6 Year Halloween Special Part 1: Costume Quest 2 For PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U Review

 photo costume01.jpg Since it’s the Halloween season, and the 7th year in a row that I have reviewed games, I thought I would do something special for this one. I held a voting poll on my Facebook and let people choose what I was going to do for a special for 2014. People voted, and this will be my 7th Anniversary/Halloween Special! I will be tackling three spooky games. First up in this triple-feature will be Double Fine Production and Midnight City’s Costume Quest 2! I was very excited about the original announcement for this game. Costume Quest, even with its issues, is one of my favorite downloadable games of all time. The colorful art style was beautiful to look at, it has a quirky sense of humor, and an overall charming child-like vibe that you get from games like Earthbound. I also enjoyed the DLC add-on that came out a little after the game’s release. This means I had pretty high hopes for this sequel, and you will have to read on what I think about this game! Let’s get our costumes and trick-or-treat bags out and review Costume Quest 2!

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The game picks up from the first game, as Wren and Reynold return to modern-day time right before a huge Halloween block party is about to happen. Unfortunately, the main villain of the game, a dentist named Dr. Orel White has come into the power of time travel, and travels in the past to get rid of Halloween and the consumption of candy! It is up to Wren and Reynold to travel to the past and into the future to save Halloween! The story is once again very charming, and can be enjoyed by anyone. The writing is still very funny, with a lot of the humor coming through the witty jokes. I do have some problems with how the pacing of the story is handled, but I enjoyed the overall experience from time-traveling dentists to terminator crows.

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Costume Quest 2 is once again a turn-based RPG, but with a few improvements to the combat. First off, the returning gameplay features are that you have to go door-to-door to get candy, there are no random battles, you level up your characters by collecting candy, and you gather different costumes with varied abilities. The changes come in the form of how combat is executed. The turn-based gameplay this time around is based more off the likes of Lost Odyssey or Paper Mario, where you can press a button at the exact moment of impact to do more damage. You can also take less damage if you press a button at the right time when an enemy attacks. In addition, included with these new timed attacks is a counter-move where if you hold down the block button in advance and release said button at the right time, you can strike back with another attack. You, of course, get your super moves which range from healing your entire party to dishing out massive damage. Another change is that you don’t regain full health after battles. This means you can either go to a health fountain to refill your health, or due to a recent patch, can use some of your very own candy to refill your health. One more element to look out for in combat is the enemy types, since you can go into battle with a certain costume that has a type advantage over a certain enemy, but is then weaker than another kind. The game is on the short side, at around five or six hours total. You can probably get another 30 minutes or an hour added onto the overall time with the side quests and collecting everything.

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Once again, the graphics are colorful, cartoony, and overall charming. It has the same appeal that the last game had, where it’s more about having a child-like element to the overall experience that everyone can enjoy. The writing is just as humorous as the first game, and I find the characters to once again be likable and enjoyable to watch throughout the entire game. The villain, Dr. Orel White, is a fun character. I mean, who would be a villain who hates candy and a holiday that extenuates that urge to ruin your teeth with many delicious treats? A dentist of course! The music is mostly carried over from the first game, giving the world a whimsical, but slightly spooky atmosphere as you traverse from modern day, to the future, and the past. The attack animations for all of the costumes are also fun to watch. I especially love the clown costume’s special ability animation, which while it is just him slipping on a banana peel, it’s still hilarious because of the clown’s facial animations.

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Now, what is wrong with Costume Quest 2? I will say that I bought the PC version of this game, and since I don’t own a PC gaming rig, I had to turn off some of the options to make the game run properly. Having all of the options on made the game’s combat system tedious to get through at the beginning of the game where you are being taught how it works. I also encountered some slowdown. That is why I usually care for console gaming more, since while it might not be to the specs of a super high-end PC, I don’t have to worry about turning options off or worrying if my PC is up to par with the PC requirements of the game. For a more nit-picky side of things, I wish there weren’t console exclusive costumes. I know why they do it, so you can have an incentive to get that version of the game, but now I feel badly for having a version of a game that doesn’t have that costume. An example of this is that if you buy the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 version, you get a Sack Boy costume from Little Big Planet. On an even more nit-picky side of things, I really hate how people are saying in the Steam forums that they aren’t picking this game up because of Double Fine Production halting development of the Early Access game, Space Base Df-9. I think people are being too cynical about this, because while it does suck they are ending support for Space Base Df-9, they are at least giving buyers of the game the source code so they can add their own elements. It would have been a terrible idea financially if they had dumped their own money into the product and they themselves go out of business because of it. Plus, people should always know you run the 50/50 chance of not seeing a game from Early Access come to completion, which means it is partly your responsibility for investing in a game that isn’t finished.

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If I had to say one thing to people who are concerned about picking this game up due to the Early Access fiasco Double Fine Productions was in, ignore the cynical gamers and buy this game. It is complete, hilarious, entertaining, and most importantly, fun! The game is currently at $15, and like I said, you can get exclusive costumes depending on the version you get. I think the only one to be doing that right now is the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 version with the Sack boy costume. Sure, Double Fine Productions might have some issues with finances, but you know what? They still make some of the best and most unique games around, which means I’ll still support them. I won’t let one slight dud ruin it for me. Oh, and for your information, I didn’t buy into Spacebase DF-9, since that kind of game isn’t my cup of tea, which is why I am not so upset with them not continuing support for the game. If you are looking for a game that has a lot of that Halloween charm, and are looking to play a game with your children or family, you should really check Costume Quest 2 out!

This game gets an 8 out of 10.