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Scarygirl

By: on January 28, 2012

[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”TikGames” publishers=”SQUARE ENIX” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”January 24, 2012″]

Scarygirl is based on a universe and character designed by Nathan Jurevicius from Australia. Developed by TikGames and published by SquareEnix, Scarygirl is the third video game property to be based on the toys, art, and graphic novel — the first being a free flash game and the second is a downloadable PSP/PS3 mini title. Scarygirl’s design is very Tim Burton-esque in that the titular character is an Anti-Barbie like character that is enjoyed by the likes of the chicks in high school that go the route of punk and goth.

A young girl was adopted by an octopus named Blister after being abandoned by her guardians. This octopus dressed her, named her, and built her a house overlooking his ocean roost. For some reason the now named Scarygirl develops a tentacle like arm and starts wearing a hook hand and eye patch. Apparently this is to give her a more goth-pirate feel. Scarygirl eventually starts having dreams about some dude. Haunted by these dreams, Scarygirl meets with a white rabbit named Bunniguru that sends her on a quest to the city to discover the reasons behind her dreams. This white rabbit gives the story a very Through the Looking Glass (Alice/Wonderland) feel.

If there was only one good thing that could be said about Scarygirl, it is that the game has beautifully designed graphics that can only be described as something out of an animated Tim Burton film. The design feels like it comes out of a dream, which is appropriate considering the storyline. Each of the seven worlds have a unique feel to them with locations that range from forests to ice caves to the city. The diversity of the locations keeps the game fresh graphically. The stages themselves are in what people love to call 2.5D. This is really 3D with the plane of movement stuck on the X and Y axis (2D). The 2.5D design is a nice feel because it gives the impression that the character is amid the set pieces for the level.

The audio for the game has a nice ambiance to it that creates a dreamlike experience. The ambiance definitely matches the graphic design and really brings the world of Scarygirl to life. The game has a deep voiced narrator that sounds like he is reading a storybook. It becomes obvious that quite a bit of the design for Scarygirl is based on dreams, nightmares, and things related to those. The presentation for the game is very well put together and is the best feature of the game.

The gameplay goes back to the old school challenges of the platformer genre and collectathons. The most famous platformer it resembles are the old PlayStation Crash Bandicoot titles minus the 3D movement. The stages tend to be linear until later in the game when there are branching paths that include extra collectibles. The player collects gems to be able to buy new abilities and upgrades via an in game store. Some of these abilities are great like being able to hover longer when floating in the air. Platforming is kind of loose and allows mistakes to be remedied There is a degree of weightlessness that adds to the dreamlike experience. Unfortunately this loose control also affects the combat making it less than imprecise. While small battles do not pose a problem, it is hard to come out of a large battle unscathed. This creates a real disconnect between presentation and gameplay. Luckily the Boss battles bring something new to the game as they tend to follow patterns that remind one of the old Mega Man games.

While the game does not feature online multiplayer or co-op, there is drop in local co-op where the second player plays Bunniguru. Bunniguru whips out some sweet kung fu moves but can not grab enemies or swing(no tentacle arm). Achievement wise the game is pretty easy as they are mostly all story progression. The hard achievement will be getting perfect on all stages as some of the later stages can be really difficult and dying ruins a perfect.

Score: 7/10

If you love Tim Burton, old school platforming, 2.5D levels with a rather strange story, then this is the game for you. Even if you only like old school platforming, some fun could be found but the presentation might annoy you.

About Brandon Koch

I write stuff. I play stuff. I code stuff.