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From its several art styIes to its genuinly funny characters to its fast and fun play, Comic Jumper leaps to perfection.

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

Comic Jumper follows the adventure of washed-up comic superhero, Captain Smile and his chestbound sidekick, Star. They argue, bicker and fight through their last, lackluster issue, closing on Star chewing on Captain Smiley's hand while Smiley punches the star vigerously in the face with his other. Out of money and with no where to turn, Captain Smiley is forced by Oracle, Gerda to take Twisted Pixle's offer to make some extra cash by guest-starring in the comics of other heroes.

The most notable feature of Comic Jumper is its humor. It's embedded in the game, from the dialogue to the descriptions of the unlockable extras. The game is replete with lines of banter between Smiley and Star as they shoot their way from one page to another that at their worst will make you smile and at their most will make you chuckle. Each character in the story is memorable and humorous. The most of which being a sexually questionable unicorn named Pling Pling who desperately begs you to ride him. It's a rarety to find a game with humor that hits more than it misses, but Comic Jumper will do just that with few flat jokes and plenty that are at the least snicker-worthy.

Other Notable Features:

Shifting Art Styles: Each of the four worlds you'll encounter has a specific style, from the moder world of Captain Smiley, to the Silverage style of the Improbable Paper Pals and even a black-and-white Manga style.

Tons of Extras: There are videos and modles and songs (not all directly related to the game) and over a hundred peices of concept art along with comics (many of which go deeper than the cover) to be unlocked.

Mixture of 2D and 3D: The game does a fantastic job of creating variety with a mix between simple sidescrolling gameplay and somewhat on-rails 3D gameplay, in which you move side-to-side and jump, but movement foreward is done automatically.

Lackluster Features:

Difficult: The difficulty can ratchet high at points, but playing through older levels or challenges to amass more cash to buy power-ups can take away that stress.

Comic Jumper is an insanely fun and just plain insane game with over-the-top characters, gameplay, everything really. It holds its own on every front and never lets go until it's over.




One of the best comedy games of recent times. My DarkZero review of Comic Jumper

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

Captain Smiley is Twisted Pixel's latest video game character creation. He's also the star of Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley. He's a dude that dresses like a super hero, with an emoticon face that looks like it's jacked up on steroids. It's no wonder he looks a little funny, the people at Twisted Pixel are no strangers to unique and amusing character designs and personalities. Take their last game, 'Splosion Man, it featured a guy made out of red exploding matter who could blow himself up repeatedly.

Comic Jumper tells the unfortunate story of Captain Smiley and his sidekick Star a star shaped entity with a bad attitude, attached to Captain Smiley's chest. Smiley isn't having the best of luck since the hero's comic series has just been cancelled. Needing to make a living, the guys at Twisted Pixel have decided to help Captain Smiley by giving him a base of operation to get back on his feet. To do this Captain Smiley and his attached side kick must become guest stars in other comic books so that he can earn enough money to get his own comic back into production.

Being based around the idea of comic-jumping, Comic Jumper allows for some brilliantly inspired levels based around different styles of artistic approach. After the modern day tutorial level, you are whisked into the pages of a barbarian inspired comic with Captain Smiley getting outfitted with a typical warrior armour set, complete with animal fur. The art also changes as the colour palette becomes more mundane and darker.

My favourite example of comic-jumping is when Captain Smiley has to guest-star in a Japanese manga called 'Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids'. In this specific section of the game, all the gameplay is from right to left, instead of the norm of moving left to right mimicking the Japanese reading structure. The graphics are also presented in black and white, giving the impression of being in a Manga. Even Captain Smiley gets a makeover as the game presents him in this comic as a puny looking 'Cloud Strife' and Star as a cute little Mario-esque invincibility star.

I think it shows that there's something outstanding about the presentation of Comic Jumper because I'm already talking about it before any of the gameplay. Merging the different comic locations allows Twisted Pixel to really push out the game's comedy. It's the gags and banter between Smiley and Star that make it tremendous. They are done in a smart way with some solid writing. These aren't dreadful jokes based around farting and so on. This is real genuine comedy material.

