Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is 2.5D side-scrolling platform game. It is a sequel to Max & the Magic Marker - which actually I did not have a chance to play.
The story line is very simple:
I am not a fan of arcade games... as very often they are all about arcade. This one makes you think.
Why this arcade-logical mix is so good? I will try to answer in the review below.Gameplay / Controls / Fun (36/40)
From the very first level you are being challenged, even while learning the basics. The challenges are quite simple at the beginning and are getting harder and more complex in time. As challenges I mean both: typical arcade ones (when you need to do things and hurry, like run, climb, jump, etc.) and logical (when you need to figure out things first without any rush).
Arcade part is not too hard. Usually I could overcome a challenge with my 2nd
try. Logical part difficulty increase as we play. Max is also getting new skills once a while, which constantly makes the game more complex. For me each new level was never too easy and never too hard. Very often I was asking myself a question: "what should I do next?" and on the very next second I was already able to slowly move forward. I've died many, many times while playing each level - but I was able to quickly learn from that and move another step forward. The game encourages you to try things out... not just stand and think... but actually do something. And this is a great achievement for developers to find this perfect balance for both: arcade and logical aspects.
It took me 12 hours to complete this game. I believe this is the only negative aspect I can think of... It really could be 4-8 hours longer... therefore I rate this overall experience at 90%.Graphics / Next Generation (30/30)
Graphic is beautiful (Full HD) and smooth (60fps) all the time. While playing other Xbox One games like FIFA14 or NBA2K14 it could be seen that majority of the code was taken from old generation consoles and graphic was improved, but only in some aspects. This game was made and 100% optimized for next generation. This can be noticed in every single moment of a game-play. With each new location we can admire new scenery... and every single one is really nuanced.
I really cannot find any negatives in this aspect - therefore maximum score for me.
If that's how arcade games are going to look on next generation consoles... I just can't wait to see more.Sound / Music (8/10)
Music is quite good, however all the game sounds and voice are really great. I really like Max voice, especially while performing some difficult jumps... it really enhances overall game experience. Also the voice of a "guide" is mysterious and a bit magical... therefore it fits perfectly in with the gameplay.
I rate this aspect on 80%.Achievements (20/20)
There are total 36 achievements:
- 14 achievements - Main story related
You will get these in your first play-trough
- 8 achievements - Cummulative
You should also get all of these in your first play-trough - I just got it without even trying.
- 8 achievements - Collectibles
I do not like all kind collectibles related achievements - as very often they are being used to extend the time required to complete the game. This one is different, therefore it should remind all other developers (i.e. Rockstar) what collectibles are all about.
On each level you need to find 3-5 evil eyes and 1 piece of medallion. In most of the cases you should spot them without any problems - however yet again, you are being challenged to actually collect them. To get all of them you need to pay attention to all the details in your surroundings. And no guides/walkthrough are really required... Yes, I must admit I've used guide 2 or 3 times, but I was mad on myself each time I did that.
You can always check your collectible's progress in the level selector and restart a level if required.
- 6 achievements - to complete a level in a specific way (i.e without dying)
I really like when achievements makes you to masterize some aspects of a game. And usually I leave them as the last to unlock. When I completed the game only 6 achievements remained for me. I had to go back to the first-easy levels and complete them in a single run or with additional difficulty added... as well as to complete the final boss without dying. It is a wonderfull way to have a closure of this game.
To summarize, I rate achievements with a maximum score.Summary (94/100)
This game is all about fun with its beautiful next generation look
I highly recommend this game to everyone - not only for kids.
It is also great for newbies into console/gaming world.
My overall score is 94/100 and as 90+ game it is a solid 5 star rating for me.