October 9, 2010

Hero Worship

Lasting First Impressions of “Comic Jumper” from Twisted Pixel

It started with The Maw.  Then came ‘Splosion Man.  Now, the crazy minds at Twisted Pixel bring us their latest platformer for XBLA, Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley.  This time around you play the inept comic action hero, Captain Smiley, trying to bring his comic book back from cancellation. To do so, he must first ‘guest star’ in other popular comic books in an attempt to increase his popularity once again.

The majority of the game is your typical sidescrolling shooter complete with plenty of nonstop action.  Twisted Pixel doesn’t just stop there, however, as the gameplay changes to a different style every now and again to keep things interesting.  These include real-time action cut scenes, 3rd person rail-shooter style, and others.  Gameplay is hectic which makes for a fun challenge but without becoming frustrating.  The controls are simple and easy to pick up and play immediately.  The side scrolling action reminds me very much of classic Contra games but with slightly tweaked controls.  This time, you aim your weapons with the right stick while moving with the left leaving you with ultimate control much like a twin-stick shooter.

During my first hour playing the game, I managed to complete the introduction chapter, and the first section of the major story.  Twisted Pixel held nothing back with the inherent humour they add to all their games.  The constant bickering between Captain Smiley and his “sidekick” Star (who is actually part of his costume) is a blast to listen to along with all the easter eggs scattered throughout the game (pay careful attention to the billboards during the first level).

I have been a great fan of Twisted Pixel games since The Maw debuted on XBLA, and I was looking forward to Comic Jumper since it was announced.  I was fortunate enough to see their demonstration of the game at PAX East in March and even then it was looking polished.  The wait was definitely worth it and Twisted Pixel has delivered once again.  I will definitely be coming back to this one time and time again.

Twisted Pixel, I gave you an hour and you left me IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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  1. Interesting review. My experience was a little different, but your opinion is cogent. Keep it up.

  2. Kevin Dorff

    I really WANT to like Comic Jumper. Admittedly, the side scrolling shooter genre isn’t my favorite, but I love the banter / comedy and I love the art style. Heck, I bought the game.

    My two major (and I do consider them major) complaints are both with the game’s checkpointing system. The levels are pretty long, but the only way to stop playing mid-level is to either pause the game and leave your 360 running OR later restart the level from the very beginning.

    Secondly, also regarding checkpointing, it seems that the checkpoints are set widely apart. Maybe I am just terrible at this kind of game, but in the first two levels I felt all too often that I was re-playing the same thing I’d played several times – and not being able to focus on where I died, but having to play a really long stretch of the level. Maybe modern games have just turned me into a wimp.

    I understand they wanted to make the game hard and rewarding, but at times, to me, it just felt tedious. I’ll play more and maybe I’ll turn into a big fan (as I was with Maw and ‘Splosion Man), but so I don’t put myself into the “fan” category.

    • Xiantayne

      My experience with the checkpoints seemed to be quite the opposite. When I did die, and it was all too often, I found that I was not very far at all from where I died. The advantage, of course, was that now I was at full health making it easier to progress further.

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