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Old 11-03-2010, 02:02 PM   #1
pwnophobia
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[PS3] - Costume Quest Review

Costume Quest Review [PS3]

Also on: XBox 360
Developed by: Double Fine
Published by: THQ
You pay: $15 on PSN, 1200 Points on XBLA
Release Date: October 19th, 2010 (NA), October 20th, 2010 (EU)Adam 'pwnophobia' Cogswell


Trick or Treat....LET'S FIGHT!

For about the past six months I've been purposely going on "media blackouts" for a lot of games. I hate to see really amazing previews for games or movies and come out disappointed in the end. I figure if I don't go in with any expectations, there are no expectations to break. That being said, I didn't know anything about Costume Quest before I fired it up. What I got was a semi-nostalgic trip back to seventh grade when I played RPGs day and night and needed just enough of a story to keep me going.

For those of you that are like me; the ones that go on "blackout", I'll run down what Costume Quest is: an RPG. You are either a little boy or girl who sets out on a quest to save their other half after they are kidnapped. By whom you may ask? An evil sorceress decided to rob the town of all its candy the night of Halloween to appease the big man in charge. It's a cutesy, kiddy style fairy tale with a little dash of adult humor tossed in, but don't expect a Pixar quality script. Not all of the elements of a core RPG are there as there is no hardcore grinding, no random monster battles or an extensive skill tree. Instead most of the elements are dumbed down or replaced with, you guessed it, costumes.


While you make your way around the town you'll get a whole slew of side quests that you can take care of. These side quests are not needed to complete the game and only serve as a mechanism to gain more items or costumes. Costumes are the core of the game, and it is a good thing because you wouldn't have much in the way of a game without them. Each of your party members has to don a different costume, you can swap them out any time you are not in combat and they serve two roles. Before that you need to know that costumes are not always easily obtainable. Much like your special weapons in RPGs, you have to collect pieces of the costumes to get certain ones. Let's say you've got the vampire pattern from one of the towns folk, you'll need to spend your time back tracing through your previous zones using the costumes' special abilities to find pieces to the pattern(s). As I keep pointing out, this is an RPG and some of those cliches (back tracing) are always going to exist, so don't expect a small downloadable title to be any different.

On to costumes and abilities. The first is adding an ability for you to use in the world, such as roller skates to zip around with or a light saber to illuminate dark areas. As I previously mentioned these are used to interact with the world. My favorite was the ninja costume because if gave you a sneak ability so you could get past some of the bad guys without having to fight. The second purpose is to give you different stats and attacks in combat, which is controlled by quick time events. Combat is reminiscent of the old school turn based mixed in with quick time events. When your turn comes up you'll pick what you want to do, which is usually attacking because there aren't any other options, and then select the enemy by pointing a glowing circle around their feet. Some kind of prompt will appear on the screen and you'll interact with the game to get the most damage out of your attack. Do this three times in a row (for your three party members) and then you have to block by activating a quick time event. On the third round of any battle your costumes special ability is unlocked which can range from healing, stunning, more damage or even a party shield. After you've used it you've got another three rounds for it to recharge and let you use it again. Now I love turned based combat, but I like the variety that enemies and yourself can bring to it. Every battle, save the three boss battles, play out EXACTLY the same. Within three rounds everything is dead and you'll probably find yourself leaning against the chair with your controller in the air and your head in your hands.


Speaking of combat, you probably want to know how you get into it. Well, while you're in any zone you have to go Trick or Treating to advance to the next one. You'll go up to houses and knock and either get someone who is home to give you candy or a monster will answer the door and attack you. I never quite figured out how the monsters got into the houses if the people were home...but regardless that is how you level up. After a while I was spamming the confirmation button to get passed all of the cut scenes to enter combat or receive candy; I just wanted to get the trick or treating over with. While in the battle there is some quirky camera angles where it cuts off your parties' or bad dude's heads. Sometimes the boss is too big and takes up the entire screen so you have to use health display and mini-arrow to pick the bad guy rather than pointing your on-screen indicator around the enemies feet. When a battle ends you'll be rewarded with experience and candy and you're on your way to your next location.

