January 4, 2011

Keeping Up With Grubbins

Costume Quest Grubbins on Ice
Costume Quest’s DLC retains everything from previous save files, making it easy to put a unicorn costume back on while also trying coveted battle stamps with the new costumes Grubbins on Ice offers. The DLC is an extension of Costume Quest so there isn’t anything new introduced in the gameplay – if you haven’t tried Double Fine’s downloadable trick or treat title as of yet, you may want to catch our original review.

The later PlayStation 3 release found me catching up with Grubbins on Ice during the Holiday break, and the DLC actually takes place during the winter as well. Everett and Lucy have been hypothesizing about the monsters they fought on Halloween night, and begin searching for tangible evidence, all of which leads to Lucy getting kidnapped after stumbling upon a receiver in the snow that opens up a portal – of course Everett, Wren and Reynold are left with no choice but to suit up and save her.

Costume Quest Grubbins on Ice
Entering the strange world of Repugia, the children discover monsters wanting to start a revolution against the tyrannous Araxia. Teaming up with these monsters, the game retains the shtick of the original adventure by having players knock on doors, but now looking to solicit support for the revolution, or fight the anti-revolutionists within – relive your anti-establishment college days, “Viva, Repugia!”

New costumes include the pirate, yeti and eyeball, each with new battle powers. If you’re a completionist, the pirate costume is essential for exploring and uncovering all the secrets and pathways. Older costumes (such as the fry costume!) are not forgotten and are used for light puzzle-solving around town and underground.

I wish the DLC changed how exploration powers can only be used via the main character. It would be great, and save a lot of costume switching, if other characters’ costume powers could be used. However, a nice addition is the “historical center” and its satellite posts for game saves. I never needed to intentionally save my game, but the witty banter justified some return visits.

Costume Quest Grubbins on Ice
Double Fine also ramped up the difficulty of the final boss fight, where Araxia fights alongside Big Bones, smashing your party with high-powered attacks. It took a few costume and power-up switches to fashion my characters with a strategy combination capable of defeating the duo. And at that point I was left feeling more than a little sad that the adventure was all over after three hours – though the end perhaps gives us hope for more episodes.

Overall, I enjoyed this addition to one of my favorite games of 2010, largely because the charm reminded me why I loved playing the title earlier this year. What other game lets you play as a pirate, a yeti and a unicorn all at the same time?

*Sidenote: Did anyone catch the blatant Stacking plug in the caves? The music and tiny characters are adorable!

1 Comment »

  1. Once the game is discounted on PSN I’ll be getting it along with the DLC (a discounted bundle would be great!). Still haven’t bought a PSN game at full price and with a baby on the way I won’t be starting any time soon.

    Comment by EdEN — January 5, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

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