If you've got a good ear or eye then you'll love how jam-packed Comic Jumper is with references to movies and games. From the top of my head I've noticed references to Resident Evil 4, Nightmare on Elm Street, Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. I think the obvious one people will notice is the main star of the barbarian comic. He's called 'Nanoc', and sounds a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Twisted Pixel have taken a lot of inspiration from older games to create the main mechanics of Comic Jumper. If you could throw Earthworm Jim, Metal Slug, Sin and Punishment, with a hint of a few old school brawlers and a snippet of those infamous quick time events into a blender, the result would be a smoothie called Comic Jumper.

It might sound like a bit too much for a game to be able to hold all these different types of genre styles, but Comic Jumper manages to blend most of them well. The bulk of the game is based on platforming and shooting, using a dual stick control system allowing you to move and shoot at the same time. Occasionally a level will switch and you'll be playing the game more in the vein of Space Harrier, where you're shooting at enemies in front of you while dodging their attacks. All this is going on as your character automatically runs forward.

The weakest of the different gameplay mechanics is certainly the brawling parts. There is no depth whatsoever, so it ends up being a brainless bashing of the X button. Captain Smiley will link the same 3 hit combo when you repeatedly tap the button. Thankfully these are over quickly and it doesn't quite manage to break up the flow of the game.

At first the game eases you into a false sense of security by having a super easy first level. As you make your way through Comic Jumper you'll find that you'll be dying a hell of a lot. It can get difficult towards the later stages. This would have been a problem for a few players, but the game generously gives you infinite lives. You can die as many times as you like in a level and you will just be moved back to the last checkpoint.

This in turn creates a new problem, because you'll soon start to lose some enthusiasm for the game. The gameplay itself is fine, but it never excels to be the standout point. If this game didn't feature a fantastic presentation, story and the witty humour then I would have most likely been less inclined to keep playing.

From playing Comic Jumper you can tell that the whole team at Twisted Pixel had one awesome time creating the game. I don't think I've actually seen a game that uses the developers as an inclusion to the story. The plot actually kind of revolves around them from start to finish. The team even get in on the action as Captain Smiley can use a special ability that brings forth the power of the Twisted Pixel team.

Calling forth their help brings hands that come bashing on the screen to kill all the enemies that are visible. This isn't rendered either. It's strange seeing real humans merging into the graphics of the game, but you have to think that the point is that people are reading what you are doing as a comic, so it makes perfect sense.

Costing the now seemingly normal 1200 Microsoft Points, Comic Jumper is worth the price alone just for the humorous experience that the game is built around. It might irritate you or make you chuck out some swear words at the TV due to retrying sections, but at least you can look back on Comic Jumper knowing that you had one of the best comedy gaming moments of 2010.




Some of the funniest games i have every played and i wish there were more game like this.

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Rocks"

Summary

Graphics: 7.5 (cellshaded, artistic and unique)
Gameplay SP: 8.0 (fun sidescrolling shooter + humor = Epic rollercoster ride)
Audio: 9.0 (excellent voice acting, added huge list of soundtracks for an Arcade)
Value: 8.0 (MS price slash)

You might be wondering whats comic jumper is about. Its about Captain Fail... i mean Captain Smiley who only cares about himself and his bad mouth sidekick Star trying to launch his comic book. In the end it doesnt turn out well for him so he has to co-host in other comics by 'jumping into them' to earn back enough money to start his 2nd edition of his comic which i myself find it wtf! in some scenes in the final episode, even Star agrees.

Story is very cool and its offers a great laugh if your into the comic theme. Theres the modern 1980 crime fighting comics, 1920 superheroes comics, and the conan series, i mean nanoc and finally manga, which is about Japanese and tentacles. Ya, i m wondering how in the world ERSB rate it as TEEN.

the main game last about 6 hrs, players might able to squeeze extra value out of it by playing their challenge mode and completing special task for bonuses which by the way, is seriously difficult to pull out, as the game itself is difficult by frustration.