Sticking to the theme that I can't drop, you can also upgrade your characters stats with stamps that are bought with the candy you receive throughout the game. Yep, currency is candy and you're literally getting postage stamps. One of the town's girls sells them to you and they do a variety of different things. Think of it like materia from Final Fantasy 7 without the upgrading or weapon slotting. You'll stick a stamp to your character and it'll give him a special ability or more damage and away you go. While these are fun to have you'll probably be like me and just stick to a few of them until you hit a boss battle. There isn't really a need for a few of the stamps because battle is so monotonous that you're just pro-longing each of the battles if you spend your time trying to stun rather than kill as quickly as you can. There you have it, that's it. I didn't really touch on the levelling system but it is fairly insignificant because you'll pretty much auto level as you play and you'll max out around level 10. Each level you obtain just adds a slight bit of health and damage which seems to be just enough so you're not being overwhelmed in combat.


Costume Quest will run you about five hours or a little longer if you decide to do all the side quests for trophies or achievements. Even though Double Fine (Brutal Legend) made the game, it is severely lacking in humor. To top that off there is ZERO voice acting and all of the conversations are self paced. So if you'd like the game to spoon feed you dialogue you're shit out of luck. If you're really into turn based combat you're going to love Costume Quest, because it's pretty easy to overlook the faults, such as monotonous combat, when you're wrapped up in a cutesy story. Other than that, it's just another game to play when you're bored and want something with RPG elements.....or if you couldn't stand Final Fantasy XIII.


  • Good costume variation
  • Cute story
  • A nice throw back to RPGs of old.
  • Monotonous zones and combat...zzzz
  • Self paced dialog and no voice acting.
  • -
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:45 PM   #2
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Self paced dialog gives the dialog more humour in a way though ;o
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:30 PM   #3
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The easy combat makes this seem like I will probably give up on it (or get bored) halfway through. Such was the case in Lost Odyssey.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic Pope View Post
The easy combat makes this seem like I will probably give up on it (or get bored) halfway through. Such was the case in Lost Odyssey.
I wish I could do like 1 paragraph reviews 'cause that is what I would have said. There is almost zero depth to the combat until the final boss and even then it is just about having the right stamp on.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwnophobia View Post
you can swap them out any time you are not in combat and they serve two rolls.
Mmmm, rolls.

Shame about the combat. I was eyeing this one off, but if it's really that...blah...then I won't bother unless it's heavily discounted.

Cheers for the review!
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:08 PM   #6
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I liked the game. Combat was a little over-simplified, not many options (no defend, no spells, an 'ability' slot you'll prolly use for five minutes tops), but the story was cute. I liked the humor, there was a couple laugh out loud moments for me... maybe your dislike of the combat threw you off of it? There was one area where the combat was pissing me off, and it was because I was supposed to have my third party member at that point (which I didn't, obviously). Outside of that, it wasn't spectacular but it was enough to keep the game moving.

My only real complaint was the length, but at $15 I feel I got my money's worth. Clearing the game took me 8-10 hours for a full clear (all trophies), did it in two sittings. Not sure how you couldn't get the full clear in your normal play though, unless you really tried not to.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
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Got my full gamerscore in this and was definitely not a fan. The fighting was literally the same thing each fight (all attack healer, then magician, then anybody else, in that order). Always won, no need to change strategy. Also not funny.
For the same price Deathspank was WAY better. I enjoyed that one enough to get the sequel which was also awesome.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:54 PM   #8
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God dammit, my proofers have failed me.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:23 PM   #9
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I really liked this game. I got it at release and played it heavily two nights in a row until I completely finished it.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:17 AM   #10
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I enjoyed the game. It was a nice, light gaming snack. A change of pace that was different and fun and just in time for Halloween. Not a ton of depth but it ended before I got bored.

I'm excited to see what other arcade games Double Fine is working on.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:00 AM   #11
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I would have initially given it 2 out of 5, but then I found the Arrested Development joke and called it a 3.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:15 AM   #12
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Post I should have known better :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwnophobia View Post
God dammit, my proofers have failed me.
I am "dissapoint" in my self.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:13 AM   #13
UttiniDaKilrJawa
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CQ Crash

Anyone else have issues with the Costume Quest game locking up and
crashing their system? Had that happen like 3 times already. Like the game
just want to play more of it.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:15 AM   #14
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Clear your cache.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:26 PM   #15
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Not a fan of how the game wrests control of the dialogue speed out of gamers hands. You have to read fast half the time to catch it all. My kids basically have given up trying. Which is lame because this is a great game for them. 3.5 would be my rating. The combat is good for the younger crowd, kind of easy and boring for the older crowd.
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