Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Max: The Curse of Brother

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is surprisingly violent

8:00 PM on 03.27.2013 // Hamza CTZ Aziz

Beautiful visuals that go hand-in-hand with the violence

What was once a thriving area of small and unique downloadables titles has slowly become a void. It just seems Microsoft doesn't care to support what made Xbox Live Arcade so special in the first place. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, a spiritual successor to Max and the Magic Marker, has particularly peaked my interest as it very well could be one of the last sources of light for XBLA before we make the next console transition. 

In a lot of ways, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is very reminiscent of Limbo, with its platforming that required some thinking in order to progress. Max also channels the spirit of Heart of Darkness, a PlayStation 1 era title that twisted your very own heart as you tried to do everything in your power to save the main character from horrific deaths.

My hands-on demo during PAX East this year saw me near the beginning. Max just obtained a magic marker given to him by an old witch, the only good left in the world, to aid him on his quest to save his brother from evil forces. The marker will have a number of powers associated with it, and the first two I messed with let me draw vine ropes (that I can cut at anytime), and one to create ledge extensions. 

There will be flashy indicators to show you where specifically you can use the marker within areas and it's very easy to use the magic marker. At any point while you're playing, you'll just hold the right trigger to summon the marker. From there you'll move the marker around like it's a computer mouse with the left thumbstick to draw whatever you need automatically in order to progress. Once you're done you just let go of the right trigger to immediately get back in control of Max. 

There's still a slight challenge involved getting through levels despite the indicators that make it simple to know where to use your powers. Some areas will see you having to string different powers together, such as drawing a ledge, connecting a vine to it, climb to the ledge via the rope, then cutting the top portion of the vine so you can then shimmy down and finally use some physics to swing back and forth to jump to another platform. 

Part of me wishes there were no flashy indicators to tell you where specifically to use the marker's powers, instead replacing them with stronger environmental clues. Still, what I played was challenging enough and I died plenty of times as I had to try and figure out what worked best in most situations. Dying will immediately set you back to a checkpoint an unlimited amount of times, so trial and error won't be too punishing. 

Other powers you gain sees stuff like letting you raise the ground, shoot out water, and unless fireballs, which is the only aggressive powers in the game. Getting hit with any sort of hazard is an instant-death, and it's also a shocker too. The world of Max: The Curse of Brother is so bright and cheerful that the death animations become a sharp contrast to everything else. The first enemy I hit was this stationary little glob creature that explodes upon contact. Max immediately fell to the floor, with his face looking straight towards the player, lifeless like a real corpse, eyes open and mouth slightly hung upon. It was eerily realistic. 

A later level saw me having to run away from a giant monster with no time to slow down as you navigate the various platforms. If the monster did catch me, it would throw me in its mouth, take a couple of bites, and swallow. Another time it caught me, it held me up by my legs, took one giant swing at my entire little body, and instantly killed me. Again, it's shocking given the aesthetics of the entire game.  

This extreme violence made me instantly very protective of Max. I hated seeing him get hurt, and it was enough to motivate me to try and play better instead of being my usual brash self when I play most other platformers. And while the game is very violent, there is no gore or anything like that from what I saw.

There is a lot of promise here with Max: The Curse of Brother. I had a lot of fun given my sort time with it, and if the controls receive some tighter precision I think this will be one to keep an eye out on for sure.

Photo Gallery: (9 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Max: The Curse of Brother

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cblogs of 11/25/15 + Turkey N Stuff

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 73: Stay Classy

NVGR: Updated Album "ADBC" (No longer an EP)

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Time for Thanksgiving dinner, then more Shantae! [img][/img]
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
So Macy's parade had that performance from "The Wiz" which made me realize I'd much rather have seen "The Wizard" where everyone is dancing around wearing power gloves. Come on Nintendo, THE TIME IS NOW!
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Happy #Darksiders2 day-I mean Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Shinta avatarShinta
Transformers Devastation PS4 - $24. The Order 1886 $10. Digital flash sale on PSN. I think I'm going to have to bite on both these. And I hate digital if I can avoid it ...
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Remember folks, don't forget to smoke cigarettes in between courses during thanksgiving to help in digestion.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
For friends in UK that want a 3DS XL - 99.99 pounds [url][/url]
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Playing New Vegas again because reasons, it occurs to me that it'd be nice if Old World Blues gave me the option to move the Brotherhood of Steel to the Big MT instead of wiping them out for Mr. House.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Near heart attack as for a minute it seemed like the A button of my 3DS was busted. It's fine now though, I think we'll live.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
There's now a £4/$5 Raspberry Pi. So cheap it's a cover extra on the latest Mag Pi. Based on the original chipset, it's single core but clocked at 1Ghz so it's quite a bit faster and oh so tiny. I can't wait to see what folks build with it.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
After a lifetime of not spending a single cent on FTP games, I finally broke and dropped €1 in the Nintendo Badge Arcade. I just had to have all the Luigi badges asap. I feel dirty. Plus side, my 3ds will be covered in Luigi.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The postman just brought me gifts i bought for myself ... [img][/img] [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Umm.. no Microsoft. Where is the 'go away' button? [img][/img]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I tried driving as Uber last night to start supplementing my income and everyone so far has been super chill. Also, I started practicing in my sleepy small home city so the training wheels were still on. No big city bar hoppers just yet.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just got my Gwent physical edition. I don't understand special abilities - for example, Arachas have an icon with two knights beneath the close combat icon. Avallac'h has an eye in that same spot. Help? (I'm no longer a squid btw)
KyWii avatarKyWii
Happy Thanksgiving all! Load up on carbs and then get back to playing Fallout 4.
Archelon avatarArchelon
New extended television spot for The Force Awakens! [youtube][/youtube]
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
I dunno if I just had a freak incident but I think Ubisoft may have just changed the Renown gain in Rainbow Six Siege to be less shit as in overnight they've patched it. If true, kinda good on them.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Does it mess with anyone else's head that when beating a SMBW level in Mario Maker the music doesn't do that little 'booowoo oop' at the end. [youtube][/youtube]
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I've developed a new hobby to indulge in while on Skype with friends: creating stupid Sonic OCs. I have so much fun making them for some weird reason, and once I have enough of them I might as well post a c-blog of them, am I right? Look out in the future
El Dango avatarEl Dango
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -