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.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Had the brilliant idea of watching the original Alien last night before bed. Totally didn't have crazy dreams afterward. Also, Bilbo Baggins was a total jerk in that movie. [img][/img]
gajknight avatargajknight
Sure Niero's all powerful, but does he have lips? Woah...
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Finished playing the fan localization for Ace Investigations 2. These guys did a fantastic job, despite this game having the single most convoluted plot in the entire series. Here's hoping that somehow, someday, Great Ace Attorney will get this treatment.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Okay internet you done it... Playboy will not get nude girls anymore , too much competition. [img][/img]
Torchman avatarTorchman
A little late, but got the Platinum trophy for Dancing All Night. Was proud of myself, until I saw the medals in the collection menu. Coming for you next... after I master the Adachi dlc tonight.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Huh. Already two blogs posted today that are actually advertisements. Lovely.
Zyk avatarZyk
Gettin drunk and watching the entire Critters series in a Tuesday. Best thing about being unemployed.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
If Undertale isn't your GOTY 2015, then you are sorely mistaken [img][/img]
Deadgar64 avatarDeadgar64
Sleep? Who needs sleep? 12:44 am can eat my shorts.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img]
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Anyone else getting massive lag in between games of the Battlefront Beta? I'm running an AMD rig so it might be that but just want to know it's not just me.
Shinta avatarShinta
1 hour stream of Dragon Quest Heroes.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Plague Knight is pretty rad, even when represented by mediocre artists [img][/img]
Shinta avatarShinta
Initial impressions: Chibi-Robo Zip lash is pretty damn fun so far. It's like Mr. Mosquito + Castlevania + Umihara. Controls are spot on, platforming is actually very solid so far, and the characters are about as charming as they can get. +amiibo.
nanashi avatarnanashi
Question: Is resident evil nemesis supposed to start off with a toolbox that has (unlimited) ink ribbon, 250 handgun ammo, magnum (w/ammo), shotgun (w/ammo) and two assault clips, in the first room of the game?????
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] Much want. Such need. Ow.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img][/img] Can you imagine if greedy aliens stole all YOUR snacks? I don't even know how I'd handle it honestly. I don't even want to think about it.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Great. YouTube took down my nude re - enactment of She-Wolf. Again. Fuck you Shakira. Let my art shine.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
BREAKING: Inner city man and "Pokemon Go" enthusiast found dead after entering rival gang's territory. "All he wanted was a Shiny Charizard!" according to an interview with a close friend. "We found him on the street, limp as a Magikarp stuck on a beach."
more quickposts


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!


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 -