Review by KFHEWUI
"While on the short side, the game is enjoyable and engaging leaving the player wanting more once it is over similar to a new episode of the show"
It is another normal day in the land of Ooo when Finn the human and Jake the dog discovered that their garbage can is missing, and the Ice King shows up and reveals he took it. Being the heroes that they are, Jake and Finn set out to recover their garbage and kick the Ice King's butt.
The story is great, and Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time, wrote the script for the game so every character acts like their normal self include their slang and humor. There is a nice amount of story development over the course of the game with a nice twist or two. There are numerous characters to talk to, and some of them will give advice on where to go next while others will have random response. As the game progresses, the dialogue does change for some of the characters.
Adventure Time starts off with Finn having a strange dream with the Cosmic Owl, and after this Jake will tell Finn of their basement that Finn did not know about. BMO will shortly thereafter join, and BMO plays a big part of the game. The most important aspect is that BMO will be accessible by the bottom screen and works as a menu system including maps, stats, items, and options however map is not available at first until BMO is given an upgrade. With BMO the player can hold up to forty items and eight quest items, and some of the items can be combined with others. Combining items can make healing items stronger, weaker, or even add a bonus side effect.
The basement section of the game serves as a tutorial and teaches the basics of attack, jump, slide, and dropping down, and the controls are nicely laid out. The controls are simplistic and easy to grasp, but later in the game Finn and Jake will learn moves that include a combination of D-pad and attack button. There is one issue with the controls, and that is with Jake's ear shield ability. The controls have an issue of lagging for a few seconds after using the ear shield ability so in the platforming sequences, attempting a jump after using ear shield is not advised until a few seconds have passed.
After passing through the tutorial, the player can jump into the meat and bones of the game, and the game is split into two sections. The map screen is similar to Legend of Zelda II and enemies will randomly show up on the screen. Touching the enemies initiates battle on a 2D screen and killing all enemies will reward the player with a chest that houses an item which is usually a power up or health. When entering towns or dungeons, the game goes into a 2D platforming, and the sequences are straight forward with jumping and enemies to fight however as the game progresses and new abilities are learned, the areas become more complex and tougher to navigate.
Dungeons in the game are large maze like caverns that are split up by doors, and to progress forward the player must hit switches and/or collect dungeons keys. In each dungeon is a treasure chest that houses a new ability for Jake or Finn including fist smash, Jake roll, ear shield, and downward strike. At the end of each dungeon is a boss, and each boss is unique and has their own strategy. The first boss is a bear with a chainsaw attached to its back. The rest of the enemies are unique including licking rock, rock, worms, signpost monster, zombies, and penguins to name a few however the games recycle some of the enemies multiple times over the course of the game and just give them a new paint job. While the enemies are generic, the bosses are each unique and interesting including a fight against Gunter and an army of clones, Ice King, and a nice surprise.
Combat is composed of several different attacks to perform including punch with Jake or Finn, slide, downward kick, and sword attack, and at first their attack power starts out weak. Scattered across the game are stars and finding a star will allow the player to upgrade one of three stats including: attack, health, and speed. Speed can be saved for last to upgrade since it just makes Finn move faster on the map. Also some items in the game will aid in combat including a sword that increases attack, a pepper that allows Finn to spit fire, a gem that makes Finn invincible for a limited amount of time, and cloak of invisibility to name a few.
Graphic wise, Adventure Time looks great, and the game retains the same style of the show. The backgrounds are a mix bag while the dungeons look nice and have minor details while the backgrounds in the 2D areas outside of the dungeon range on the plain and bare bone side. Not all of the 2D sequences are plain like the area to the Candy Kingdom which has the castle in the background and a nice forest setting. The sprites look good, and the animation is great. One nice little touch is with a certain ice creature that when killed will shatter like glass. The game does include 3D effects however I do not really care for 3D so I have not tried it yet and cannot speak about it.
Music sound great, and the theme song at the title screen is very catchy. The theme song of the show is used in the game but only as an instrumental song at certain points. One notable track plays during the cloud section which is a rock track that is catchy, and I usually have to make Finn dance to it by ducking and swinging his sword. Scattered about are a few voice clips which are nice and the actors from the show reprise their role for the game. It would have been nice if there game was fully voice acted. Sound effects are good including rocks enemies crumbling and ice enemies shattering to name a few. Also each enemy has their own distinct sound, and sometimes the enemies can be heard before being seen.
One issue with the game is a lot of backtracking however it is heavily used in the final portion of the game, but by this point Jake has learned several morph abilities that will allow the player to not only bypass replaying areas but also discover hidden areas where stars or other goodies are located.
Adventure Time is about a five hour game, and at first I had a problem with it however for a portable game, I think it is not that bad. There are a large number of save points located throughout that make it easy to pick up and play for on the go gaming. Beating the game will unlock a new game+ where the player will retain all their items and levels from their first playthrough however enemies will have more health. Also there are a few goodies hidden in the game including a hidden screen, Phil face, and even the Enchiridion to be found. It took me about five and half hours to beat it once and another five hours to beat New Game+ so in total about eleven hours but that is not including time I spent searching for the Enchiridion and other secrets.
There is a collector's edition that costs only $10 more and comes in a nice case that is a replica of the Enchiridion, a sword stylus, a map of Ooo, and bestiary of the enemies from the game. For the price, it is definitely worth it. The game is available for DS and 3DS, and there are a few differences like the hidden screen is missing and along with 3D however the game plays exactly the same other than those two side differences and neither one are needed to beat the game.
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! is solid game that is short however it is still an enjoyable game while there are plenty of inside jokes for people that have watched the show, the game is still worth playing for those who have not seen the show.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/28/12, Updated 02/27/13
Game Release: Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! (Collector's Edition) (US, 11/20/12)
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