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Arkedo Series 01 - JUMP Review

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by GaMeR, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. GaMeR

    GaMeR
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    Platform: Xbox Indie Games (Xbox 360)
    Price: 240 MSP / $3 USD
    [​IMG]

    Arkedo has made their mark before via the Nintendo DS with Nervous Brickdown as well as Big Bang Mini and has recently ventured into the Xbox 360 by bringing us a fun retro platformer with both impressive 2D graphics and fun gameplay for only $3.

    Gameplay:
    You take control of a pixelated man who has only one ability, the power to jump. Unlike Mario however, this character can't jump on top of enemies (mainly crabs and skeletons) to kill them but he can avoid them with his impressive leaping skills. While you can't directly attack enemies, some levels contain a sword power-up that you can store and use when necessary. It will allow you to throw a sword at an enemy and kill it. This is not necessary though as the game can be completed without killing any enemies but it sure does make it easier at times to wipe out a certain enemy as you don't have to worry about avoiding them.

    The objective in each level is to collect a set of ticking bombs before they go off. There's an indicator on the top right hand corner of your screen telling you how many bombs are left. This indicator neglects to tell you how much time is left on the timer though which means that you'll have to find the bombs to find out as each bomb has a small number on it showing how many seconds are left. Generally speaking, most bombs last over 100 seconds but a couple explode much quicker depending on the level. As for the bomb quantity, this varies depending on the level as well.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that the developer decided to make this concept a bit more interesting by hiding some bombs in piggy banks in certain levels. In order to collect these bombs you need to collect enough cash to open the piggy bank which adds a bit of strategy to the game as sometimes a fast ticking bomb will be enclosed and it might be wiser to collect the slower ones first and then open up the quick one when you'll actually have time to get to it.

    Aside from that, collecting cash didn't seem to have any other purpose, at least in the "Adventure" mode. Before I get into the other game mode, I'd like to point out a couple of other things. There are no continues or save points, so once you lose, you have to start from level one again. While this might sound frustrating, it's not so bad as the game isn't extremely difficult. The game also tries to lighten things up a bit by displaying some humorous messages when you die. Also, you can't exit to the main menu which is a bit annoying, instead you either have to exit out the game via the dashboard controls or lose all your lives to get to the main menu again. Although technically this is not really a problem as assuming you haven't unlocked the other game mode, there's no reason to go to the main menu.

    As for completing the adventure mode, I got fairly far in my first attempt but ultimately completed it in my second attempt after I racked up a few more lives by collecting the life power-ups found in several levels. This mode contained a total of 30 levels which didn't take long to complete but it was definitely enjoyable. In addition, the game is not all about platforming. There are some minor puzzle elements as well but it's all straightforward stuff so there's no need to refer to guides and whatnot.

    Now to talk about the other game mode called "Challenges". It's unlocked once you've completed the game and it features every level in the adventure mode plus one extra level that is unlocked once you've completed all the challenges. Each challenge requires you to play the level as you did before in the adventure but this time it's required to collect every cash item. If you fail to collect every cash item, you won't get credit for completing it and will have to redo it. You are not forced to play through each level in order, instead, you can choose which challenge you'd like to do and do it at your own pace which I thought was quite nice. However, you do need to complete all the challenges to unlock the "secret" stage which was the hardest one in my opinion. That level took me several retries to complete, trial and error is your best friend. I'd recommend just exploring the level first without collecting all the cash and then actually do it the "right" way. After you've completed the 31st level, you'll get a message from the developers congratulating you. At that point, you have completed the game 100%. The challenges mode should take you a bit longer than the adventure mode to complete so you can expect at least another 2 hours of gameplay from it especially due to that last stage unless you're really good at platformers.

    Graphics & Audio:
    The 2D retro graphics are amazing, both the sprites and background elements were all well crafted. This game probably has the best 2D graphics when compared to all the currently available Xbox Indie Games. As for the audio, the retro music was quite enjoyable along with the sound effects.

    Replay value:
    Completing the "Adventure" mode will unlock the "Challenges" mode which should extend the gameplay as stated before. However, once both those modes have been fully completed the only other replay value will stem from the available modes themselves. If you really enjoyed the game you'll be inclined to replay it again as I did several times and while it's unfortunate that you can not keep track of how many lives you completed the game with automatically, you could always manually do this yourself. Another possible approach is to attempt completing the game without dying by either restarting it on your own once you've died or purposely losing several lives in the first level so that the game will automatically end once you've run out of lives.

    Overall:
    I thoroughly enjoyed this 2D retro platformer and am definitely looking forward to future Xbox Indie Games from Arkedo. While the game was on the short side, it was definitely worth the asking price, and I'll definitely be replaying it from time to time. Also, while the concept of not attacking your enemies might sound lame, this game proves it can actually be fun. Therefore, the full game is a must for any fan of retro platformers or anyone else looking for a fun visually appealing game with some reasonable difficulty at an incredible price. With a few more successful sequels, the pixelated dude found in Arkedo could be the "Mario" of the Xbox Indie Games section.

