More Reviews
REVIEWS Astro A38 Wireless Headset Review
With the launch of the A38s, Astro has clearly shown that they can rock our eardrums off even if we aren’t sitting in our living rooms.

Destiny Review
With Bungie's leap to next-generation platforms and interstellar space closer to home, I wonder if E.T. is out there somewhere.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Skylanders Trap Team Preview
While younger gamers have flocked to the brand, more mature consumers remain reluctant to jump on board. Skylanders move forward with trappable enemies, though I doubt it’ll turn stubborn heads.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

Alien: Isolation
Release date: 10/07/14

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: 10/14/14

The Evil Within
Release date: 10/14/14


LATEST FEATURES Assassin's Creed Unity Interview: Ubisoft Talks Multplayer, Next-Gen Development, More
Ubisoft's first "truly" next-gen entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise takes the fight to France. Here's what you can expect.

PlayStation Download September 2014 - Updating Each Week
Sony's platforms always get plenty of new digital software and we'll bring you the list each week with the rest.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
A Letter to the Big “N"
By shandog137
Posted on 09/12/14
I have and will continue to have a place in my heart for Nintendo. In fact, my first console was a Super Nintendo. The video game market has changed drastically since the early '90s and it seems like what once was platinum is more so along the lines of silver now. Nintendo has always been...

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.



More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


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


More On GameRevolution