Last time I wrote about The Curse of the Crescent Isle, I had only played a bit of it at Super! BitCon. I wasn’t very good at playing it at the time, but thanks to a free copy of the game given to me by Adam Mowery, I have had the time to get better at it.
First up, this game has some really great graphics. It is a massive improvement over its original release on XBLIG. The art and animations are very well done and the sprites and environments meld seamlessly together. If this were the late 90s you would be forgiven if you mistook the game for an official SNES game. The art style is consistent and very nice to look at.
The music is also very well done. Every song played in the game helps to draw you into every environment and battle. Speaking of which, the bosses in the game are all cleverly designed. Some of them do not have a direct attack against you but introduce environmental dangers to kill you. Each of them is a puzzle you have to solve rather just beat into submission. This is a great change of pace from other games I have played lately.
Personally, I have struggled to get a handle on the platforming. My key issue is directional jumping. If you are trying to jump from one platform to another, you will hold the direction you wish to jump then hit jump. However, if you let go of the directional button, you will lose all momentum in that direction and fall straight down. I always expect to retain some of the directional momentum and end up releasing just short of where I needed to land. I am getting better.
I might have done better had I been able to play it with a controller. Unfortunately, I did not have a compatible controller to play with. According to the developer, the game works well using a 360 controller or using Joy2Key, but I did not have that set up. It would be better if it had more universal controller support, but the current set up will be good for a majority of users. UPDATE: I finally set up a controller to keyboard input conversion. I must say, playing this game with a controller is so much better than playing with the keyboard. I was able to finally beat the game this way. So if you don’t have a 360 controller, I highly recommend that you install Joy2Key or something similar.
The game contains several gameplay modes to give you a challenge. There is classic story mode which gives you all the lore, character interactions and juicy bits. There is a boss rush mode which is exactly what it sounds like, you get to fight each boss in succession. There is a local co-op mode which I haven’t had a chance to play. Finally, there is a speed run challenge. This mode cuts out all the story elements and let’s you just play the levels and fight the bosses.
Overall, the game is fun to to play. The team Adam put together did a really great job improving everything about the game. For $5, the game is worth it. You can buy Curse of the Crescent Isle DX on Steam for $4.99.