Trick or Treat?
Review supplied by Double Fine
Halloween is under threat from a crazy dentists and the only ones who can save the day are time travelling twins. Sounds crazy but this could only be possible in the cutesy RPG, Costume Quest 2. For a RPG that is over in a lot less time than conventional RPGs, it still manages to pack a deep, engaging story and a solid combat system.
I myself have never played the original so I went into this title very open minded but i am aware that the original was critically acclaimed and if they have built on what made that successful, then I should be in for a right treat.
The plot of Costume Quest 2 is both unique and one we have heard a thousand times before.
Basically an evil dentist goes through time to collect a talisman that helped him to get rid of Halloween all together and whilst he is at it he becomes a rather powerful ruler of a future world. This is where you come into the story. You play as twins, who whilst enjoying some harmless trick or treating happen to witness the above event. Once you begun to try to understand what has just happened You are taken to the future by your now older friends so that you can then go through time to retrieve the talisman before the evil dentist does. The story seems very far fetched but the very well written humour in the script helps it to flow very smoothly.
At its heart, Costume Quest 2 is an RPG adventure. You and up to 3 companions follow the story by travelling to different times, completing quests and fighting monsters. To assist you though is the utterly brilliant costume system. What ever Halloween costume you are wearing before you enter battle, you will become that costume for real (give example). They are not all about looks either. Each costume has its own stats, weakness, strengths and special moves. It is a simple game but this features adds a little variation to the already fun title.
The battles themselves are fun and it is interesting to see how each costume will appear during the fight. Battles are turn based and like any turn based RPG some battles can feel a little repetitive the longer they get. To be fair though to the developers they have added combo attacks into the mix and from what I have read about the original this is a massive improvement on the repetitive gameplay during battles.
Attacks are carried out through simple button presses but there is also a critical moment action that needs to be carried out perfectly to achieve the maximum damage (also if you must you can not follow up with a combo). Some costumes are easy to get the timing right but some have animations that cause a little lag.
The addition of Treat Cards also mixes up the gameplay by changing how a battle plays out. They are cards that you either collect or buy that can be used during battles. Their effects range from protecting a selected hero from attacks to causing damage to the enemy.
It between fighting monsters you will find yourself moving around between goals collecting candy (the currency of course) and completing a few fetch quests which in the long term may give you a new costume to play around with. To be honest, the most fun part of this game is working out which costume is the best for you. You may lose a few battles but you will have fun along the way.
Costume Quest 2 is gorgeous to look at. The vivid cell shaded style makes all the characters and scenarios pop out from the screen. There is an obvious lack of voice work, in fact there is none but it does not spoil what the game is trying to portray. Remember, all Rpgs were just text based originally and Costume Quest 2 manages to capture the mood of every scene through simple text boxes.
Costume Quest 2 is an excellent example of creating something new from a genre we all know and love. It has a quirky story, well written characters and an equally excellent battle system. It does suffer from repetitiveness but it does add extra features to soften the blow. With a rather short main campaign and not a huge amount of replay value, you feel like there should be a little more. With that aside though, if you are a completest then you will double the campaign time with no trouble whatsoever.
If you are looking for a light hearted game which has the fundamentals of an Rpg the Costume Quest 2 is right up your alley. Or may just like playing dress up - we are all kids at heart.
Who Should Play This?
- Any gamer looking for a light hearted RPG adventure
- Costume lovers (real life and in game)
- For the lover of candy!
Who Should NOT Play This?
- Any gamer looking for a deep complicated RPG adventure
- Haters of cutesy
- Looking for a long RPG adventure? This is not the one you are looking for