The right bumper brings up the inventory screen and the bumpers can be used to scroll through the pages of it. The controls remain the same for the sidekick in co-op play. Oh and a point of interest here, if you are weighed down with some useless tat and you are some way away from a merchant, and there is no outhouse in sight, you can access the inventory and send these items to the grinder. This converts trash into cash. Useful indeed although you'll get better prices from merchants.
The left trigger charges some attacks, and the right charges up the shield. Do this correctly and it will send out a stunning wave of energy slowing some enemies for a few precious seconds. There's a lot to get to grips with but you will get used to it with a little patience.Graphics:
They look as if Terry Gilliam has discovered cell shading. Buildings look like cardboard cut-outs or have the look that they have come from a child's pop up book. The landscape is brightly coloured and again look as if they have been taken from a colouring book. This is NOT a criticism, it's the look of the game that gives it an almost fairy tale look that suits the mood of the game rather well. Some may not like the looks of this game, but I appreciated the mood set by it.Music:
I can't call it atmospheric but it suits the mood of the game nicely. It's not an outstanding soundtrack and it doesn't stick in the head either, but suits the setting nicely. To be honest you are to busy questing to take an awful lot of notice of it.Physics/Sound:
Sound effects are adequate for this title. Blows sound nice and meaty and explosions have a nice bit of 'oomph' behind them. Creature sound effects are a little samey for want of a better description, growls, hisses and the like. Maybe if they taunted our hero from time to time that would have given us an extra fun factor. Creatures react well to being caught in a blast from an explosion, and fire effects and smoke are nicely rendered for such a 'cartoony' looking game.Voice:
Vocal talent is adequate for the title. I cannot comment on lip syncing as there is none present in this game but the dialogue is suitably tongue in cheek, and borders on the cheesy from time to time but this is quite deliberate. The main character is a typical cartoon heroic buffoon, that will remind some people of the Tick. Witty asides aplenty, some mild innuendo but no bad language make this a family friendly title.Co-op/Multiplayer:
There is no multiplayer but the co-operative play is as fun as the single player mode. There are three characters to choose from, the most useful being Steve, who rides into battle on a unicorn. He can cast a rainbow that will heal the two of you in one go, and can spin sending projectiles hurtling into your foes in a deadly tornado of destructive destructiveness! The other two? Well as Steve is the only one I have had used with me, then I cannot comment on them. See for yourselves, but Steve seemed by far the obvious choice!Pros:
Bright, colourful and suitable for most members of the family aged 10 upwards. Like some other recently released titles for Xbox Live, this is a nicely priced game that will keep you amused for some time! The co-op play is both fun, challenging and satisfying but it's not essential to play this in co-op mode. It doesn't force this option upon you at all. Easy to play once you get used to how you kit out your button layouts (see below). There's also the possibility of DLC to expand the lifespan and replay value.Cons:
The deployment of items in your inventory may initially cause confusion and some undue frustration. Most quests are simple to understand as far as knowing where to go and what to do, but others are a little more confusing. Take for example, the quest that means you have to help a computer entity called Z.I.M.O.N It says as an objective you have to find the two halves of a six digit code. One half lies to the north of the Z.I.M.O.N complex, the other to the south. But the sticking point is, is it IN the complex or OUTSIDE it? Its not sure. I read it as being IN the complex but there are areas that you cannot access. Same can be said for the exterior area as well. So this one quest has been a stumbling block and has me scratching my head in confusion. I will do it, don't get me wrong but I could do without the aggro generated by the lack of clarity. This isn't the only example but this is the most obvious one that makes me say, "Well where the heck am I supposed to be going?"Final Verdict:
A fun title that will bring a slightly daft smile to most people's faces that can appreciate the humour. Inventory issues and some lack of clarity in some quests may provide moments of head scratching if not open confusion leading to slight annoyance. But on the whole, it's a fun packed, humour laced adventure that's at a decent price and I'd say at least take a look at the demo. I may even take a look at Death Spank to see what joys that had to offer. I recommend this if you are after a light hearted and fun game that provides a change from the usual RPG and first person shooter shenanigans. Worth a look.