Comic Jumper and Sonic 4 Demo Impressions

Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley

Twisted Pixels latest foray on Xbox Live comes to us in the form of Captain Smiley, a comic superhero who has just lost his comic due to poor readership, and is assigned the task by the wonderful developers at Twisted Pixel to guest star in a series of comics to drum up the fan base and bring his own comic back to life.

The game is mostly a rail shooter with a 2.5D view.  Captain Smiley’s sidekick, Star (which is the star affixed to his chest) bring some very hilarious dialogue to an already campy and humorous story.  Star, who is apparently enamored with Smiley’s nemesis, Brad, belts out quips on a regular basis as you bash and shoot your way through each level.

The cel-shaded graphics and the ever changing environments bring something new to the game at each level as you progress, and you find yourself being bombarded with numerous enemies from many directions at once.  Gameplay is quick and fairly intuitive with a pretty simplistic control scheme for this type of shooter.

While rail shooters are not typically my cup of tea, I found this demo to be very enjoyable from a variety of aspects.  Most hilarious is the dialogue and the way that Twisted Pixel calls themselves out in small jokes in the game.  For example, as you’re exploring your HQ, you run across the Maw and Splosion Man arcade games, to which Smiley quips, “who the hell would pay ten bucks for this!?”Overall, Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley is a very enjoyable game and will do fans of the genre proud.  While I think that 1200MS Points ($15) is a bit high, this is something to definitely be on the look out for when it goes on sale.


Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1

Sega brings back the 2D racing platformer of old with updated graphics while maintaining the charm of the original game.  And while the game brings back those nostalgic feelings, racing through the obstacle course, collecting rings and saving your furry pals from being contorted into Dr. Eggman’s evil robots, I can’t call this game a perfect remake.

I regularly play the original Sonic games (Available through XBLA) as my wife tends to enjoy them as well, and I noticed that while the control scheme was the same, there was a singular difference with the new version that makes things a bit difficult to adjust to.  If you let go of the left analog stick, Sonic stops.  Just stops.  Regardless if he’s jumping or running.  Dead stop.  This can make it very frustrating if you’re expecting Sonic to behave the same way that he did in the first or second game.  And while you do eventually get used to it, it can be frustrating until you do.

As I mentioned before, Sega does a good job of bringing back that nostalgic feel to the game with the level design and updated graphics, but nothing is done to bring anything fresh to the game.  It plays the same as the original, and feels about the same as the original, but paying $15 (1200MS Points/1500 Wii Points/$14.99 PSN) is just too prohibitive to buy this when you can just as easily get Sonic 1 and 2 from either XBLA/PSN/Wii Store or by purchasing the Sega “Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection” for about $19.99 new or $10 used.

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October 18, 2010 - 6:11 pm