ADVENTURE TIME: PIRATES OF THE ENCHIRIDION
It’s about time the land of Ooo hosted a proper action-RPG
Every generation has a TV cartoon it discovers young, but which stays with it for life. For those who had reached a sentient state by 2008, when it first aired, Cartoon Network’s
Adventure Time will surely fulfil that role. Following the adventures of a boy called Finn and his magical, morphing yellow-orange dog Jake in the bizarre land of Ooo, Adventure Time may be kid-friendly, with a subtly moral tale delivered in each episode, but it’s so gloriously surreal and gleefully weird that it has plenty of adult appeal, too. It’s pretty much the only cartoon series that any parent can safely watch with their offspring without thinking the words: “Kill me now”.
Previous games based on the show have been horrifically amateurish. This, mercifully, isn’t. Developed by veteran British outfit Climax Studios, and published by Bandai Namco, it’s a proper, open-world action-RPG that takes some cues from the Zelda games, has an excellent turn-based battling system and completely nails
Adventure Time’s signature mix of humor, cuteness, and weirdness.
Time for adventure
The game begins with Finn and Jake indulging in a spot of stargazing in the boat that sits handily atop their house. The next day, they wake up to discover that the whole of Ooo has been mysteriously flooded. Swiftly commandeering a bigger, faster boat, they set out to find out what happened and save the day, beginning their quest in the Ice Kingdom, which has melted, thus causing the flood.
Various gameplay mechanics are swiftly introduced, most notably a classic turn-based battle system which is pretty simple to grasp, but has plenty of depth thanks to an action-points system that lets you perform special attacks, along with a vast inventory of objects that heal, cure, or buff basic attacks.
There are puzzle sequences, too— often involving a character’s special ability. Marceline, the guitar-wielding Vampire Queen, for example, can turn herself invisible for short periods, so must often undertake stealth sequences. And there are hilarious interrogation sequences in which you must decide whether to make Jake and Finn play good cop or bad cop.
Unsurprisingly, given its young target audience, Pirates Of The
Enchiridion is pretty forgiving. It’s littered with smashables that provide in-game cash and useful objects, along with shops that transform the former into the latter. It also has an unexpectedly sophisticated levelingup system that lets you upgrade individual attributes with cash, so you can shape your party to your preferred battle-style.
Pirates Of The Enchiridion will delight any Adventure Time fan. It’s consistently funny—it can even make you grin in the course of a battle—and brilliantly captures the essence of the TV series all the way through. And when viewed purely as an RPG, it has a surprising amount of credibility. At last, there’s an Adventure Time game which is truly worth playing. ■
“It nails AT’s mix of humor, cuteness, and weirdness”
rig ht You gradually assemble a full team including Marceline and BMO , the sentient Game Boy.