Adventure Time The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom Review: A Finn to the Past

November 18th, 2014 -

Another year, another Adventure Time game. Each release comes with so much hope, as the show seems so ripe with potential for a video game. Previous entries wore their inspiration on their sleeves, and Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is no different. From the get go, the game feels very much like Zelda: A Link to the Past. So does that familiarity help or hinder the game?

FinnFairiesBanana

I’ll admit that I enjoy Adventure Time, though I haven’t watched it in a couple years. That being the case, I went into this not knowing what to expect, and wondering if all the references in the game would be lost on me (and anyone else that hasn’t kept up with the series). Luckily, it’s not a huge deal. While it helps to know stuff (why a snail shows up in places occasionally, who characters are), it doesn’t lessen the enjoyment of the game. There is a point in which you need to find a particular character, and being that only two other people had played the game at the time (based on trophy rarity checked on PS4 – 100%, 50%, or 0% for what I had), I had no way of seeing what I was supposed to do online. Luckily, the show has a pretty in-depth wiki page, so I was able to get a feel for who I was looking for in the game world.

The game incorporates voice acting for all of the dialogue, which is nice for fans of the series. Even if you don’t like it, it’s hard not to laugh when you enter the Choose Goose shop. The writing and different sound bytes used while fighting or picking up drops all sound very much like they’re straight out of the show. So if you’re worried about the game capturing the feel of it, worry not. As for gameplay, you can expect to be swinging your grass sword, blocking hits with your Jake shield, and upgrading abilities to access new areas. What kind of new abilities? Well, like moving giant rocks out of your way, or using Finn and Jake to get past puzzles that requires two people. There’s also the ability to pound your way through wooden posts and normally switch activated walls, amongst several others. You’ll also be collecting items, and filling your plastic bags by capturing things like bombs, as well as buying health and stat boosts, plus more. You can even get your sword to shoot out projectiles when at full health if you’re willing to search for gumballs (you only need twenty, and there are many more than that – though excess will turn to Rubles). Rumor has it you can even upgrade some gear if you find a certain cave…

map

The map has four (well… I guess five) main areas that you will explore while searching for princesses of the kingdom. Each dungeon that they occupy will only be available to search once you’ve acquired the proper items/skills for puzzles within. These are found through exploration, though if you really need help, you can ask people at the castle when they are available. The dungeons/temples each take a decent amount of time to complete, each ending with a unique boss battle. These bosses, as you’d imagine, are defeated by using the tools/skills you acquired either in the dungeon or just before (the prerequisites for entering). Although none of them serve as a difficult challenge, they are pretty fun to figure out (the only one that took me more than a few seconds was the second one).

The game isn’t without its flaws though, one of those being button responsiveness. I played it on PS3, so maybe it’s different for 3DS, but there were times I’d hit buttons and they wouldn’t register. I tried a couple of different controllers in case that was the issue, but it didn’t make a difference. A personal gripe that I’m not sure will bother many people and is easily adaptable is the fact that you can’t progress dialogue bubbles if you’re holding a direction. By this I mean that if you are talking to someone or pick up an item, you can’t be telling Finn to go in any direction while pressing the “next” button, because it won’t register. There’s also some inconsistencies in the hitbox for Finn, particularly with the big ear enemies (I think that’s what they are). There are two types of large range attacks, and sometimes they’ll clearly hit you and do no damage, where as other times they will miss and still hit you. It’s not too big of a problem, but it can be frustrating if you are close to death and take damage for something that clearly didn’t hit you.

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is an enjoyable entry in the series. Is it the best that could come from it? Doubtful, but it’s certainly fun if you enjoy the top-down Zelda games. With solid gameplay, a fairly large map to explore with secrets and character cameos from the show, there’s something here for fans and non-fans alike. Of course, if you don’t like top-down adventure games, you’ll want to shy away from this one. With a length of 6-10 hours (depending on how lost you get and what extras you choose to do), there’s quite a bit to do. And of course, you can always play through it again with added challenges (like not upgrading anything) and stuff to discover.

BUY

Pros

  • UPgrades
  • Exploration
  • The Secret Princess/Cameos

Cons

  • Inconsistent Game Mechanics
  • In-game Currency is Short Lived

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom was created by WayForward Technologies in conjunction with Little Orbit. It is available on the PS3 ($39.99), 360 ($39.99), PC ($39.99), and 3DS ($29.99) as of November 18, 2014. The PS3 copy reviewed was provided for us. If you’d like to see more of AT: SotNK, check out the official site.

 

Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.

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