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Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley

Comic Jumper is brought to us by Twisted Pixel, the studio brought us a few other games on XBL such as The Maw, and Splosion Man.  I personally haven’t played either of these other two games, but after the fun I had with this one I may be checking those out shortly

Comic Jumper is a 2.5d side scrolling action game that mixes lots of humor with a very interesting art style, depending on which comic book you jump into.  You start out in your own comic book as Captain Smiley, superhero extraordinaire.  Or at least that’s the way your character see’s it.  Partnered with a wise cracking Star located on your chest, who provides a slew of funny comments throughout the game.  You receive a call from  Gerda, a sort of sidekick for you, who tells you a bank is being robbed.  However, once you arrive on location, you find out it’s a trap and you must fight your way through the rest of the issue of the comic.  Once through this intro the real story begins as you lose your comic book due to lack of reader support, and you must now guest star in comics to make enough money and bring back some of your lost fans to get your own issue back.

As I stated earlier, the graphics in this game are very nice.  The art is done so that when you enter a new comic book your character changes appearance to that art style.  I was very entertained by this as it seemed to keep the game fresher than if you had the same looking character from start to finish.

The soundtrack of the game is great as well as the music remains entertaining and blends very well in the background.  In regards to the voice acting I feel that this is what makes this game so great.   The actors do a fantastic job of the back and forth humorous conversations in the game.  And they keep you entertained and waiting for the next line of jokes that are around the corner.  I actually enjoyed dying the many times that I did because of the funny remarks that Captain Smiley makes before he explodes in a death that, coincidentally, looks a lot like a Mega Man death.
Controls are a little bit basic in this game and that pretty much is my only gripe.  There are only 2 buttons that have actions in the game.  There’s a shoot/punch and a jump button/knock back for enemies.  I also would have liked the freedom of when I use these moves, but alas, in each level there is a beatem up section and then a shooter section and they never mix.  The controls are fluid even with a 2 button scheme however, and so that doesn’t really deter you from the enjoyment.

Gameplay, as stated before is a mix of 3d/2d side scrolling.  You move through levels usually starting out as a brawler with your fists and legs, and then move into a shooter with your two blaster guns.  There are sections of the game that involve vehicle driving as well as a 3d rail shooter.  Comic Jumper mixes all these together to keep the gameplay fresh throughout the game.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this game.  The mix of humor and an action shooter game made this a memorable experience for an Xbox Live Arcade game.  I’m already looking forward to future installments of Captain Smiley and his sidekick.

AYCG Score: 8 out of 10