More Reviews
REVIEWS Boss! Review
PlayStation Vita owners looking to exercise a little frustration can look to this rather low-fi title about creating a monster and destroying everything in your path.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX Review
Part 2 of Square-Enix and Disney's cooperative compilation cash-cow is ready to milk the series for another go, but does the milk taste sweet or is it spoiled?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Evolve Preview
With multiplayer action set as its focus, Evolve surprised us earlier this month by introducing a single-player campaign mode where you can switch between mercenaries.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Kalimba
Release date: Out Now

Persona 5
Release date: 12/31/14

Motorcycle Club
Release date: 01/01/15

Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk
Release date: 01/14/15


LATEST FEATURES Downloadable Content Walks the Line Between Fun and Frenzied in Middle-earth
I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Gamers
If this awful trend is going to persist, you may as well do it your way.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Black Friday 2014 Video Game Deals Buyer's Guide
Looking to score the most bang for your buck the day after Thanksgiving? Well look no further! Our Black Friday guide is just the tool you need.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! Review

blake_peterson By:
Blake_Peterson
12/02/13
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER D3 Publisher 
DEVELOPER WayForward 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E10+ Contains Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief

What do these ratings mean?

As the Earl of Lemongrab would say, UNACCEPTABLE!!!!?

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW is WayForward Studios' second outing with the franchise, following the 3DS/DS game, Hey Ice King, Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!!, which was a respectable Zelda II clone, if a little short. Here, WayForward has taken the old-school aesthetic and applied it to a dungeon crawler.

Let's talk about the good news first. The game keeps in line even more with the aesthetic of the television show than the prior one was. It has cut-scenes that are presented as moving 8-bit animatics, like the ones in the original Ninja Gaiden NES games, but with full voice-over by the cast of the show. This fits very well with the show's style, and on the Wii U, Finn the Human and Jake the Dog's living video game console, BMO, sits on the bottom screen and makes adorable commentary on the items you collect.



Storywise it feels very much like an episode of the show. Princess Bubblegum has captured a ton of dangerous criminals and placed them in a huge dungeon under her castle. But something strange is releasing the criminals, and it's up to Finn the Human (and an increasing number of playable characters you unlock) to beat down the criminals and find the source that's breaking them out. In standard Adventure Time fare it's handled with whimsy and a great deal of imagination.

I wish the same could be said for the gameplay, though. A top-down dungeon crawler with randomly generated dungeons, Explore the Dungeon isn't inherently bad. You can choose from a number of different characters with special abilities and different power moves to aid you on your quest, and the 16-bit pseudo 3D-style fits with WayForward's retro aesthetic, but it has some classic problems, like weird hitbox detection (especially with ranged attacks) and annoying enemy attack patterns.

None of this is particularly a dealbreaker at first. There are some changes to the environmental skins, with no real changes to function, and enemy types become more difficult as you go, which unfortunately become monotonous quickly. The gameplay highlights are the boss battles that directly reference episodes and characters of the show and often require context-sensitive actions. Destroying enemies or finding gold allows you to buy upgrades, and opening chests can grant you expendable character buffs that can be placed in a limited number of slots.



One major problem with the game is that the leveling and buff system are mismanaged. Leveling feels like you never quite have enough money for the upgrades you need unless you scour the levels for all the gold in them. You can only return to the game's hub where you can upgrade every five levels (getting killed means starting the five levels over from the beginning). Additionally, returning to the hub erases your character buffs, meaning you have to apply new ones you've found, which may not be as good as your old ones.

What is absolutely a dealbreaker is the crazy difficulty of the last fifteen levels. Even with the game being intended for local co-op, these levels are large, the enemies are harder to kill with annoying and more ridiculous patterns of attack, and it feels like a whole lot of artificially increased difficulty and map size to pad out the game's end. While the exploration of the dungeons is fine in the earlier levels, the size of them, with no map or hints towards locating the exit makes these levels both maddeningly tedious and difficult to negotiate. Even BMO's cuteness loses its charm after a while, though you can turn off it's voice in the options menu.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! does a great job of managing and working with the story, characters, and feel of the franchise, but unfortunately doesn't have the gameplay to match, especially at a $40 retail price. If you're interested in the narrative and the chance to play as your favorite characters, wait for the price to come down to $15-20, more in keeping with the kind of downloadable title this game feels like.
 
Copy provided by publisher. Review based on Wii U version. Also available on Xbox 360, PS3, PC.
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
fullfullhalfemptyempty
  • Really nails the feel of the animated series
  • Co-op gameplay is enjoyable
  • Intense difficulty at the end
  • Gets monotonous
  • Tediously large levels at the end
  • No map
  • Mismanaged upgrade system
Reviews by other members
No member reviews for the game.


FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!