    Pros:
    +Amazing graphics
    +Excellent retro gameplay
    +Reasonable difficulty
    +Great price
    +Fun to replay

    Cons:
    -Lack of a harder difficulty mode although level 31 kind of made up for it

    As you can see, the pros heavily outweigh the cons and as such, Arkedo Series 01 - Jump! deserves it's 9/10 rating. While it's not the longest nor most innovative game on the Xbox Indie Games platform, it's certainly a short but fun experience that you won't forget. Get the trial, the gameplay will then speak for itself.
     
  2. Mexicutioner

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    I like the review its detail and goes in depth.
     
  3. GaMeR

    GaMeR
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    Yeah I tend to get a bit too detailed at times, but I think it's all within reason although with these under $5 games there's not much thinking involved, you can usually get a good idea of what to expect from the trial with the exception of a few titles. But it's still good to skim through the review at the very least just to get an idea of what to expect from the game as sometimes some positive things are not quite visible in the trial.
     
  4. Munchykid12

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    Looks really good! It looks like one of those games that you'll beat really fast, but then come back to play just because of how fun it is! I'm seriously thinking of getting it, it looks really great.


    P.S. 500th post!
     
  5. DarkTang

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    The game kinda sounds like MeatBoy. Iunno if you've heard of it but I've played it on Kongregate from time to time. Is the game weird with the fact that you can't jump on top of enemies to kill them? I haven't really been introduced to the Indie Games on XBLA, been really out of the loop. Haha, anyway thanks for the contest :D
     
  6. GaMeR

    GaMeR
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    Yeah I know which game you're talking about, it's not exactly like it as MeatBoy emphasizes more on wall jumps and whatnot which is not an element present in Arkedo Jump! but in terms of platforming, I guess you could strike some sort of connection between the two. Also, the objectives are quite different as in Meat Boy you have to get to the end whereas in this game you NEED to collect those bombs, you can't just reach the end.
     
  7. jigsawhc

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    Great review. I'm not sure I agree with your "Con" because I found it pretty hard even in the trial. Maybe I'm not that good though.
     
  8. budz

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    Although I have yet to play the trial (which I ALWAYS do before a buy a game), I can see the appeal in some sweet old school platforming. It sounds like an odd mix of mario bros. and frogger (since you can't touch the enemies!). If the levels aren't overly frustrating and the presentation isn't TOO bland from the demo, then I might take the plunge (even without multiplayer and achievements!)
     
  9. disabled7239

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    Going to have to get the trail. Anything reviewed this highly is worth a shot!
     
  10. polo14player

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    good review, but i'd have to say that i disagree with you on one point. I beileve that this game is way to short and there is no replayibility to justify the price! i'd gladly pay 80 ms points for this, but thats it, or u can pick me and i would gladly accept it. I agree with u on everything else - old school = awesome, thanks and have a great day!
     
  11. rinninja

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    the game its quite good, i was trying the demo 2 weeks ago, first it remind me ot nintendo's mario, jump and run and a lot of fun :) the design is very good,simple colored, and somehow its soft!!! and the coding its also very good, its not hard to move, the camera take y to the close view also, its nice thing ;) very thoughtful.

    I didnt know a lot of thing about the game, coz demo is too short.. now from the review i know a lot more, and there not a lot of reviews or talk for this game, and if they r actually most of them are not good, maybe coz ppl do notplay indie games.. i think that Arcedo Jump 01 is the best indie game made for now, i see that this week was release the second Arcedo 02 :) for sure i know it will be good like the first ( hehehe 3-4 min playing the demo can tell me that very easy ;) )
     
  12. BitLooter

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    Hmmm, interesting. Seems vaguely like Lode Runner with time bombs. I do wish there were some screens to go with this review, though.
     
  13. kuru77

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    Great review! I loved the graphics and art design of the game. I figured that the game might just be some sort of bad indie game, but I now regret my first impressions after playing the trial. I guess it just shows that you can't judge a game based on the cover. :)

    I also had no idea that there wasn't a save function until I read your review, but I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. It would make the game feel like a classic NES game, like Super Mario Bros. The one thing that sort of got on my nerves was that you couldn't jump on enemies. This doesn't take away from the overall feel of the game (and I guess it does add some difficulty), but it would have been nice to be able to do so.

    Once again, great review! I can't wait to play the full game soon. :)
     
  14. DJGeki

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    Lots of levels, retro gameplay and music? Count me in!! I'll buy this if I don't win it first :)
     
  15. Jrittmayer

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    Great review, I don't usually buy Indy games but you guys give me areason to give one a try!
     
  16. firo773

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    At a first glimpse it looks like a mario knockoff. But reading further it seems to be a decent little sidescroller type game.
     

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