Gaming

The Adventure Pals review: A peculiar platformer to play and troll your friends with!

Quirky, cute, and buggy

Published

on

If you haven’t heard of The Adventure Pals, it’s totally fine. It’s a fun platformer where you travel around with a pet rock and a giraffe in your backpack. Of course, there’s more to the game than just traveling with your pet rock and giraffe, but that alone is pretty interesting in itself. You have my attention, developers. I quickly installed it, played it, and wrote this.

Breaking news: I rode a unicorn giraffe

Before we get into the review though, I played this game in cooperative mode because who doesn’t like playing along with someone else. Also, did I mention Player 2 rides a unicorn giraffe? I’m pretty sure I mentioned it being far superior somewhere.

So, to truly test out this platformer in cooperative mode, I brought reinforcements: Richard, my boyfriend. He’d been the pushy one who wanted to play the game with me after a week of both of us just hopping from Night in the Woods to Overcooked. To his everlasting credit, he’d quickly convinced me to play it after he’d shown the trailer.

Downright silly

The game was inspired by a lot of charmingly quirky works — from surreal cartoon series like Adventure Time to notable platformers like Castle Crashers. When you first encounter the trailer, you will undoubtedly notice the resemblance to those inspirations. The Adventure Pals pulls a lot of its appeal from it’s adorably designed characters. You’ll see, even without having played the game, how they’re quite intriguing on their own. They really reel you in with interesting character design and a bizarre premise — which is very reflective of what the game was inspired by.

Yes, that is your dad…

That’s prevalent with the beginning of the game. The whole setting takes place on your birthday, starting with your gift from your dad: a pet giraffe. This is Sparkles, your new loyal friend who is both rideable and able to fit inside your backpack, where he’ll be able to use his tongue to fly like a helicopter or assist with swimming. As soon as you’re introduced to your new pal, your father is kidnapped by a robotic bee riding Mr. B, an arch-nemesis with a goldfish bowl for a hat. His evil plan? Beginning with your father, he’s here to turn people into… human-sized hot dogs. Now it’s time for you, Sparkles the giraffe, and your best friend Mr. Rock to hunt him down and save the day.

Okay, here’s how this works

The gameplay for The Adventure Pals combines two portions, exploring the world on the back of your giraffe and completing stages to get hold of rubies to advance the plot. Beginning in your hometown of Treevale, each region has a town where the locals will hand out quests in return for a prize. This will reveal locations on the map to find, which is where the platforming begins.

You’ll find yourself battling against zombie pirate cats, post-apocalyptic dinosaurs, and hot dogs that poop explosive mines. Each quest has five stages to complete, each with monsters to defeat, puzzles to solve, and spikes to avoid. You’ll use your sword to cut through your enemies and use Sparkles to get around. Heavily influenced by Banjo-Kazooie, your pet giraffe will help you glide over dangers and maneuver you to safety. After completing five stages, you’ll leave with a ruby and whatever items required to complete the quest.

You’ll gain experience with each monster you defeat, allowing you to choose between a series of rewards, allowing Mr. Rock to be able to join you in combat and bring you supplies. You’ll also be able to enhance a lot of your abilities as you progress through the game.

Each area has a boss battle, usually oversized monsters your nemesis will put you against to try to halt you thwarting his plan. Imagine fighting giant tree monsters, escape approaching vegetable monsters, or battling against an aggressive breakfast combination. Yes, this game gets weird.

We helped a whale along the way!

They bring in the peculiar to little cute details in the game — from customizable costumes you obtain by feeding cupcakes to the Cupcake God, to collectible stickers hidden in some of the most horrendous hidden areas in the game. The Adventure Pals will smack you in the face with oddity and ambiguity with no clear grips to a particular plot. It’s fine and all but sometimes, you’ll feel a bit lost playing the game. You start questioning the relevance of each element and ask why things are so. It gets to a point where there aren’t many answers to those questions.

