Published on Sunday, 12 June 2011 20:00
Written by MuNkY
|System Availibility||Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and Playstation Network (PSN)|
|Release Date||October 20, 2010|
|ESRB Content Rating||E10+ (Everyone 10+)|
|By It Now On|
Halloween is still my favorite holiday!
Try to think back to when you were a kid. Now try to remember that special day of October 31. You had to get that perfect costume. You had to gather your group of friends for the night. You had to plot your best route of trick 'r treating action. Or maybe it was just me who took Halloween way too seriously as a kid. But regardless, Costume Quest
is a new game from Double Fine, that tries to let you to relive those fond memories of Halloween night. And maybe save the day in the process.
puts you in the shoes of either Reynold or Wren, twin brother and sister ready to set out trick 'r treating. (For purposes of this review, I played as Reynold the little boy, but you can also play as the sister and the 2 characters just switch roles, otherwise there is no difference) You have been meticulously planning your costume for days ahead of time and have come up with the perfect one for getting maximum candy, a blue robot. Your sister on the other hand has chosen to wear a giant candy corn costume...lame. But regardless you must venture out together (because your parents said so).
Shortly after setting out, you notice something isn't quite right. You meet some sort of goblin like creature, called a Grubbin. The Grubbin is fascinated with the giant talking piece of candy that is your sister. He has never seen a piece of candy as incredible as this. He decides to snatch up your sister to take her back to his leader. But you being the good sibling that you are, (or more likely just afraid to go home to your parents without your sister) you decide to battle the creature. And because your costume is so amazing, you are transformed into a real gigantic robot. But to no avail, win or lose this "tutorial" battle, the Grubbin's leader shows up, Dorsilla the witch, and takes your sister and your costume. It is now your job to find/repair your costume, find out why the Grubbins are in your town, get in some good trick 'r treating, and find your sister so your parents don't kill you (all in that order of priority).
is presented very much like an early Legend of Zelda game. You need to explore around town to find the next "piece of the puzzle" that gets you into the next area.
I am NOT saying that this game is as good as Legend of Zelda
. I am just saying that Costume Quest
's story presentation style is similar. While exploring the town you will encounter other kids that have equally cool costumes that will transform just like yours. You will also be able to build entirely new costumes. Each costume has a "exploration ability" for use on the world map. For instance the knight can put a shield up so you and your companions don't get your costumes wet when walking under drainage pipes. As you explore the town you will also need to trick 'r treat to get candy from the neighborhood. Just because your sister is in peril doesn't mean you need to completely waste the kick ass costumes, right? Trick 'r treating earns you candy which can be used as currency around town. With candy you can buy several things, such as battle stamps which add extra special abilities to your characters.
While exploring and trick 'r treating, you will encounter many more Grubbins raiding the town of its candy.
For some reason, every one except for you and your new friends seems to be oblivious to this. So it's up to you to save the town and Halloween. Battles play out like an old turn based RPG, think early Final Fantasy
games, or the Dragon Quest
series. Only much more simplified. Each of your characters has two actions they can take, a regular attack and a special move that can be used every three turns. The regular attacks are all mostly the same, but made stronger or lighter depending on which costume you are wearing. But each costume has it's own unique special ability. For instance the knight can shield allies from most damage for 3 turns, and the robot can unleash a missile barrage that can deal extra damage to opponents.
is a good blend of fun story, simple but good gameplay, and trying genuinely to capture the Halloween spirit. This really was a game that was made for a younger audience. It's rare that I get to review a game that is targeted at a younger or more "causal" gaming audience. But this game is definitely one that I can recommend to anyone, of any age, and any gaming skill.
However, the big downfall of Costume Quest
is also the simplicity of the game itself. As mentioned above, the combat in this game is extremely simple. You have two types of attacks, and you can block when being attacked, that's it. Not much strategy is involved here. Needless to say with limited combat options the combat can get completely repetitive and boring by the end. Another thing that I thought could have easily been changed for the better was the exploration. I think Double Fine wanted to simplify the main screen and not clutter it up with maps and objectives and menus and points of interest, etc. However they simplified too much in my opinion. There were several times that I was somewhat confused as to where to go. The objective would say something like "find item X for person Y." I could have used a little bit more explanation with that mission objective please. Item X could literally be anywhere, and I could walk by it 100 times and not even know it. There were a few times that this or something similar happened to me and could have been completely avoided if there had just been a simple map system that highlighted points of interest.
Lastly, I wanted to point out a big problem I have with this game. It's the same problem I have with most downloadable games in the last 1-2 years, the price. Costume Quest
costs $15 (that's 1200 Microsoft points to those on Xbox Live). Costume Quest
is a simple, and fun turn based RPG, no question. But I finished it in approximately 6-7 hours, and that includes the "Grubbin's on Ice"
DLC add-on (which costs an additional $5). I understand that this game is made for little kids, and kids that probably have less gaming experience then me. But don't slap a $15-$20 price tag on a downloadable game that can be finished in 1-2 sittings. Even a less experienced gamer could probably finish Costume Quest
in less then a week. The $15 price point used to be reserved for the best of the best when it came to downloadable gaming. Games like Shadow Complex
, Monday Night Combat
, Super Meat Boy
and Castle Crashers
are all games that I would consider the top of the class in downloadable games. Costume Quest
is a good game but it doesn't hold up when compared to these other $15 games.
Overall I enjoyed my experience with Costume Quest. It was a fun story that brought me back to my youth at Halloween time (still my favorite holiday). But the bottom line is the game is made for a younger crowd and less experienced gamers. My recommendation if you want to check this game out, or if you have a younger gamer who is interested, or even if you are just trying to get a younger gamer into the RPG genre of gaming. Wait for this one to go on sale. Costume Quest is a game worth taking a look at, but not for full price.