developers in the game. Its actually nice and refreshing to see something different, and Twisted Pixel actually did a good job with integrating themselves in the game hence making it super unique.

When you start the game, you're basically in tutorial mode which is beautifully done and shows you the different type of sections you'll face. Comic Jumper is a 2.5D, side scrolling, shoot 'em up, that quickly jumps between those and beat 'em up, light gun style game. There are a lot of shoot 'em up out there that are pretty monotonous but the difference that Comic Jumper has is that the way that you play the game changes as you scroll pages (play the game), so continuously keeps you motivated to keep going. One minute your running along jumping, firing, the next your falling down, or going backwards, or driving. It gives you change and that is refreshing to experience. 

 You will get overwhelmed by enemies.
 You will get overwhelmed by enemies.

Every comic has three issues (chapters) within one type of comic and they play similarly. They'll all start out with a cut scene that plays out in comic style with panes flying in and out and chat bubbles above each characters head. Believe me, the characters are fully animated and will have you laughing and giggling, sometimes some in game references to things are going to make you laugh so much that you forget that you are fighting to save your comic. Moving Captain Smiley along the comic level you'll see yourself hanging from rafters or jumping through glass to dispose the non-stop onslaught enemies.  

 As soon as you think that you have mastered the run and gun side scrolling you'll be thrown into a 3-D environment of similar to light gun style play, then you'll see yourself back into 2.5D realm to keep fighting more enemies. Other levels will give Captain Smiley some way to fly and you'll have full access to the screen to move about and avoid all the enemy fire. Is actually really impressive how seamlessly Twisted Pixel has you going between areas and how challenging each type of play is. Once you think you have mastered one section you'll have an enemy that'll knock you back a notch and make you think all over again that "run and shoot" strategy that worked before. 

 Smiley and Star will make you laugh.
 Smiley and Star will make you laugh.
I must say, that do not go into this game believing that is going to be an easy four or more hours of play because Comic Jumper is hard, you'll find yourself dying a lot. Enemies can become extremely overwhelming that you will have no way to stay alive. You will be spending extra 20 - 30 minutes in one or more sections trying to go through. There is no way to make the game easier or harder, so when you get to the portion of the game where you have to move around the screen avoiding the enemy fire, flying mannequins, or laser beams and sometime a mix of a lot of things, it will get you raging a little and for some maybe you'll need to restrict the urge to toss the controller at the TV. You do have unlimited lives and as long as you have reached the checkpoint you wont have to start the level all over again. But if you are a really competitive person and don't like to die, you probably will start over and to your surprise you get rewarded more money for not dying and perfectly completing challenges within the game.  
As you will be fully aware as you play Comic Jumper, you are re-gaining cash that you lost when your comic went under, so at the end of each stage you get a tally of all the actions that you did in the game and are awarded cash depending on how well you performed. You need to take you hard earned cash and take it over to the upgrade shop to purchase more life or damage and even buy extra items that add a cash multiplier to your tally screens. And those extras give the chance to unlock more Splosion Man levels, Avatar Awards, a premium theme and gamer pictures. There are comics, art, videos and more to unlock with the cash and each one of them is viewable in the trophy room. Is really a great incentive because Twisted Pixel throw their twist on humor in each one of them, giving you a lot of entertainment for just 1200 Microsoft points. 

 Smiley goes to the late 60's.
 Smiley goes to the late 60's.

Without the shadow of a doubt, Comic Jumper is one of the best arcade titles you can buy this season. You're going to have a lot of fun, you going to be laughing, giggling while playing the game, it has re-play value as you will find yourself wanting to perfect everything without dying, by the way good luck with that, is hard. If your not familiar with how Twisted Pixel is then your in for a treat, I was anyways. But I can assure you by the end of Comic Jumper you're going to be too familiar with them and their humor by the time the game is over. A mix a bit of hardcore gaming and great humor is all you could really ask for in this amazingly well done comic base game. 

The Batman:
  • Responsive and simplistic controls.

  • Twisted Pixel did a great job with each comic's representation of the genre and period.

  • Beautiful graphics to accompany each panel.

  • It makes you smile, laugh and it's extremely entertaining to play.

The Joker:          

  • The core game is only about four hours, but you do have a challenge mode to play with.
  • It can become very overwhelming and difficult at times. To much going on, hard to see Smiley sometimes. 

The Two-face:

  • You'll see when you finish the game, that in an awesome dark humor the game will leave you wanting to know more and play more, so the only ugly thing is that it ended.



Other reviews for Comic Jumper (Xbox 360 Games Store)

    WHAM! BAM! F***! THAT'S A FINE! 0

     CAPTAIN SMILEY AND STAR ESCAPING AN EXPLOSIVE PANEL!!!!!! 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...

    8 out of 8 found this review helpful.

    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.

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