Leez, Richard, two giraffes, two rocks

Not what either of us expected could fly as a section of its own, but now that we’ve got our hands dirty explaining this quirky game, it’s time to bring out our personal experiences and takes on the game. This section is in no way a euphemism — don’t your minds dare go there. Don’t you guys dare!

Anyways, Richard was Player 1 and I was Player 2. As much as platformers enjoy integrating cooperative mode, The Adventure Pals slaps it on without dabbling into altering the game in any way. Despite playing with a fabulous unicorn giraffe, playing Player 2 was a pain because not only could I not converse with anyone in the game, but also, my character had zero relevance to the story. Player 2 doesn’t get to level up and the stages don’t show any need for any sort of cooperation.

Here, Richard is laughing as I am about to fall into spikes

The mode really feels like an afterthought, especially with how clunky it feels sharing a screen with the other player. If either of us got left behind or decided to go the other way, the game would decide who would be teleported to the other player. More often than not, it would choose the wrong person. This was a nightmare for finding secrets. And if you’ve jumped through a challenging section full of spikes and spinning axes, there’s a chance you’ll be teleported back to the other person after completing it.

Some pitfalls along the way

While there are interesting personalities and creative characters in the towns to talk to, the enemies you fight through while on a quest tend to be repetitive. The further you progress through the game, the more familiar enemies you’ll find. With the setting and color scheme of each region blending together, completing each stage started feeling like a chore for us. The game would throw new things at you as you progress, but the experience lingered into the monotonous.

You can collect stickers!

On release, this game has proven to be pretty buggy. We often found ourselves forced to restart a stage after locks wouldn’t open pathways as intended and sometimes I would find myself surviving a fall into a pit of spikes far too often by landing on the edge. If Richard fell to his death, we would both be trapped in the pit without a way to progress.

What was fun for a short period of time…

We were trapped here for a while…

What was fun was seeing me die — a lot. Richard swears at the hilarious ridiculousness of how often I’d die. And strangely, that’s not all. Yes, boys and girls, I am a certified idiot because there have been many cases where I’d mistake my character for Richard’s. Exhibit A: We had been exploring one of the maps and had been strolling around looking for cupcakes. I then see Richard come across one without picking it up and instantly complain. He pauses the game and tells me that I’d been the one who did so. Unpause. Identity crisis, everyone. I am stupid. Hand me a cookie.

Is this your game match?

If you’re into challenging platformers, this one might bore you. The stages aren’t incredibly difficult but the game does grade you with the number of monsters you manage to kill, how many times you die in a stage, and how long you get from point A to point B. If you’re looking for a perfectly casual platformer that has adorable elements, you should give this one a try. Much of the charm of The Adventure Pals comes from its quirks. The entire design of the game is visually appealing and that’s essentially what caught both our attention when it was released.

The Adventure Pals is a good platformer to pass the time, collect the achievements in your own time, and play with your friends just to troll them with the glitches (we both did that too). The title has its loose ends, but you can have fun when playing in cooperative mode.

The Adventure Pals is available on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4. It’s also available now on Steam for US$ 14.

SEE ALSO: Night in the Woods: Brilliant indie game you should try

SEE ALSO: 14 independent games are coming to the Nintendo Switch

Gaming

Elden Ring ousts Call of Duty for best-selling game

On pace to take the year

Published

on

Is it any surprise that the Call of Duty series is still a juggernaut today? Though not a barrier-breaking franchise, the first-person shooter series remains one of the most popular titles for gamers. However, once in a blue moon, a new title breaks through the ranks and unseats the gaming giant. Elden Ring, one of those rare titles, has done just that by snatching the top spot from Call of Duty.

Elden Ring’s popularity is undeniable. Initially starting as a must-have for Dark Souls aficionados, the FromSoftware title rapidly skyrocketed in popularity after its rage-inducing difficulty drummed up even more hype. The game is now the studio’s most popular title, eclipsing the cult following of Dark Souls.

Dark Souls isn’t the only thing it eclipsed, though. NPD’s Mat Piscatella recently tweeted that Elden Ring is now the top best-selling game in the past 12 months, beating Call of Duty: Vanguard. For reference, Vanguard was released in November 2021. Elden Ring, on the other hand, was released months later in February 2022. Despite having a significant head start, Vanguard lost, performing lower than expected.

