Some of the developers are tending towards the 8bit style to their ID@Xbox games. Unfortunately, some gamers may straight away dismiss a game from this old style of graphics and end up ignoring a worthwhile game in the process. Extreme Exorcism
is another one of those 8bit games; a game where you trawl a haunted house killing ghosts, but with a unique twist.
Time for some 8bit ghost killing action!
The basis of Extreme Exorcism
has you take control of one of four characters and scour the various rooms of a haunted house, killing ghosts along the way. During the game's main arcade mode, you make your way through the house by going from room to room, starting outside in the graveyard and ending up in an altar hidden in the basement. Each of these rooms have five levels to complete, and you must earn a certain score on one to unlock the next. During these levels, you have a ghost wearing a crown that you must kill to move onto the next round, but in each round another ghost will be added. The unique twist with this game is that with each round that passes, the new ghost copies your movements from the last round. It picks up the same weapons, jumps the same path and shoots at the same time. This game requires you to have memory as well as skill, and if you remember your movements from the round before, you are more likely to succeed in the next.
In order to take down the ghostly enemies, you'll be able to pick up a variety of weapons which spawn in particular areas of the levels. These weapons can range from anything from a sword or a baseball bat, to a rocket launcher and even a powerful exorcism ball which kills all ghosts that come in contact with it. These weapons are unlocked as you progress in the game and get more kills, so the motivation to continue through the levels and kill as many ghosts as possible is there so that you can get to play about with the new weapons, such as throwing fireballs and shooting giant bullets. You are allowed to hold three weapons at once, and each time you press the attack button, all of the weapons you are holding will simultaneously attack. One of the downsides is that once the round is over, you lose all these weapons and have to pick up new ones all over again, but with unlimited ammo and multiple spawn points across the levels, there's usually a weapon to pick up not so far away.
When it comes to bullets, bigger is definitely better
The gameplay is simple yet effective, with your character being able to do a double jump and attack. There's no fancy button controls to master here, but you'll spend a lot of time jumping about the levels as you avoid obstacles as well as ghosts. The level designs are fairly simple, with the different rooms having obvious objects in them to show what room they are meant to be. For example the bedroom has a giant bed, and the library has bookcases. There are no over-complicated levels here, but in the later ones you have moving platforms, blowing gusts of wind, ice platforms and spikes hanging which will hurt you if you touch them. While the simplicity mostly works well with the style of the game, you feel that there could have been a little more imagination put into some of the levels. Even saying this, the levels are fun to play through and the simplicity of them doesn't take anything away from the great gameplay as a whole.
Once you have completed the arcade mode and beat the final boss, there is opportunity for more of a challenge to those who want it. The challenges section of the game offers you short trials in which you have to complete a level within certain parameters, such as only using a certain weapon, completing a set number of kills or going through without getting hit. There are a total of 50 challenges to be finished which adds an extra amount of playing onto the fairly short arcade mode. There is also co-op which allows you to play through arcade mode with up to three friends and a deathmatch mode. Unfortunately, this is local multiplayer only, and online multiplayer and co-op modes are sorely missing. Local multiplayer definitely makes the game more fun to go through, and makes the levels that little bit easier as you have more lives between you to play around with before you die.
Grab three friends and wreak havoc
While the 8bit design of the game may put some people off, the style works very well and fits in with the ghostly setting. The haunted house rooms, whilst fairly basic, provide an eerily perfect setting for the game, and the dark and sullen rooms are offset by the purples, greens and bright colours of the objects and backgrounds in them. The music is also suitably chosen, with a funky yet ghostly accompaniment to each room, which is entertaining to listen to while you perform your exorcisms (although the little death tune may start to get annoying if you get stuck on a level and end up dying continuously).
The game offers up a fairly short achievement list, only requiring thirteen achievements for the 1000G. It doesn't offer these achievements up quickly though, so you'll possibly be playing a while before you unlock your first. You'll be wanting to complete the arcade mode, as well as unlock all of the available levels for each of the rooms. If you can beat the boss without taking a single hit
in the level, you will be rewarded with 200G. There are some miscellaneous ghost killing achievements, such as killing 5 with a harpoon
, and 10 with a single exorcism
. After squeezing 30 ghosts
on the screen at once, you'll want to go on and try and complete all of the challenges, which will definitely be what will take your time after you finish the game (although it might help you with your 1000 deaths
You'd be forgiven for thinking Extreme Exorcism
is just another game spawned from ID@Xbox that you can happily ignore. If you are willing to take a chance on it though, it is definitely worth it. Even though your time spent will be fairly short, the challenges will keep you playing after the arcade mode has been completed, and the opportunity for local multiplayer adds another layer of fun. While the levels don't differ a lot, and it definitely isn't a game you'll sit and play for hours on end, Extreme Exorcism
offers 8bit graphics and music to entertain you while you take out endless rounds of ghosts with your friends, and what is more satisfying than blowing up a ghoul with a rocket launcher?
- Intuitive gameplay where ghosts copy your movements
- Array of weapons to use across an interesting setting
- Levels are all fairly similar in basic design
- Game can get a little tedious after a while, especially the challenges
The reviewer spent approximately seven hours exorcising ghosts from a haunted house, alone and with a friend, unlocking eleven of the game's thirteen achievements. The digital code for the game was provided by the developer for the purpose of this review.