Published on December 27th, 2013 | by Tony Winkett3
Review: Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood
Now we all knew going into next-gen that Xbox Arcade as we knew it was dying a death, but how would it spawn a new lease of life? Thankfully on Xbox One we’ve seen the release of Peggle 2 (reviewed here), Lococycle, Powerstar Golf and the latest Halo game – all of which prove that with the Xbox One we’ve got a beefed up version of the 360 arcade section we all grew to love.
I’ve dabbled with a few of the above (and to be honest with you most have been alright for the asking price between £10.00 and £15.00, so are worth a look) but today I get hold of Press Play’s 2.5D side-scrolling-platform-puzzler, Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood and, being honest with you, I would have happily looked over if I had seen it floating about on my dashboard (judging my past experiences you would have thought I would have learnt my lesson by now). You see without this hobby we do over here (and previously on HXR) I would be sitting here having not played many titles that I grew to bloody enjoy deeply, so doing this site not only gives me the chance to have my gaming taste tested on a weekly basis, but I also get to play some pretty cool things I would not have played otherwise (also it lets me spread the word to you who, like me gaming wise, get to say “hey did you overlook this too?” to tell you to try it). When seeing the news that Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood was set to drop I of course went over to Upload and YouTube to give the game a the once over, and turns out it looked half decent!
Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood sees you take control of Max, who kind of has the look of oldie cartoon character Jimmy Neutron, but with a strawberry blonde (ginger) hair. The story is he wishes away his brother Felix using a spell he finds searching Giggle (not Google at all), but once it comes true he of course comes to his sense and jumps into the same portal his brother is pulled into to save him. The evil guy that is to blame is the evil Mustachio who traps your brother in his dungeon with the goal being you must travel through these lands to go save him. The game itself spans over seven chapters and took me around the normal 6 to 8 hours to complete it all (but this could be a bit longer with some puzzles only be solved when jumping to the help of the guys @Pressplay themselves).
The main concept in Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood is to utilise a magic marker pen throughout your travels. This comes in different forms the longer you play the game. This marker will give you the ability to build rocks, grow vines, shape water spouts and shoot fire balls all by the time the game ends, however these new powers are dished out and a decent enough rate to keep things fresh. These also form parts of puzzles which you must work out to continue through the game, which one such puzzle I have shared below.
Now I wouldn’t say the puzzles are ‘hard’ at all so you don’t have to worry there, but some will take a few goes before you beat them – or go off and give it a think for a few minutes. I actually enjoyed the whole puzzle aspect of the game and the story throughout, so the game scores well here for me.
The only combat you will see in this is game is a few moments where small fat troll like characters throw grenades at you (but these are few and far between). The other times you come across these trolls is sorted through puzzle form, for example how you can manipulate them to trap them so I can get progress. This keeps the game going and adds another aspect. You will also come across snail like animals that have spikes pop out their back when close, so you of course have to navigate those with care. Having no combat in Max: TCOB is no big deal though, as I feel if they had given you a weapon of some sort it would have only taken away from the game. The only real weapon of sorts is the marker pen, but this only harms things you can grow (so not really a weapon at all).
Does it work well though? Well yes, and no.
You see to get your marker pen up all you need do is press the RT button and away you go, however this can feel a bit slow. At certain parts in the game you need to think fast and be fast to escape being chased by building up a set block of rocks or vine, but with the pen locking to the middle of the screen everytime it can be hard to drag it right to the bottom of the screen. Other than this though the pen works fine throughout the game and was a joy to use away from those sections of the game.
Being on the latest console you do expect something so stunning that it will make your eyes melt, but we also have to remember this is essentially a game on what the arcade is to the 360. That being said the game is gorgeous to look at at times, with bright colourful vistas kicking the game off, with a giant character that has the face only a mother could love. The levels themselves take place over many lands (such as the desert, caves, to lava filled underground worlds( all of which hold their own beauty. On occasion the game did have a few tearing issues here and there when playing, but nothing so off putting that it ruined the game.
Max: TCOB was a real pleasant surprise for me as I was expecting to play a few levels and be bored out of my mind, but this was not the case. The puzzles and weapon layout make the game fresh at all times and kept me coming back until the game was finished. The only downsides, as always, with a game that you get pleasure from is how long it lasts (at around 6-to-8 hours it makes you want the game to last even longer). The only real pullback once you’ve finished the game is to go back and collect everything, but once that is done there is no need to return.
For the asking price I would say to any people on the fence about buying Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood go for it. For the £11.99 asking price you will be easily happy with your purchase.
Review code provided with thanks by Press Play.
Summary: Another great addition to the new Arcade on the Xbox One, and with new titles not out for a while Max: The curse of brotherhood is another game that is great for those cant be bothered to put a disc in.