The time has come and next gen consoles are now here, or I suppose we should call them now gen since they have arrived, and with them come many new games. For the XBOX ONE we saw many cool launch titles such as Dead Rising 3, Forza 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome; but what about the little guys who don’t have the same kind of marketing power as the big guns? The likes of small indie developers who don’t have a slot on the shelves in your local ASDA or Game store and who only manage to get onto the XBOX Live Arcade. Well one of the most anticipated of these games is Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, a side-scrolling platform game with lovely graphics in 2.5D and a nice upbeat soundtrack, which may seem familiar to some of you as it is a follow on from the 2010 game Max and the Magic Marker.
The story of the game sees Max return home from somewhere, possibly school or maybe a friend’s house. Entering his room his annoying little brother is sat there on his bedroom floor playing with toy cars, which seems to annoy Max quite a bit. To solve this problem Max decides to search the net for ways to get rid of his brother, which results in him discovering a magic spell, opening a portal in his room where his brother gets grabbed by a large hand and dragged through. Despite wanting him to disappear though Max soon regrets it and follows through the portal to rescue his younger sibling. Your mission then begins as you navigate the levels of this mysterious land you find yourself in, escaping bad guys, traps and fiery pits of doom and defeating the evil Mustacho who has kidnapped your brother.
As you start the game you don’t really get much of a tutorial, I mean it is a simple enough game to work out but it took me quite a while to realise how to crawl through small gaps as I kept doing it but only by button bashing. Eventually I realised it was as simple as pulling down on the left joy-stick but it would’ve been helpful to know that from the start. The other controls you need to learn just involve moving left and right, jumping from place to place and using your magic marker. Now the magic marker is simple enough to use theoretically but when drawing certain objects such as branches, the marker which is just like a cursor on your computer screen doesn’t seem to move so smoothly and it can take a few attempts to draw the actual shape of the branch you want. But luckily this is for me the only negative aspect about the game that I could find.
For the rest of the game it all seems to work pretty well. You’ll be navigating your way through many levels, escaping enemy henchmen by perfectly timing an escape plan or luring them into traps which see them trapped in a cage, squashed by debris or falling down some pits. Enemies come in all shapes and sizes too, some you can use to help reach new areas by jumping on their backs, others are just there as an obstacle to prevent you saving your brother. One nice thing though about these situations when playing this on the XBOX ONE is with the new DVR feature it will automatically record clips of certain points in the game where you have perfectly completed a puzzling situation, which look quite cool when you reflect on them at a later point.
One thing to make sure you keep an eye out for, are Mustacho’s evil eyes, located in hidden places on each level. You will be challenged in trying to reach the locations of some of these eyes as they aren’t always so easy to spot, and even when you can see them it can take a minute or two to figure out how to reach them. But fear not you can replay levels once you’ve completed them in order to collect any missing eye’s you may have overlooked. If you die trying to reach one then you will simply restart at a checkpoint on your current level. This applies to any scenario where you die on a level. There is no set amount of lives you have, you die, you respawn and that repeats until the levels are completed.
The graphics of the game are really good as well, as the game is set in 2.5D as well which allows for a layered effect and you can really tell when enemies in the background are getting closer and closer to you. I especially enjoyed it when the camera pans out and you enter a widescreen scene that allows you to take in the whole environment as there has been so much detail put into the locations you pass through from the sandy deserts, sunny jungles and boggy marshlands. The musical accompaniment to the graphics is great as well, music changes as the mood changes from a nice upbeat tune to something that emphasises the terror of being chased by a giant monster.
So if you’re looking for a fun game to pass the time, which has lots of puzzling scenarios for you to solve then look no further than Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. You’ll face lots of challenges, even if one is working out the buttons at the start, but when you finish the game you will feel like you have really accomplished something. Add to that the DVR feature recording clips of your successful puzzle solving abilities in action, you will be able to look back on some fond memories and remember the fun you had playing this game.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.