Adventure Time animated show might be ending soon, but the games that it has received so far have never done justice with its name. Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is the first game in the series that feels like it is worthy of the brand and it is also a pretty decent game that doesn’t come across as a cash grab for the fans.
Pirates of the Enchiridion is visually a pretty looking game. It has nailed the aesthetics of Adventure Time animated show right down to the environment and character designs. It is mostly an adventure game that features role-playing elements and open world exploration. You will be exploring the world of Ooo from Adventure Time revisiting many of the key locations that are prominently featured in the animated show. Finn and Jake are not alone in this adventure and will join others that they find in this journey together. Each character will also be able to use their special abilities during exploration to reach new locations, like the shapeshifting of Jake the Dog can help you travel faster or reach higher locations.
This is a brand new story that is separate from the animated show. It opens with Finn and Jake going to sleep after a long day, only to wake up to the land being submerged underwater. They soon discover that the Ice King has lost his crown which leads to the Ice melting and hence spreading water everywhere on land. Their only mode of transport is a ship that they find swimming in the sea. This sets them on a quest to find out what happened to their world and to get it back to normal.
I have seen only the first season of Adventure Time, so my knowledge of the show is not that great. The game features many of the fan-favorite characters from the show, and I think the writing is actually pretty decent. It fits the tone of the show with some clever humor and jokes. Finn and Jake make a great team and seeing them together, trying to resolve each mystery, remains the highlight for most of the game.
Just like the first South Park RPG, this features a turn-based combat system that is fairly simple. You use the analog stick to pick up commands including a basic attack move, block, special attack and a charged strike that needs the full super meter. There are no complex systems here at all. The special attacks need another meter represented by small lightning bolts. Each time you attack or do some action, you gain some bolts that max out at 10. Each special attack uses a certain amount of these bolts and they can do large damage even inflicting status elements. The super meter also gains a little amount with every move your character makes, even if they get attacked.
While the combat is enjoyable, there is a mechanic that lets you interrogate characters. It will mostly start automatically during some conversations where you are trying to figure out what happened. It works with a good cop and bad cop routine where Finn and Jake will take turns to play this routine with the person in question. I particularly enjoyed these short segments but I was also annoyed to find that there was no option to skip text if you fail it and replay everything again.
This is honestly a pretty easy game if you manage to keep every character maxed out at their current level. It uses a unique concept for its level system, where each traditional level up doesn’t really offer you much in stats upgrade but what it does is unlock a higher limit for them, which you can increase by spending some gold coins on them. Every time you gain a level, you will have new stat upgrades to attempt and it is essential to do so because otherwise, the game can end up being a challenging experience.
The story mostly feels like it is a giant fetch quest where you are just roaming from one place to the next while solving the tasks given by people. You can get to other kingdoms like the Candy Kingdom, Fire Kingdom, and the Ice Kingdom. Sometime you will have to get back to an area to reach a previously inaccessible place. Some side quests will also need you to progress in the story to get a specific ability.
There are some major issues with the performance in the game. It never feels like a smooth experience and you can experience stutter when roaming the open world. Load times can also happen and for some reason, every battle needs a loading screen. This can begin to feel like a chore if you are trying to gain some experience points. Collecting gold coins feels like a rather boring task by letting your break objects around the environment. You gain gold coins or other consumables by breaking objects but they are also rewarded with quests or after each battle. Some of these can also be located when exploring in the sea on your ship.
Despite the short length and the lack of challenge and depth in the combat, I still had a good time with the game. It is possible to complete most of it under 8 hours if you ignore the side quests. Speaking of the optional content, honestly, it is not fun to attempt it and the reward is usually not worth the effort. Just stick with the main story to get the best experience.
Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Ahoy! The Land of Ooo is underwater and it’s up to Finn and Jake to find out why. Join our heroes as they explore the high seas, search for hidden clues, interrogate shady suspects and fight pirates to solve the mystery and save their waterlogged world!
While not offering a unique experience, this is an Adventure Time game that is worthy of its name. The combat lacks depth and needs proper balance adjustments to make it more enjoyable, and there are some issues with the performance, but overall it is still a solid RPG that is worth giving a chance if you are a fan of the show.