Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Unfinished Review: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

I picked this little gem up in the Steam Canadian Indie Bundle along with some other sweet games which I don't remember.  I don't remember them because SB:S&SEP is the only game I played from the list.  Well I played Shank for about a minute before I realized it's meant for a gamepad and uninstalled it.

Considering I have a deaf roommate I will have two separate verdicts which I'll give to you right now.  If you're deaf I wouldn't suggest this game.  It might be cool with it's psuedo-Zelda-y/LucasArts-adventure-game-y gameplay, but the 'EP' on the end of the title kind of says it all.  The music by Jim Guthrie is amazing and I can and I have listened to the soundtrack for hours on end (which came with the game at no extra cost!).  It also has a really quirky art style which is enjoyable and quite unique.

I'm not really sure how to express how awesome this game is, because it truly is a sum of all parts.  The tiny things in it like clicking on the water to make splashes or the subtle musical changes or the expressiveness of a single pixel come together in just a fantastic mix of game.

Plus, it's full of video game mythos, which is always a plus.

From a technical standpoint, I have a few issues but it certainly doesn't detract from the experience of the game.  After each chapter has been finished it tells you to take a break and then sends you back to the main menu.  I'm alright with this if it only gave you the option of continuing on.  However, from a purely work ethic point of view this is quite good as once I'm back to the main menu I just quit and get back to doing what I should be doing.

Clicking isn't as intuitive as it should be for moving your character across the screen, but really it's a minor problem. 

A gameplay issue I have is that there is quite a bit of backtracking like in all adventure games, but really the visuals and the music make it seem like less of a chore, and more of the adventure.

One cool user interface thingy is the spinning record at the title screen.  If you click and drag the record, you can control the music that's playing.  Quite fun, but it would have been nice if going counter-clockwise played the music backward, and depending on the speed at which you spun the record would change the tempo of the song.  But any sort of interactivity on menus is always a plus.

So again, if you're deaf, this might not be such a fun game, but if you can hear music then check out this game.  It's short, only five hours or so (and I still haven't beaten it, being only at 54% clocking in around three hours), but I find that the shorter a game is the better the quality is, and that certainly holds true for SB:S&SEP.

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