Characters created by twisted pixels are some of the best. They have unique personalities and very memorable especially bra..bra...bra.. brad and his bradcopter which look rather familiar to Johnny Bravo




Watching Comic Jumper is fun. Playing it, not so much.

5.5

Mediocre
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"All flash, no substance"

Summary

Pros: Consistently funny; Comic book art styles are well-done; Lots of bonus content and replay value (if you like)

Cons: Gameplay is repetitive and often recycled; Controls don't feel responsive enough; Not much depth; Bosses take too long to kill; Cheap moments cause frustration; Brawling flat-out sucks; It's tough to see what's going on in the manga levels

When Comic Jumper was announced, I jumped right on board. Twisted Pixel, the company behind the enjoyable and humorous Splosion Man, was making a game parodying all sorts of comics. Not only that, but they were trying to infuse it with a variety of different gameplay styles, and their main characters were incredibly interesting.

In retrospect, I should have been a little less hasty when purchasing this repetitive, cheap, and generally disappointing, game.

But what could have gone wrong since Splosion Man? Well, Splosion Man was a very simple game (so simple that only one button was needed to play it). So is Comic Jumper. But whereas Splosion Man kept adding new features and gradually ramping up the difficulty with smart level design, Comic Jumper keeps a consistent difficulty, doesn't introduce many new mechanics or enemies, and feels like it drags on.

Splosion Man also had strong controls. Although you only ever used one button, that was all you needed; you could bounce off of walls, fly through the air, and kill those pesky scientists with just as much precision as you needed. Unfortunately, Captain Smiley (the protagonist) is not so limber. His movement feels sluggish, and his turning speed is like that of a tank turret. This in itself isn't an issue: if Twisted Pixel wanted, they could have made individual encounters a matter of carefully overcoming Smiley's restrictive movements to outsmart the enemies. Or perhaps they could have made the game focused on clearing out all the enemies efficiently, since movement is not a viable option. Unfortunately Comic Jumper won't have any of that; it wants to be like Contra and Metal Slug.

This instantly becomes an issue when, like the games that inspired it, Twisted Pixel starts putting in high numbers of enemies that Smiley has barely any chance of dodging. It becomes even worse when the majority of the enemies take more than a few bullets to kill, thereby giving them the chance to clutter the screen with projectiles, and also inadvertently making Smiley's gun feel incredibly weak. Bosses take absurd amounts of damage as well, with a couple encounters requiring you to keep firing at the boss nonstop for a few minutes. And should you die during the boss fight, you have to start the whole thing over again. Thankfully lives are infinite and checkpoints pretty frequent outside of boss fights. Nonetheless things start getting cheap quick and the game's difficulty skyrockets (though it doesn't get much harder once you get over the initial hurdle).

Unfortunately these 2-D shooting sections are the deepest, most common, and most engaging parts of the game. At times you switch to a full 3-D on-rails shooter segment, which is arguably as good as the 2-D section, although the same issues frequently persist, and the crosshair moves too slowly. At a couple moments you also need to perform quick-time events. Luckily these are easy enough not to be frustrating, but they aren't common or deep.

The worst part of the gameplay goes to melee fighting, hands down. For some reason, Captain Smiley puts away his gun from time to time to fight with his fists (or a sword in the manga chapter of the game). Here Smiley also loses the ability to jump and is basically given 3 options: attack, attack in both directions (doing minimal damage, but knocking foes back), or use the screen-clearing help button (which is hilarious, but not likely to be in your possession for very long). These fighting sections don't take more than 5 seconds to expose how shallow and repetitive they are. And they also get frustrating when you start getting grappled repeatedly later on.

Although the fighting sections are the most shallow and repetitive, the other sections fall victim to the same issue. Enemies, hallways, bosses, you name it, are recycled, making even the fun fights boring when you repeat them again and again. And although you are able to upgrade your guns, health, etc. between missions, the impact of most of these upgrades feels negligible (especially considering their high prices), and none of them fix the issue of depth. Since you get one weapon and the ability to jump for most of the game (help power-ups aren't given that frequently), there isn't much strategy to the game besides dodge, point, and shoot. Even Geometry Wars, a game with only one arcade-style level and two active buttons, has more depth thanks to power-up management and a variety of enemies.

