It's pretty well known that I love adventure time. The show has an imagination that no other cartoon has been able to hit in the past decade. The only contender that I can think of is Foster's home for imaginary friends.
When Cartoon Network released the first adventure time game, "Hey Ice King! Why did you steal all our garbage?", I didn't own a Nintendo DS so it's safe to say that I was very disappointed. When I found out that the next game would be on all consoles, I couldn't wait! I'm telling you this because there is such a thing as being too excited for something that you can't properly review it. At first, I looked past all the glaring problems of this game, I chose to ignore them in lieu of not speaking poorly of Adventure Time. That feeling was peeled away by how frustrating and boring this game is.
The way the game starts is very reminiscent of old NES games. It starts with a small screen in the upper half of the screen with the text on the bottom half, it even has the voice actors from the cartoon. It was a very cool and an unexpected surprise that made me quite excited to play. The concept of the remainder of the game is Princess Bubblegum has a huge dungeon under the Candy Kingdom that is releasing monsters and she needs Finn and Jake to enter and find the problem. Marceline: the vampire queen and Cinnamon Bun join in as well. You are able to play as any of the 4 before entering the dungeon in single player.
Each character has their own set of abilities that make each dungeon a slightly different experience. Each character also has their own set of stats to upgrade and pockets for treasure and items. But this becomes a problem when you realize that all the leveling up you’ve done sticks to one character, and going through the dungeons again with another character now seems like a chore instead of a fun second play through. This is the moment when I realized the game is boring and I wasn't having fun anymore. I get that it’s designed that way for the sake of multiplayer, much like Diablo or Borderlands but at least those games, each play through was uniquely engaging.
You unlock new playable characters as you progress through the story (Ice King, Flame Princess, Lumpy Space Princess, Lemongrab and Peppermint Butler as DLC) but as I said earlier, there’s no real value in playing as other characters. The worst thing about this game are the dungeons. At first, they seem very fun and interesting until you hit the 20th dungeon and the visual design changes but the layout and enemies don’t. Of course new ones are added that are supposed to challenge you but all they do is become another simple enemy. They do add a few new things here and there to the dungeons but they are so far and few in between that it becomes the most monotonous game I've played next to some other casual games.
I really wanted to love this game but it just isn’t good. Adventure time is all about the sense of adventure and exploration, you lose that almost immediately and that was the biggest disappointment. Especially since the first Nintendo DS game was exactly that. Overall it’s not worth your time and definitely not your money, the visual old school style was fun but it gets overshadowed by the immense amount disappointment from the rest of the game. Maybe if it were a $20 arcade game or free to play with internet multiplayer, it wouldn’t be so bad. I would just recommend watching the cartoon or playing the first game. I give this a 4/10.
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Thanks for Reading
-Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek)