I've first played Brutal Legend, and now Costume Quest. Once again, Double Fine leaves me with mixed feelings.
Costume Quest seems to be the kind of game I would enjoy a lot when I was a kid!
Essencially, you're Reynolds, and it's Halloween. In the midst of trick-or-treating, there are monsters, stealing all the candy, who ended up kidnapping your sister.
So, you put on your most badass costume and go look for her, fighting the monsters with the aid of your costume's powers, along with some friends you meet along the way.
That sounds like something I would enjoy immensively when I was younger! And I still enjoyed it today, but it's not quite my kind of game.
The game is a mixture of an adventure/platformer game, with a JRPG(ish) type combat.
In combat, each character has a normal attack and a special attack, which takes turns to recharge. Instead of simply choosing which attack you want, there's also a QTE event that you have to do in order to boost your normal attacks.
Each costume the character wears influences their attacks, and have a very unique style to them.
There are also stickers you can collect while exploring the world, which will then give you a passive or active ability in battle.
You have from 1 to 3 characters, and the same with the enemies. Each team has their attack turn, until the battle is finished.
I didn't find the combat system very deep, with the exception of the Boss fights, which sometimes required a certain ability to be beaten, making the player experiment with the different costumes until he beat it. That was cool, but other than that, it felt a bit too shallow.
To its favor thought, animation was top-notch, and every attack made you feel like a badass doing it.
Outside of combat, you go around collecting candy, sometimes from door to door, other times just in the environment. You also interact with NPCs, with a very DoubleFine-esque dialogue which is always welcome. You have 4 zones (3 in the main game, 1 in the DLC), each with its theme, and a group of side quests. These side quests help the player explore the world, and also provide rewards. I didn't find them particularly interesting, but they were on the way, so it did not detract from the experience. I just think they could have done something more with those sidequests.
There are quite a few "secrets" and Easter Eggs hidden around, making exploration quite rewarding to do as well!
Besides, you'll need to explore to find different costume parts, which is the best part of the game, since each costume has its twist wether inside or outside of combat.
The various costumes reminded me of some 90s cartoons, and others were just Halloween themed. They didn't every feel out of place. A good concept well implemented!
The graphics aren't fantastic in terms of fidelity, but it's DoubleFine, so you know what to expect! They're highly stylized and unique, giving the game exactly the vibe they were looking for.
Music was up there as well, really enjoyed it!
Most of the achievements were mainly there to get the player to actually go out for the sidequests and different costumes so they're pretty standard... But, there was one about a Stacking Easter Egg as well. Nothing noteworthy, but it had a few achievements that could lead the player into a better direction when playing it, so that's good!
So... due to the combat's lack of depth, it often felt a bit too repetitive, and so did some of the sidequests, since they're the same style for each zone. I get why it is like that, but since I didn't find them very interesting, having them in each zone felt a bit repetitive as well.
But that's my biggest complain with this game.
Other than that, I've had a blast with it, specially with the Boss fights! The game isn't very challenging (if it seems so, you're doing something in the wrong intended order, which happened to me), but it doesn't leave too much space for failure. Still, with its combat system, one couldn't expect anything too strategical.
It looks and sound great, it's definitely an unique game, which takes you about 6-9 hours to finish, without and with DLC, respectively.
It's not something I'm likely to go back to, since I've finished it, but it was a good experience nonetheless. It's a streamlined JRPG, with a twist!
I'd definitely recommend it if it catches your attention at all. Great game, DoubleFine strikes again!