Oldie Goldies: Comic Jumper

Comic Jumper is the latest addition to Xbox LIVE Arcade from independent developer Twisted Pixel, who have made great games such as The Maw, and is also the second title for Microsoft’s Game Feast. They set themselves a high standard last year with Splosion Man, but this could top it.

You play as Captain Smiley, who is now threatened on becoming another failed comic superhero. But there is hope, as the helpful people over at Twisted Pixel decide to help Captain Smiley by providing him with a comic jumping machine that will let him guest star in other comics until he earns enough money to get his own comic back, sounds easy right, wrong. Along the way things don’t always go as planned for Captain Smiley, usually due to his loud-mouth talking chest star.

There are four different comic genres (Manga, Modern, Fantasy and Silver Age) and with each one Captain Smiley changes to fit in with the appropriate art style. The game switches between 2D and 3D regularly over the course of the eleven missions, with each mission taking about 45minutes. There also 8 challenge levels which set you an objective and your fastest time is uploaded to a global leaderboard.

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The enemies vary throughout the comics from Geisha puppets throwing fans at you to robot caddies throwing explosive golf balls, the enemies just get more and more ridiculous as you progress, and what kind of cool, steroid pumped emoticon superhero would you be without some cool tricks and weapons. Captain Smiley has two handguns that change with each comic from normal Desert Eagles to wooden arrow shooting pistols. He even has a cool special attack (keep an eye out for it) Captain Smiley will jump, slide, punch shoot and kick his way back into his original comic. The graphics are something really original and Twisted Pixel have really got the comic look perfect. The graphics aren’t next generation, but the game would look silly if they were.

After each mission you are returned to the lovely base that Twisted Pixel built for you that is now run by you long time personal assistant, Gerda, who is in charge of getting Captain Smiley his next contract. Here you can purchase upgrades, comics, concept art and everything else associated with comics. You can even talk to the many villain’s Captain Smiley encounters and see how they are doing and they will usually respond in the most humorous way they can.

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The four different styles all have there unique use of language from Manga there is an Asian theme that even includes the words being mixed to fit the Asian stereotype perfectly to the Silver Age that includes feminists aswell as sexists’ (I’m talking to you Roy the security guard).

You will encounter over 40 different characters along the way, with some trying to help you, but more often trying to kill you. The story is one of the most original and funny in a long time that doesn’t include an EMP thanks to award winning writers Matthew Entin and Ed Kliehnel. There is plenty to keep you amused throughout with back and forth banter between Captain Smiley and Star. The voice acting is great even if the lip sync is off, but it makes it even funnier.

The game has specific challenges throughout to keep you on your toes. Throughout levels a message will pop up letting you know what requirements the readers want you to fulfil and upon completion will reward you with a higher payout, whether it is climbing ropes and not getting hit to fighting an enemy and not taking damage.

There are some cool segments that involve pressing the buttons that pop up on screen that involve either punching enemies in a room to sliding on robots on the side of building, although there are one or two levels that seem to repeat the same thing over and over, but it doesn’t take away from the overall fun. The boss battles are really fun with each one being more amusing than the last and each boss having its own ridiculous pattern to defeat them.

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Overall Comic Jumper is a very enjoyable game with hours of fun going through the campaign and then going through it aging to earn enough money to buy all of the unlockables. Twisted Pixel have really outdone themselves with this one, even including bonus levels for Splosion man aswell as gamerpics, avatar clothes and a premium theme. 1200 MS Points is the perfect price for an almost perfect game that provides hours of humour, fun and crazy storytelling throughout. The downside was the repetition, but that was the only downside. There is a DLC option in the pause menu, but it isn’t necessary for a while, but whatever it is it’s sure to be just as fun as the main game. If you have never played a Twisted Pixel game before than Comic Jumper is the perfect start. Available to download here.

Rating 9.5

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