Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley – Review

Comic Jumper recently hit Xbox Live Arcade and is the latest title from Twisted Pixel. For those unaware, Twisted Pixel is also the studio behind The Maw and Splosion Man and their humor from those two titles has carried over into Comic Jumper. Going through this title I found myself chuckling at some of the jokes that were told and it is very apparent that Twisted Pixel had fun making this title. You assume the role of Captain Smiley and your companion, Star, is attached to your chest. It’s immediately apparent that these two guys don’t like each other that much as they are frequently arguing and insulting each other whenever they are given the opportunity. Star also has a really sarcastic and flippant personality making for some really funny one liners.

The basic premise of Comic Jumper is that Captain Smiley has lost his own comic series for a variety of reasons. Now you have to guest star in other comics so that you can make some money and get your own series back. You have your own base which serves as the central hub of the game. Initially the base is pretty empty except for yourself and someone that used to appear in your comics with you, Gerda. As you visit other comics you will start to see your base fill up with the antagonist of the comic you were just in. There are four comics in the game and each comic has three episodes that you have to go through. After you pass each episode you are sent back to your base. Each time you return you should explore because the people that are there will have something different to say to you. If you did something particularly embarrassing in the last comic episode than they will make fun of you and things of that nature. Also, parts of the environment might change. You might find a comic that you can inspect that wasn’t there before or inspect a poster of your glory days. This central hub is where you will find a lot of the humor in the game. As more people take up residence at your base you will hear them talking about how Twisted Pixel gave them jobs and about company picnics that they are going to be attending and things of that nature. I don’t want to spoil too much but I was definitely enjoying the in jokes that Twisted Pixel put into the game.

The gameplay in Comic Jumper is a bit of a different story. Where the humor is absolutely fantastic the game play could be a little better. It is by no means bad, however, it is nothing special either. Comic Jumper is a third person side scrolling adventure title. Your main weapons are your two guns where you use the right analog stick to aim and the right trigger to fire. Every so often you will get in a scenario where you can’t use your weapons so, in that case, melee is the way to go. As you progress through the game you will earn money. You can then use this money between episodes to upgrade Captain Smiley so that he deals more damage, has more health, can slide further and things of that nature. The graphical style of the game also changes with each new comic. Each art style looks pretty cool although there is an anime stage that can be pretty frustrating. In this stage the enemies can kind of blend in with the environment a bit and it can be a bit hard to see them in the heat of the moment if you are trying to dodge five different bullets. There are also going to be some people that will find certain parts really frustrating. There were a couple of times where I wanted to put the controller down and walk away for a while. I can also see some people finding the gameplay to be a bit repetitive. Even though the development team tried to change things up by changing your perspective or the activities you were trying to complete there the core gameplay never really evolved and some people are going to have an issue with that.

Overall, I personally had a lot of fun with this title. What kept me going through this game was the humor I found throughout the game whether I was at my base or plowing through an episode. It seems like the development team had a great time making this game and it shows. I would definitely recommend that you give this one a try. It has a free demo available on Xbox Live so you don’t really have an excuse not to. If you want some entertaining dialogue and a humorous story be sure not to bypass this title.

Score 8/10

Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network

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