During E3 2014, we checked out Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom. Unlike the earlier games of the franchise, the new one plays clever homage to titles like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It is a top-down, scrolling action game complete with dungeons, puzzles, and the ability to smack fur apes right on their hams in order to defeat them. It's an odd game, but it's right in line with the oddity for which the animation is known.
In the new game, Finn has been asked by Princess Bubblegum to start a new kingdom, but he gets sucked into an adventure where he must track down a trio of missing princesses. The game takes place in an open world, and it's said to encompass a variety of different environments, such as deserts, forests and lakes. A majority of our demonstration took place in one of the game's dungeons; in this case, it was a renovated school from before the apocalypse.
The game borrows heavily from the aforementioned Zelda title but does with a nod, a wink, and its own spin on the gameplay. Sure, dungeons have conspicuously cracked walls that can be blown up with bombs, but instead of bombs, you must kill enemy firecrackers and stuff them in a zip-lock bag to use them later. You'll use a banana-rang to stun enemies so they're easier to deal with, and you can use the money you gather to upgrade your abilities. As you make your way into dungeons, you'll encounter a variety of boss fights, such as having to take down a pack of fur apes who emit static charges and stomp around the fight area.
Jake plays a role in the game, but at least at the beginning, he has been grounded by his wife because he lost his wedding ring. So he is forbidden from helping Finn in his noble adventure, but he's still tagging along for the ride in Finn's pocket. As you play the game and upgrade your abilities, you can unlock some special abilities, like a spinning hand slap that can trigger some switches, deflect some projectiles, and form a shield to block attacks. The actual mechanics behind these work a lot like they do in A Link to the Past but not to a fault.
The game launches this fall for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Steam for the PC. It is certainly right in the same vein as the source material that the game borrows from, in both the "Adventure Time" TV show and as the Zelda material it lovingly riffs on. It looks like a lot of stupid fun, but it delivers some clearly smart gameplay ideas.
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