GAME NAME: Costume Quest 2
DEVELOPER(S): Midnight City
PUBLISHER(S): Double Fine Productions
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U
RELEASE DATE(S): October 30th, 2014
When Costume Quest originally launched back in 2010 for the PS3 and Xbox 360 I at first past it by. Then when October rolled around and I saw it on the PlayStation Store on sale I decided it to give it a go, trying to be festive with the upcoming Halloween holiday in mind. I was pleasantly surprised, as Costume Quest was able to blend a light-hearted story with simplistic RPG battle elements that made for a shockingly deep experience even for a rather short indie game (I consider 6 hours short for an RPG). I was super stoked when Double Fine announced a sequel was on it’s way and it would be making it to my favorite indie platform, the Wii U.
The story picks right up after the first and it’s expansion. Wren and Reynolds are out on Halloween again, but this time with the goal to stop Dr. Orel White from ridding the world of the Trick-or-Treat shenanigans of the holiday. The nefarious doctor teams up with a time wizard and that’s where the story because confusing and wacky. You are then sent to a future without candy or trick-or-treating. You see your friends from the past, now married, who help you go to the past to stop the events from happening. I’ve never been a fan of time traveling stories and this one unfortunately is no different. Some of the different locals that you will be in are a bayou in the south and a futuristic city controlled by Dr. White. I miss the “go around the neighborhood and eliminate the goblin” theme from the first and I feel the biggest area where this game suffers is from the story.
Where Costume Quest 2 succeeds though is the slight overhaul of the battle system. Back is the turn-based battle system from the first. If you have never played Costume Quest, the system to similar to the Mario & Luigi RPG games on Nintendo’s portable consoles. As you attack the enemy, you have a chance to do greater damage by hitting the button again at the right time. You are helped with timing as a larger circle condenses and becomes equal to a smaller circle. Later on you can add yet another chain to the attack if your timing is right. This also goes the same for defensive purposes.
To mix up your special attacks and go along with the name of the game are costumes. Some of the costumes you start out with are the dreaded Candy Corn, where you are basically a damage sponge who just spouts out nonsense about Halloween, to Thomas Jefferson, a clown suit, a wizard, pterodactyl and more. Some of the unique skills of each costume are the clown will use laughter to heal your party or the pterodactyl will use a hard attack to damage an enemy more severely. These costumes can also help you with your exploration of the world. The pterodactyl for instance, will allow you to flap it’s wings to get past piles of leaves that may be blocking your path or the clown can use it’s horn to garner street cred as a musician to later join a jazz band.
Another aspect that mixes up the game are the Creepy Treat Cards, which remind me of Garbage Pail Kids in a way. These will stat pad you or grant you XP bonuses to level up quicker. The effects of the cards usually last a few battles but I’d recommend saving the really good ones for the tougher fights. A lot of these can be bought from Shady the goods dealer. He also sells power-ups for your costumes at the cost of your hard earned candy.
Graphically not much has changed which is a good thing. It’s the same art style that was used in the first which was great then and is still wonderful now. I did notice that the water and the reflections in the bayou were better then anything I saw in the first so there are some upgrades but it’s not a overhaul. The music and soundtrack are okay at best but nothing too memorable and gets repetitive quick.
I loved the original game in 2010 when it first launched. I still love the theme and the battle system in 2014’s sequel but unfortunately I feel that it is only a minor upgrade over the first and the story falls flat. There aren’t too many RPG’s on the Wii U though, so if you are looking for a game in this genre, Costume Quest 2 will help feed this need. While not as memorable as the first, I still enjoyed my time with Costume Quest 2 and still hope for another.