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Adventure Time: Pirates Of The Enchiridion

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 31 - 2018

We’re going to very distant lands.

While I may not have watched an episode since Lady Rainicorn declared her pregnancy by Jake the dog, I can still appreciate the entertainment value of the Land of Ooo and its bizarre inhabitants. What I do struggle to understand is why there hasn’t been a truly great game to tie in with this popular show. To be honest, I thought that all of the hype around Adventure Time had died out, but then along comes a new game from Bandai Namco and Outright Games, and it’s an open world, turn-based RPG of all things. C’mon grab your friends, it’s Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion.

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In a tale that could have very easily been an episode from the show, both in its premise and the presentation, Pirates of the Enchiridion beings with Jake and Finn, the two main stars from the show, waking up to find that the land of Ooo has been flooded and it is down to our intrepid heroes to set sail on their makeshift boat and find out what the hey-hey is going on. Players don’t need any more excuse to start exploring the newly ocean covered land of Ooo, and it had better start with a visit to the Ice King.

Once the introductory part of the game is over, players are free to explore the Land of Ooo however they see fit. This sounds great, but the reality is a little more limited. As the land is covered with water, there isn’t a whole lot to do other than travel to the various exposed lands and follow the story. Sailing the boat is pretty cool, as is listening to the impromptu shanties that the heroes start singing along the way, but without much else to do other than move from one place to another, it gets stale pretty quickly. On land, there is a little more to do with exploring off the beaten track often rewarding the player with goodies, but the game still feels on the empty side.

Before long, Jake and Finn will pick up the rest of their crew, in the form of Marceline the vampire and BMO the handheld games console. Each of the characters have their own skill to be used while exploring, such as Jake’s ability to grow and lift the rest of the team up to higher ground, and players can freely swap between them. During their adventure, they will come across pretty much every other major character from the show, which is made all the more special for fans as the original voice acting cast reprise their roles for the game. They will also visit and explore plenty of iconic locations from the show, all of which have been faithfully recreated.

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The combat in Pirates of the Enchiridion is turn-based and feels very much like a more simplistic version of the classic combat encounters from the more popular JRPGs. Jake, Finn, Marceline and BMO each take their turn to attack the opponents with a simple attack, or use items, before being attacked back by the enemies, and so on until someone wins. Each member of the team have their own special attacks that are powered by an energy pool, and there is an ultimate attack available once the team have taken enough damage to trigger it. In all, the combat encounters are enjoyable if unchallenging, catering quite obviously to the younger end of the gaming market, which I can’t really fault the game for.

Winning in combat will lead to great riches, probably, and the all important experience which will lead to members of the team levelling up. The player can then improve their team by upgrading various stats with their loot, and buying items to help them on their journey. It’s a pretty simple loop that won’t tax any seasoned gamers, but the joy of spending time in Ooo will be more than enough reward for fans.

Strangely, there is another gameplay mechanic to be found in Pirates of the Enchiridion, and it involves interrogation. These are quite hilarious to play through and require the player to basically stop a marker on a response from the interrogators. These responses are either good cop, bad cop in nature, and the correct one will be hinted at in the dialogue before hand. It’s not exactly difficult to get it right by using common sense and listening, but getting it wrong can sometimes result in some really funny interactions. It’s a small part of the game, but the game is better for including it.

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For younger fans of the show, Pirates of the Enchiridion is simple enough and packed with enough fan service to absolutely delight. I must admit, I really enjoyed playing the game as a relaxing break from other, more complex, games. However, Outright Games missed a trick here in making an Adventure Time game with the depth and complexity of something like The Stick of Truth, as the result would have been something that even seasoned gamers that had never watched an episode of Adventure Time would have enjoyed. At the end of the day, Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is a tie-in game aimed at young gamers and huge fans, but the simple gameplay will force many gamers to look elsewhere for their fun.




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