E3 2015: Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations Preview
What happened to those bacon pancakes, anyway?
06.18.15 - 12:17 AM
I love Adventure Time. I love it with an enthusiastic craving that can never seem to be sated. So when I heard that Little Orbit was working on a 3D adventure title, I was immediately excited. In Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations, we're given command of Finn as we make our way about the land of Ooo hoping to solve mysteries and right wrongs. The premise of the story is based on our heroes finding an investigation machine that was previously used by their parents to find and solve various capers. Looking to follow in their footsteps, Finn and Jake decide to give mystery solving a shot.
I'm ecstatic to say that the world of Ooo is immediately recognizable and wonderfully rendered in 3D. Brightly colored backgrounds and characters pop visually and are fully voiced by the actual cast. Each aspect of the game seems light-hearted and is whimsically presented, preserving the sense of child-like innocence that comes with the show. Even our presenter was happy and was enthusiastic to show off the different interactions and combat options available. While only in control of Finn, exploration was immediately intuitive and simple. Items specifically needed for quests gave familiar sparkles as players happened upon them, and the story moves along at a decent but predictable pace. Some interactions give players the options to have Jake transform and help things move forward, but so far we haven't been able to see the full extent of his in-game abilities. All in all, Finn and Jake Investigations doesn't reinvent the wheel in any aspect, but it does come with a sense of familiarity that fans of the series will surely appreciate.
Combat is a little rough, but definitely comes with some perks. Upon starting a battle, players are dropped into an open area as enemies spawn accordingly. Finn charges forward and earns combo points as he slashes through enemies with his trusty sword. An AI controlled Jake also enters the battlefield and quickly begins to pound on nearby foes. Once enough combo points have been earned, players can initiate a combination attack, wherein Finn and Jake combine to deal massive damage to anyone nearby. During our demo, we were treated to the hilarious Jake-suit as well a spinning top attack; however, we were also informed that a war dog and catapult combination were available. After the fights finished, a rating appeared giving a grade to the combat performance. While players shouldn't expect to drop amazing combos and put a ton of time into their battles, it's nice that Little Orbit is giving the more hardcore crowd something to shoot for. On the opposite end of that field, players can't actually die during battle. There isn't even an actual health meter. This originally rubbed me the wrong way, but in the end is more in the spirit of the adventure and exploration that the game cultivates for itself.
And that's what's really enticing about Adventure Time. The world itself is great, and looks incredibly true to the series. They even manage to throw in loading screens that perfectly emulate the title screens from the show. All of these elements seem to make the world easy to explore, and invite investigators to make their way inside. While things won't be as serious as many of the other games out there, fans of the show should look forward to making their way into the land of Ooo this October. I certainly look forward to it, and with such a fun and eccentric world, who can resist?