Review by aaronmykyta

"Death Jr. Is Definitely Dead"

Death Jr. is a game featuring Death's son, which makes a problem. We all know the Angel of Death is creepy, violent, and down-right cool, and his son should be like that too. But the developer Backbone decided to make this game appeal to parents and the like, which leads us to a wimpy Death Jr.

The story starts off with our miniature hero going off to a Field Trip with his friends to the Museum of Supernatural History. Death Jr. leaves his class and goes to a forbidden section in the museum to find a artifact encased in a box. Pandora, Death Jr.'s doll friend and his crush (little romantic, isn't he?), tries to open up the box, but it would not open. DJ takes his humongous scythe to destroy the lock on the box, and evil spirits and the like are released upon the Earth, doing all types of damage to DJ's friends. Now (like any adventure game), it is up to you to save your friends and destroy this evil.

The entire setting for the game is the museum, which breaks into different zones (each one themed for DJ's friends). All you have to do is destroy anything you can lock-on to. After each successful hit or destroying a destructible object, you gain points. These points are absolutely pointless (hehe, point = pointless) and have no effect on the game.

There is one strategy to beating the game that is overly-simplified. What is it? Guns. Once you get a gun, you can quickly defeat your enemies from a far distance, seeing how most enemies don't have long-range attacks. It is way too easy. You can use this technique against most bosses, seeing how defeating them is more trial and error than using logical explanation.

But none of that is equal to the problems of the camera. It is never in the proper distance and can easily get screwed up. It takes the camera a few seconds to turn around when you want it to, so if an enemy is behind you, get prepared to get your ass whooped. You can manually turn the camera by holding down the L trigger, but it takes so long to response, it is pointless.

Another problem is that you can't get used to one gameplay mechanic. The game could have done better as just a third-person shooter or a platformer down right, but inside they combine both of them, which makes the game feel erratic and you can never get used to one side of it.

Death Jr. offers up repetitive gameplay by forcing you into a room, collect souls (not coins, bananas, or anything of that such), and then force you back out of the room into the central area of the museum. Wash, rinse, repeat. When you destroy an enemy, the souls automatically come to you, which is a nice touch.

The graphics are the game's fine points, as the environments and characters all look good with nice, clean detail (and Pandora looks freaky!). But seeing how you'll face most of your enemies from a distance, you really can't appreciate it much.

The sound is not as bad as what I'm going to tell you. Each level has their own individual Halloween song that loops over and over again. But the music is good and you won't spend too much time on each level to really get annoyed of them.

Death Jr. faces many gameplay problems, and the only good parts are the graphics and character design. Death Jr. isn't immortal, I can tell you that.

+Tim Burton Style
+Good Action (occasionally)
-Terrible Camera
-Boring Melee Combat
-Range Combat Way Too Easy
-Awkward Platforming


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 09/01/05


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