Halloween is a huge American celebration. And like a lot of other celebrations it has nothing to do with America (?). Old celtic fellows invented a festive day for getting drunk and party like they did in the XVI century, by having fights and dying of horrible diseases. By fortune, Costume Quest gets the innocent postmodernist version of the festivity, or something like that.
Actually is quite a weird game with a lot of witty dialog, cute soundtrack and a visual gorgeous experience. Yep, I liked it.
Reynold and Wren are twin brothers and they want to go trick or treating on the night of Halloween. They are new in the neighborhood and they encounter a lot of resistance of the local children who bullies them to go get their candy anywhere but there. Those fucktards. They knock the door of a house where a strange figure that looks like an alien is searching for candy. Bad moment for the pair. The sister (if you picked Reynold, else is the other way) is dressed like a huge candy and is kidnapped by the alien (which will soon discover they are ‘Repugians’) and taken to the other side of a huge gate where some kind of witch –but a cute one- throws Reynold an small tornado and he loses the robot costume.
Now, here is the thing and why “Costume” is in the name of the game. Is not like Schafer is a cosplay fan (or maybe so, but it’s not relevant to the game) or some kind of costume party obsess. The thing with the costumes is great. The characters become what they are wearing. Insane. Reynold is wearing a robot costume, and when a battle begins, he transforms into the robot. OH YEAH BABY. So, yeah, go find your sister now, you big puss. She won’t rescue herself you know?
Costume Quest has turn based battles that are so simple that it could be a flaw if it wasn’t a game “E” rated in essence. You battle with up to three characters at the same time, and you have a key for each of them (1-2-3 of the numpad). You attack with the first character, you press ‘1’. Easy right? Of course, things become more complicated with variations of the attack and quick time events, but not much more. You won’t need to mutate into Stephen Hawking (with all the ugly implications attached) because it’s easier than most RPG’s. Oh yes, I forgot it, Costume Quest is a RPG game. You level up by gaining experience over battles and collecting candy and doing quests like finding parts of costumes and the blueprints for building it.
The visual aspect is lovely. With cartoon-like design for the characters but beautiful drawing for the backgrounds. Your neighborhood, a traditional suburb, is so stunning in the sunset and it gets with striking resemblance the meaning of Halloween which symbolizes no more than the definitive end of the summer and the end of harvest season. You can feel that six o’clock sharp, when the sun is hiding, and is not “cold”, but you are free to put a sweater on.
The music is in the background, it plays its part well. It varies from funny, to sinister, to epic, depending on the scene.
Costume Quest is not a long game for an RPG. Both campaigns included in the PC version (remember that this game is a port of the original one, released for PS3 and XBOX 360), the original one, and the DLC, can be finished in 12 hours. It’s understandable, given the fact that in reality is a simple game. A good looking, entertaining, hilarious simple game. Schafer delivered this not so famous gem for the “Amnesia Fortnight” series, where they were testing publishers. The concept was shaped by the mind of Tasha Harris, an ex Pixar creative (I knew that there was a resemblance somewhere) who wanted to recreate the excitement that children have when wearing costumes.
I have played Earthbound (or ‘Mother’ if you are from Japan) and I can really see the lookalike.
Like kids disguised as Superman, I too, had a lot of fun.