Very technically, a game overtaking Call of Duty isn’t unheard of. Various games often take the spot from the franchise but only for a month. Call of Duty still grabs the top spot for the year overall. As for the yearly rankings, the shooter series has not lost a year since 2013, thanks to then-debuting Grand Theft Auto V.

Though the year isn’t done, Elden Ring certainly has the pace to beat the franchise, especially if a DLC is coming later this year. It’s already the 12-month leader after less than three months since release.

SEE ALSO: Elden Ring review: Should you play the hardest game of 2022?

Continue Reading

Accessories

Lightweight king: Razer unveils Viper V2 Pro

20 percent lighter than the Viper Ultimate

Published

on

Viper V2 Pro

One of the world’s lightest gaming mice is now available in the Philippines. Razer has announced the release of the ultra-lightweight and wireless gaming mouse Viper V2 Pro.

The Razer V2 Pro sells for Php 8,990 via Razer’s official website, official Shopee and Lazada stores, and through its authorized sellers.

The package box will include additional grip tapes pre-cut to the mouse’s shape, a Razer Speedflex charging cable and 2.4GHz HyperSpeed USB dongle extender.

Peak performance at your fingertips

The Viper V2 Pro is 20 percent lighter than the Viper Ultimate, and comes with cutting-edge tech features, such as:

  • Razer Optical Mouse Switches Gen-3
  • better battery life
  • all-new Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor

Determined to make the Viper V2 Pro the new standard for gaming mice, Razer designed it hand-in-hand with feedback from esports pros.

This includes 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Grand Finals MVP Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen of OpTic Gaming.

For the pro

Viper V2 Pro

Razer’s new Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor helps achieve a complete resolution accuracy of 99.8 percent.

The powerful new sensor is equipped with AI functionality such as Smart Tracking, Motion Sync and Asymmetric Cut-off for the ultimate performance at the highest levels of play.

The Viper V2 Pro also features the new Razer Optical Mouse Switches Gen-3 for absolutely zero double-clicking issues and no debounce delay.

These new switches are rated for a click lifecycle of up to 90 million clicks, an increase of 25 percent from the previous generation’s lifespan.

Other aspects that will benefit gamers include support for USB-C charging and DPI control button on the bottom of the mouse.

Continue Reading

Gaming

This controller turns mobile gaming to a PC, console experience

Pair and play easily via GeForce NOW

Published

on

Stratus+

SteelSeries has partnered with Starhub to deliver the full PC and console experience to mobile gamers by releasing the Stratus+ wireless controller.

Stratus+ gives instant access to top gaming titles on nearly any device through the cloud and is coupled by GeForce NOW.

The wireless controller upgrades mobile gamers’ control system from a standard mobile touchscreen to highly-precise buttons and joysticks, as if playing with a PC or console.

Key features

Stratus+

The Stratus+ wireless controller makes mobile gaming fluid as users can easily pair and play all supported PC and Console games via GeForce NOW.

It can be connected to any Android or Chromebook device with Bluetooth LE, or to any windows PC with USB.

The controller comes with a built-in lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 90 hours. It also has fast-charging to supply 12 hours of gameplay on a 15-minute charge.

Other key features include:

  • A unique detachable slim phone mount to fit any phone easily
  • ALPS Analog Thumbtacks and clickable L3/R3 buttons for maximum control and precision
  • New Hall Effect magnetic sensors for button sensitivity and smoothness

Pricing and availability

Stratus+

The Stratus+ wireless controller will sell for SG$ 119 and is also available at:

What’s even better is that customers who will purchase the Stratus+ from StarHub starting from May 9, 2022 will get a one-month free GeForce NOW subscription worth SG$19.99.

New and existing GeForce NOW subscribers can also enjoy discounts of up to 10 percent on selected SteelSeries products when making a purchase through StarHub’s GameHub+ platform for gamers.

Continue Reading

Trending