Review: Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

Adventure Time TSOTNK PS3Platform: PS3/PC

Developer: WayForward Technologies

Publisher: Little Orbit

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Official Site

 

Score: A- (90%)

In the Nameless Kingdom, there’s a huge shop early on that “sells” nothing but the clay vases Finn been smashing to bits in that first dungeon you went through that opens the game. Finn can’t actually BUY a vase at all as far as I can tell. He can only lift one up to carry around and eventually try to leave with it. Or he can smash as many as he can with a weapon or just throw that lifted vase to the ground, breaking it. The only thing that happens when he does any of those things is an alarm goes off and a timer starts ticking down. Fifteen seconds later, a guard from the castle grabs Finn and then he’s outside the shop. When you go back inside, the clerk/owner scolds you a little and that’s that. Well, that is until later in the game when you discover a way to really get that guy’s attention by busting every jar at once. Such is the weird world of Adventure Time.

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But that one event and its oddball randomness yet familiar to the show sameness is neither here nor there. The third time’s the charm (and how!) for WayForward Technologies with Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom being the best of the three games they’ve made to date with Finn and company. This latest title is clearly influenced by Nintendo’s older games in The Legend of Zelda franchise to the point that it feels like a really spectacular mod that happens to be Adventure Time related. It’s also a surprisingly tough game, or not so surprisingly tough if you’re well versed in how this style of game should be played. There’s no hand-holding here, you learn what needs to be done by observing the environment and enemies while paying attention to (and using) what’s in your inventory. You’ll very likely get stuck in spots, but the game has enough hidden stuff and offbeat side quests that make up for the vagueness it often bashes you on the head with…

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Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom Saves My Sanity This Week…

Okay, between the kitchen ceiling and walls here STILL not being repaired (oh, it’s a comedy of errors on the whys and hows of that nonsense – worth a post in of itself, but I’ll do that tomorrow or Thursday) and me pulling what’s left of my hair out at other things, I’m glad to have one nice diversion today: Little Orbit’s Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom. WayForward Technologies has cooked up a very inspired top-down adventure with gameplay and aesthetics that are going to be VERY familiar to fans of a certain marquee mascot character. Okay, the game is a shameless homage to the sprite-based Legend of Zelda games, but I’d say that Link HAS to be jealous. Why? Well, he’s only in a big deal fighting game and a nice non-canon beat-’em-up this year on two platforms while Finn is in a game that’s actually a solid Zelda adventure with Adventure Time humor packed into it.

Okay, let me get back to it. Tomorrow, another wall gets partially knocked in and I hope to heck there’s not anything leaky behind it, grrrr… Oh yeah, a bunch of AAA titles arrived today, but I’m not playing any of them (yet).

Friday Mail: More Work (and I’m Not Complaining)…

NamBan Thank You Man
 
Well, there’s nothing like coming home after a trying day to a nice surprise or two. Tales of Hearts R is being played as we speak (or as I type) and so far it’s quite a bit of fun. Er, wacky humor aside. I think this may be the kookiest localized Tales game I’ve played, but let’s see how it goes. I haven’t seen nor heard “rapscallion” used in a sentence in about three months, but I’d guess that some of you out there have never heard or seen the word at all. What does it mean? Um, you know how to use the internet, don’t you, ya whippersnappers? Look it up!

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Um, spoilers? Nah, not really, angry Tales fans wanting to beat me with a busted controller right about now. These two scenes happen so early in the game that you’ll not get the context unless you’ve played the import already. Even then, I’d bet the original Japanese isn’t as goofy.

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Anyway, back to it. It’s going to be a stupidly busy weekend and upcoming week here. CES Unveiled, some reviews to catch upon, too many previews and hopefully a certain developer will get back to be about a really bag bug in a game I need to review. There’s nothing worse in a game about killing bugs than a game-killing bug that stops things cold is all I’ll say. If it’s not my console acting up and in fact it IS a bad bug, then at least one review I’ve been pointed to by a friend needs to come down.

Granted, any fix probably won’t change the reviewer’s opinion one bit. But hell, it’s best to be fair to the developer and say you’ve actually completed the game you posted an unfavorable notice about rather than just knock out something that’s not constructive at all that doesn’t even mention the issue.

Far Cry 4 Also Gets The Soundtrack Treatment…

Far Cry 4 OSTCliff Martinez, formerly a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and composer of some fine film scores (“Traffic,” “Drive, ” “Spring Breakers”) is also the main man behind the tunes to Ubisoft’s upcoming FPS, Far Cry 4. Working with Ubisoft Montreal’s Music Designer for the game, Jerome Angelot, Music Supervisor Simon Landry and Audio Director Tony Gronick, Martinez has created an original score meant to flow flawlessly with the game’s action and cinematic sequences. While the game’s soundtrack won’t be getting the big deluxe box treatment Rockstar is giving Grand Theft Auto V, it’s a more than solid enough set of tunes to add to your own music library (especially if you’re a soundtrack collector).

Of his collaboration on the soundtrack with Ubisoft, Martinez says:

“It was an honor to be asked to write the music for the Far Cry 4 game as my first full-length video game soundtrack,” said Cliff Martinez. “It was exciting for me to be asked to take my usual minimalistic cinematic approach to the immersive game world. Any game where you can ride on a rampaging elephant is a project you can’t turn down!”

