Video game review: Costume Quest 2 [2014] by Bastien L.

PS3 version review

Like the first opus, Costume Quest 2 offers a family title accessible to the youngest so they can discover video games intelligently. And as for the first opus, it seems to be satisfied only with that.

The Costume Quest series comes from the American studio Double fine created in 2000 by legend Tim Schafer. A studio that from the beginning of the 2010s executes orders for big publishers like Microsoft (especially Kinect games) and sony but also more independent projects (admittedly sometimes edited by big people) like friendly Stacking, The Cave and of course Costume Quest in 2010. A title written by Schafer himself and designed by the animator Tasha Sunart since returning to work at Pixar. Unforgettably, the first opus captivated us with its beautiful atmosphere and its mechanics that are as simple as they are effective, thus leading to a sequel written and produced by Gabe Miller thus alienating the series from its creators. However, the game wants to be very close to the spirit of the first episode when it comes out in October 2014 on PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and WiiU in a rather general indifference, unfortunately, despite the edition its by Majesco Entertainment.

This sequel begins immediately after the events of the DLC Grubbins on Ice where the 4 heroes of Costume Quest find themselves in a strange place made up of dimensional portals. We must choose to be included Wren where Reynolds while the twins are thinking of going home but attend the dentist’s meeting White Orel and a kind of time master. It is almost time to understand what is happening that they are sucked into a temporal hole that takes them into the future. They then discover a dystopia where Orel White reigns and the Goblins are suppressed Halloween and confiscated all the sweets. Wren and Reynold encounter adult versions of their best friends who send them back in time to stop Orel as a time master who can change the past, present and future…

Especially intended for a young audience (8-12 years old, we’d say), Costume Quest 2 is first appreciated with its child’s soul. This story of time travel to save Halloween against an anti-candy dentist (reminiscent of the father of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) accompanied by creatures from a fantasy world allows you to include resourceful children who live in an incredible adventure. You can also choose between representing the girl or the boy, thus allowing everyone to identify with our friendly duo of heroes. So children can easily be surprised by this story that unfolds in a clear way with quite effective humor that works through the dialogues and the encounters that we have. It’s also advisable to do the first opus first because Costume Quest 2 assumes you know its universe. Finding our heroes is full of good feelings mostly positive characters that will allow them to talk only about themes such as not allowing hatred to invade their hearts or the pain of dictatorship or even a very serious world… the game is mainly aimed at children, allowing them to have in their hands a game that will never get them high and which proves to be entertaining as it is smart A task mainly for young players, which is as strong as it is weak for older players.

The title offers a real variety of landscapes through two large areas to explore. First is the twins’ past when their suburban town has nothing but swamps near New Orleans to go to, the present is divided into several areas that see the establishment of the dictatorship of White Orel and elves through a turnaround/propaganda school for young people or a futuristic-looking city. These different locations provide interesting contrasts that allow the plot to develop in pleasant, warm settings with effective art direction. We have the impression of browsing a Western cartoon with relatively stylish characters and current humor. The game completely translated into French attracts us with a pleasant atmosphere that comes from different dialogues where the bad guys are never completely bad and where we want to be part of the good guys. Like any good RPG, Costume Quest 2 is appreciated by exploring the places and characters that the developers put our way. The soundscape is also successful, especially through Peter McConnell’s harmonious music. We will be more critical regarding the technical aspect which is far from impressive on the PS3 (after the end of its life) and which also suffers from some slowdown.

Regarding its development, Costume Quest 2 uses the same principle as its elder, similar to a very old JRPG strategy. So there’s a mix of exploration with lots of NPCs as well as various quests and turn-based combat. The game mechanics are heavily influenced by the Halloween party because in each area of ​​the game you have to go door to door to collect candies (allowing you to buy upgrades) and recover various other costumes that allow you to progress in the adventure. but also have other fighters when facing enemies.,Principles and mechanics taken from the first opus which however has an improvement regarding battles. It will now be necessary to show rhythm in attack as in defense with a button to press at the right time for greater efficiency. In addition, each costume has a special ability (attack or defense) that can be used when a gauge is filled. So there is a rather simple pleasure in playing with children making themselves heroes in each costume resulting in a beautiful transformation that is always beautifully animated.

Unfortunately, the whole thing turns out to be too routine. The game repeats its scales and continues its mechanics so much that it makes it particularly repetitive despite its 7 hours of playtime. We go through Costume Quest 2 with a certain pleasure like a straight line that is not too unpleasant but not exciting. The game even implemented a system of collectible cards that give us temporary bonuses in battles but become useless in the end. The game unfortunately doesn’t implement time travel into its mechanics like Chrono Trigger seems to be one of its inspirations. Some boss fights are not very memorable and the ending is quickly dispatched. We sure had a great adventure next door Wren, Reynolds and their friends but not an unforgettable epic.

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