If this all sounds bad, then it should, because Comic Jumper has a tendency to wear out its welcome. The core mechanics aren't bad, and some fights are legitimately fun; the game just doesn't know when to quit (which makes it both impressive and sad that it still only takes 4-6 hours to beat). If I could, I would have rated the game far harsher on gameplay alone.

However, I can't, since the presentation actually does a lot to make the game more fun in this case. In Comic Jumper, Captain Smiley has fallen into hard times as his comic loses its fanbase and supply of income. Luckily for him, the team at Twisted Pixel helps him relaunch his career, permitting he makes some cameo appearances in other comics to earn money. Thus begins the hilarious, frequently fourth-wall breaking, story.

It's obvious that the team at Twisted Pixel had a lot of fun making this game (which is strange, given how un-fun it can be to play). The concept is ridiculous and only gets weirder; the dialogue and characters are enjoyable, particularly the back-and-forth between Smiley and the Star on his chest; and the parodies are legitimately great. Each type of comic, whether it be the Conan-esque fantasy comic, the bright and colorful '60s crime-fighting comic, or manga, features tons of little details and ideas that make them quite enjoyable to watch. The way that Twisted Pixel handles the censorship of the '60s comics in particular is hilarious.

Twisted Pixel also handles the art styles of each comic rather well. Although the overall game has a standard, low detail, cel-shaded look, each level does a great job of capturing the vibe of the comics that inspire it. The fantasy comic feels pretty rough and serious, the '60s comic features highly contrasting colors, and the manga is overly cutesy, has poorly animated mouths (intentionally), and is in black-and-white. The black-and-white makes the manga action a little harder to follow at times, but other than that, the art behind Comic Jumper emulates a variety of styles with great success.

Should you like Comic Jumper, there's plenty to keep you playing for a while, between the high scores, upgrades, and neat bonus content. However, on a second play through, the dialogue and styles aren't fresh any more, and I don't know how many people will find the gameplay strong enough to warrant replaying (I certainly didn't). While Comic Jumper's gameplay isn't entirely bad (it's merely mediocre), the game proves to be much more enjoyable to watch then to play.

Which makes you wonder why Twisted Pixel didn't just make a comic book instead.




Superb quality and gameplay, as is expected of a Treasure-shooter. Best iteration in the Bangai-O series as well. Hard.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Highly addictive"

Summary

Developers like Treasure are a rarity. When the studio opened in 1992, they immediately had a team full of experts of the genre (most of them worked on Castlevania IV, Contra III and Axelay). The original Bangai-O released in 1999 on the N64 and Dreamcast. This version is more or less the same as the DS follow-up. The HD version, just like the DS one, throws its story out the window completely - it wants to come over as a pure and simple shooter.

The point of Bangai-O is to control your flying mecha (which can move through the screen omnidirectional) and completely destroy everything in a level. Each one is fast-paced, varied and extremely difficult. With tactics and pure skill you'll be able to overcome its insane bosses and 100+ levels.

The game controls like any other dual-stick shooter. The things that set it apart from other shooters are your shield, which makes you temporary invincible (you can plow through each and every enemy on screen and destroy them for a limited time), and the counter-attack shot, which will fill up the screen with hundreds of missiles (which you can control) and destroy everything in your path. These things consume energy, so you need to spend them wisely. If you don't, your shield will dissolve in the middle of a thousand enemies - resulting in an obvious Game Over screen. You shouldn't worry about dying though; the game gives you infinite continues. If you die three times in a level it will unlock the next one for you as well. The only thing that might be dying is your ego.

Aside from its huge amount of content, Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury has some neat extra features in the form of online co-op and an extensive level editor. This increases the gameplay dramatically. The only thing I'm kind of disappointed in personally, is the lack of offline co-op. The production-values might look cheap graphically, but if you've played Treasure games before, you'd know that each and every one of their games offers unmatched gameplay. This game is usual Treasure-fare and will keep most of us busy until their magnum opus Radiant Silvergun releases.

7.5

Great
7.8
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