Well, I’m listening to the music as I type this post and really feel as if I’m in some very dangerous foreign land about to go on some rather wild adventure. Granted, I’m typing this post in a public place, so the worst that can happen is some old guy bumbles by and drops a hot cup of coffee on my shoe. But hey, I’ll settle for that tiny bit of excitement over dodging digital bullets and rampaging elephants any day of the week. Anyway, the Far Cry 4 Original Game Soundtrack digital edition will release worldwide on November 4, the limited 2-CD edition will release on December 2 in North America and on December 9 in Europe, and the limited 3-LP edition will release in January 2015. Far Cry 4 will be available November 18 worldwide for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

Dragon Age Inquisition Updates Keep You Twitching and Choosing…

So, the final (but not quite final I’d bet) push is here as Electronic Arts and BioWare even more heavily promote Dragon Age Inquisition, the upcoming BioWare-developed epic RPG set for release November 18. While the game is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360, it’s the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions that are getting the most attention from many fans and pretty much every critic set to review it. Those versions should clearly show the developer making the game they wanted to make from the beginning of this popular franchise, although one can only imagine how future games will look once older hardware becomes less common.

There is also an intriguing and optional social feature currently in beta called Dragon Age Keep that looks to immerse fans even more completely into the world of Dragon Age as they learn every bit of lore from previous games and even share their progress in the new adventure as they play. Check it out:

if you’re Twitching for more Dragon Age, fear not. EA and BioWare have you covered this coming Thursday with a live stream of the game’s multiplayer component starting at 10:00AM PST (that’s 1:00PM EST) on the developer’s Twitch channel. This content will include the following:

  • Three Multiplayer Maps: The team will be showing three destinations: Elven Ruins, Orlesian Chateau and Tevinter Ruins.

 

  • Three Multiplayer Characters: The team will be showing character progression on the three unlocked starter characters: Legionnaire, Keeper and Archer.

 

  • Tips & Tricks: The team will be walking viewers through core tips and tricks on how to be successful in Dragon Age multiplayer. They will also touch on Ability Trees, Chests, and Crafting.

 

  • Live Q&A: Producer Scylla Costa and Associate Producer Billy Buskell will be taking questions from viewers live during the stream.

 

Who:                     Dragon Age multiplayer Producers Scylla Costa and Billy Buskell

What:                   Dragon Age multiplayer gameplay feature 3 maps, 3 multiplayer characters, and Q&A.

When:                  Thursday, November 6th at 10:00AM PST / 1:00PM EST

Where:                http://www.twitch.tv/bioware

 

That should tide you over until the game is finally launched on November 18, 2014 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows.

Get A Free BMW! Well, If You Own Gran Turismo 6, That Is…

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Your November just got a lot brighter, car fans. If you’re still playing the spectacular Gran Turismo 6 on your PlayStation 3, you’ll be very pleased to know that you’re getting a new car to drive pretty soon. Yesterday at the 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, BMW and Polyphony Digital, Inc. revealed that he rare BMW M Performance M4 Safety Car will be making an appearance in the game as a Free DLC update later this month… Continue reading

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom Goes for the Gold!

Adventure Time TSotNKDeveloper WayForward Technologies is finally all done with Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, sending the game off on its merry way to be cleaned and pressed and ready for its November 18 launch on the PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Nintendo 3DS.

How will it stack up to previous Adventure Time games? Ooo, I bet Finn or Jake know… but aren’t telling a single THING because they want you all to be kept in sus-pense until the game drops into retail and onto a digital delivery site near you. Personally, I’m a fan of both the developer and the show, so I’ll play this any way ’til Sunday just for laughs. WayForward rarely disappoints with its games, so I’m going in with half a smile on my face just to give the experience some extra, um… sus-pense!. Say, you look like you’re starving – have some screenshots:

BananaHurl FinnBananaFireAntsShelby Hack IceKing&Finn SlumberPrincess SPWolf

Um… okay. You didn’t HAVE to eat them all at once, greedy! Well, back in a bit with some impressions, then.

PlayStation Store’s Sale of the Dead Brings You Some Scary Good Bargains…

PSN Sale of the Dead Banner(shakes fist at monitor)… Stupid Sony. Having another PSN sale on some stuff I might want just when I’m poking around for something light and kind of fluffy to play between bigger games. Yeah, I got Dead Nation (finally) for under 4 bucks, but stopped there because I do have some things to take care of here outside the gaming sphere. Anyway, check out the long list of games, movies and TV shows (okay, mostly movies and TV shows, as the game presence is a bit limited this week) for some decent deals if you’re looking to stock up on content for one of your consoles or that Vita you’re not telling anyone you own for some oddball reason.

Or, hell… at least get Dead Nation if you own a Vita. It’s a ton of fun so far and I just may want someone around to hop online with in the not too distant future…

Stuff I Need to Play (at Some Point): Pier Solar and the Great Architects (PC)


 
Yaaah! When did this slip out? Oh, September 30? Well, I wasn’t paying attention, but this one’s on my list of too many games to buy and play. *Sigh*… well, given that I have the Genesis version here and have made it about halfway through, I know what to expect already. That said, the HD visual upgrade makes this one the one I’ll probably default to once it gets purchased. So many games… so little time, grrrr!

Minecraft PlayStation Vita Edition: Well, I Just May Need This After All…


 
Yes, other than dinking around for about two hours on a friend’s PC a while back, I’ve avoided playing Minecraft. But with the Vita version on the way NOW available on PSN (the retail version is coming a bit later), I can finally see what the fuss is about on my platform of choice. It certainly looks pretty darn goon running on the handheld and I trust Aram (Hey, wasn’t he at Atlus for a while? Yes he was!) when he says it’s the best version of the game. Hmmm. I’ll probably need to shell out for a new memory card as well, as my current one is just about full and it’s time to pay the piper, grrrrr. I wish those things weren’t so expensive, as it’s one thing that’s keeping a very small segment of gamers away from the Vita as a viable handheld. The system has plenty of games on it, but it gets hit by some folks for having not enough variety, being underutilized by some developers and so forth and so on. Eh, I like mine just fine, thanks. I just wish Sony knew how to promote the thing a bit better…