If someone would have told us a couple of years ago that there would be a market for downloadable games in today’s major consoles, we wouldn’t have believed it. Twisted Pixel’s have been paving the way and making a name for themselves in the downloadable games scene in such a short run. Their third game Comic Jumper has finally arrived for Xbox Live Arcade and let us tell you it has as much spirit from the team as the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. While their last game Splosion man focused on multiplayer gameplay, the focus here is on a single player experience but does not disappoint.
Comic Jumper sets you on the misadventures of Captain Smiley, a canceled comic book hero who’s path is to reclaim his former glory. To do so he will have to earn enough money to regain his series back and the only way is by guest starring in other troubled comic books. With the help or further endangerment of his sidekick Star on his chest he will need to succeed in those comic books to rebuild his reputation. Some of the comics you encounter include a Conan Barbarian lookalike, a manga comic and a Silver Age book from the 1960’s. Each comic has its own feel for the time and setting of which its under while Captain Smiley takes on the art style for each as well.
Different gameplay elements make up the world of Comic Jumper. One moment will have you shooting at enemies side scrolling like Gunstar Heroes, another on a golf cart jumping over other carters and another can have you do quick time button actions while pummeling baddies. At its core it is a shooter but it’s nice to see different styles approached. Your weapons change with the style of each comic which is a nice touch and by far this is the only game I’ve played that has special moves involving the dev team itself that can’t be missed. Bonus money can be awarded by completing certain challenges that come up during gameplay in a comic (mostly involving players not taking damage for set period). What’s great is that the money earned from comics can be used to power Captain Smiley’s different attributes or purchase item unlockable’s within the command center.
The voice work for this game is outstanding and sets the tone for your entire adventure. Not everyone will enjoy all the humor the same as some can be seen as kind of offensive but they are mocking moments in time where media entertainment weren’t culturally sensitive. The sound work can be praised as well for having a great soundtrack which includes the Stat Monitor song (my personal favorite) along with theme’d character music and sound effects suiting each comic book your in.
While the game is fun to play and has light hearted humor, it is by no means easy. It is reminiscence of 2d side scrolling nes/snes games where one won’t realize the amount of twitch decisions that have to be made when the screen becomes full of enemies. Expect to die a number of times on certain scenes before completion or earning the extra bonus cash from challenges.
Comic Jumper has everything you need in a downloadable game and some. Other developers should take note of what Twisted Pixel’s bring to the table. This game may not be your run in the mill cake walk but with humor, great gameplay, sound work and enough to make you want more, its hard not to recommend this. For 1500 MS Points on XBLA its well worth it, now If you will excuse me I am going to check my stats to hear that song again.
Overall Score = 8.6