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Costume Quest 2 (PlayStation 3) artwork

Costume Quest 2 (PlayStation 3) review


"Unfortunately it is more of the same with less of the charm."


Much like a few years ago when I played the original, I just played Costume Quest 2 during the Halloween season in hopes that it would spark happy memories of my time trick-or-treating as a youth. Some of the magic of the original game remains here, but overall I was mainly just reminded of how much I had thought Costume Quest would need quite a bit of changes if it were to be revived. Costume Quest 2 is an amazing chance for the developer to change things up and make the game magical again. Unfortunately it is more of the same with less of the charm.

In Costume Quest 2, you once again take on the roll of brother and sister Reynold and Wren and their friends as they use their Halloween costumes in the turn-based RPG battles they encounter as they go trick-or-treating. The story is not so straightforward this time around. The kids are facing a dentist who has created a future world without candy. The kids must go time traveling to stop this from happening. The dentist has allied himself with the monsters from the first game.

Gameplay is basically identical to the first game. You land in an area and go trick-or-treating door to door in the town (or alternately you go door to door for some other reason). Sometimes you get candy (which can be used as currency), sometimes you get a random battle. There are also random enemies wandering around that you can fight. There are also tons of sidequests, including the return of the “find hiding kids around the area” quest.

Battles are turn-based affairs where you select who each of your three characters will attack. Pressing buttons as prompted on-screen will increase your attack power and also help you defend against enemy attacks. Unfortunately the battle system is nearly identical to the original's. That system is fun, but wears thin after a few hours. Since this is the sequel and it is the same, you start at thin and progress straight into boring. You can employ strategies in the fights, such as de-buffing enemies, but you can win most battles handily by just using normal attacks and super attacks whenever they are charged up. Like the first game there are little powers you can buy and equip, but I found it all to be pretty pointless as I knew I was facing tons of battles that I could just breeze through without thinking. There are a ton of costumes, each with unique animations and powers, but they mostly aren't quite as cool as the original, with the exception of a handful, like Thomas Jefferson, who is hilarious, and the solar system, which is just plain cool.

Moving around the areas also just doesn't seem as charming as the original. In the first Costume Quest I would talk to everyone twice and hit them just to hear what they would say. The dialogue in that game is hilarious. Here, only a handful of people in the whole game have the same level of writing as the first game. The original game seemed infused all-over with a great sense of cleverness and wit. Here that is limited to just a few spots. Those few spots, especially some of the things that happen through time travel and the shenanigans you can do with the Thomas Jefferson costume, are great reminders of how cool a Costume Quest game can be, but they are, like, 90% less prevalent than the first game.

Unfortunately, Costume Quest 2 is just a worse version of the original in every way, and the original's battle system wears out its welcome by the time you finish the first game. Since the sequel is almost identical in gameplay, that means it's pretty much dead in the water. My suggestion to the developer would be to completely re-do the battle system. Give a tactical battle system likeDisgaea's the same streamlining process you gave Final Fantasy to get the original battle system. And give the script a few more passthroughs to make sure it really shines like the first game's did. The few really great moments of Costume Quest 2 are barely worth the slog to see, although they are cool. They did nail the soundtrack though, from the kooky-spooky Halloween music to the down-the-bayou sounds of the New Orleans area. It's a 2 out of 5, though.

2/5

Robotic_Attack's avatar
Community review by Robotic_Attack (November 19, 2015)

Robotic Attack reviews every game he plays... almost.

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