Release Date: 6th October 2010
Publisher(s): Xbox Live Arcade
Developer: Twisted Pixel Games
From meaty chunks to catchy theme songs, Twisted Pixel is quite a bizarre developer, but as proven by their latest release Comic Jumper, they know how to make games. Captain Smiley and Star must guest star in different comics to earn enough money to relaunch their own comic, which got cancelled after failing miserably. Can Twisted Pixel top Splosion Man?
The game features a whole host of characters, each with their own personality. It will make you see comic villains in a whole new light, where villains hang out in your lounge back at base, and socially chat to you instead of trying to kill you. As this is a Twisted Pixel game, the game has hilarious moments from start to finish, and will sometimes make you laugh so uncontrollably you lose control of your character, sometimes even getting yourself killed. In fact, this is likely the funniest game you will play this year, and it’s nice to see a game injecting plenty of humour into the action.
As previously mentioned, Captain Smiley must make guest appearances in various comics of different art styles, from Manga to 50’s comics, even mocking the sexist discrimination of the time, which really adds variety to the graphics, and doesn’t bore you with the same. With each comic hosting a different plot, featuring different characters such as Brad, who biologically attached companion Star, has a strange obsession with. The combination of variety and comedy adjusted to fit; Comic Jumper is a recipe for hilarity.
Gameplay is straightforward, use the sticks to move and aim, the triggers to jump and shoot, with occasional melee sections, where the foe will go flying into the backdrop, whether it is through a window or into the display. The pick up and play formula was evident in their previous title and continues through on this game, and just works. However, some sections of the game can be extremely overwhelming to survive in, especially on the 3D sections and framed areas. However, despite this, most attacks can be avoided or countered with the right moves; it’s just a case of knowing what to do at what time. Expect to die a lot on the first playthrough.
The audio is excellent, from that comical exaggerated bash of a punch, to the funky tune playing in the background of a fight, everything is executed to brilliance. Playing missions and completing challenges will not only mark you on the leaderboards, but earn you cash to spend on upgrades to your character and a wide variety of unlockables such as concept art, models, even a premium theme and extra Splosion Man levels! Now that’s what I call value.
Twisted Pixel do things truly unique with the game, like even adding themselves into the game, whether it be using a help me for a guy to jump on your screen and bash the enemies, taking their tops off at the base and dancing randomly, and even at one point mocking themselves for putting out content for The Maw that should have already been included in the game for free, something which other developers wouldn’t even dare do. When it comes to Avatar Awards, there’s only one thing you need, a Captain Smiley head. So damn cool.
So, what should I say about Comic Jumper? This – despite the difficulty at times, Comic Jumper is the best, and most hilarious, downloadable title of the year, adding an enjoyable thrill ride as you transition between comics, following a hilarious cast along a unique plotline, and you would be a complete fool with no sense of humour not to pick up this title. Well done, Twisted Pixel. You know what the people like – donuts.