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Trevor Wagner

Comic Jumper PAX Preview

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This weekend at PAX Prime, I met with some of the guys from Twisted Pixel (creators of Splosion Man and The Maw) while they were showing off their latest XBLA title – Comic Jumper.

The game's premise is simple enough – you play as Captain Smiley, the hero of a recent canceled comic book, while he hops through other comics to try to raise enough money to relaunch his own comic. If you hadn't guessed by now, the game doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's a good thing, because one of the points that stands out the most for Comic Jumper is its self referential humour. The game pokes fun at comics stereotypes and clichés in every way possible, without feeling forced. As far as the mechanics are concerned, it's a similar situation – they are as simple as they should be, without feeling lacking or forced. One interesting thing is that during the levels, the gameplay changes every so often to keep the game feeling fresh. In the first level alone it transitions from a beat 'em up, to a Contra-esque shooter, to a platformer. All of the variations in gameplay I saw felt well polished and solid, and hopefully they change of pace will help keep the game feeling fresh. The game's control scheme feels tight and responsive, adapting to whatever mechanic the game is using at the moment. There's not much more to say in that regard, though it seems that the controls get the job done, and do it well.



In the A/V department, the game looks and sounds great, especially for an XBLA title. The visuals are clean, and really sets the tone for whatever comic you're in. In the American styled “generic super hero” sections, graphical effects such as “WHAP,” “BAM,” “POW,” etc., are abundant, along with characters animated with heavily shaded edges, bright colours, and very muscled physique, while in the manga levels, everything is in greyscale, with wild hair and kanji characters abound. The game doesn't try to be anything more than it is, so the graphics are simple, but feel very fitting. The audio is just as good, with high quality voice actors, with music and sound effects to match. I wish there was more I could say about it, but with sound, there rarely is for me.



After talking with some of the guys who worked on the game, they seemed to really want to make a fun experience, that was as entertaining as they could make it, and from what I've seen, they succeeded. All in all, Comic Jumper looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty fun game, with some really nice polish to it. You can look for it on XBLA on October 6th of this year, for 1200 MSP.

Author's Note: This is the first of several post-PAX preview I'll be writing this week, letting you know how everything I had a chance to see was. Stay tuned to GameGavel.com to see what else was at PAX, and how it was!


Trevor Wagner
GameGavel.com Writer

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