Costume Quest 2Overview -
The 'Costume Quest' series is developed by Double Fine Productions, an independently owned studio that specializes in smaller, downloadable titles. It is led by the renowned Tim Schafer, a LucasArts refugee known in the industry for his focus on comedy and character. During the development of 'Brütal Legend', Double Fine struggled to keep a publisher. In the more turbulent times, Schafer instructed his crew to separate for two weeks, completely forget about 'Brütal Legend', and come up with ideas for future projects. The first 'Costume Quest' was one of these "Amnesia Fortnight" creations and was released in 2010.
'Costume Quest 2' is cel-shaded, and its coloring and art design give it an old-fashioned, Saturday morning cartoon look. It has a structure somewhere in between a crayon and a colored pencil, which is an appropriate choice given its childlike motif. Big, splashy comic book effects take place during the battles. It is relatively average otherwise, with a resolution befitting most downloadable titles. It does look slightly better than the 360 version, and it is free of significant clipping, stuttering, or other visual issues.
While the game has no voice acting to speak of, I feel that this is a good design choice that highlights its nostalgia and makes it more fun. It also allows for the heavy slapstick humor that can be found in the characters’ animations and reactions. The soundtrack changes in each environment,and the cajun twang found in the Bayou levels is particularly good. The sound effects are dynamic and evocative of superheroes, but can become very repetitive, especially the costume theme bytes that play after each battle.
Being too similar to the first game and finishing far too quickly keep 'Costume Quest 2' from greatness. It maintains its predecessor’s wit, although the jokes have been diluted somewhat, as have the mechanics. It could most accurately be described as a playable cartoon, and is a short and sweet romp for any RPG fan who doesn’t mind its cuteness or brevity.
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