This is my favorite kind of review to write: one in which I get to talk about a game that's worthy of your attention, but seemingly few have picked up on.
The Adventures of Shuggy has had minimal presence online, which is unfortunate. It's not a bad game at all; in fact, it's a good one. If people knew it had elements similar to the time-based hijinks found in P.B. Winterbottom, maybe the game wouldn't be in this situation.
The Summer of Arcade block doesn't kick off for another few weeks, so it's not too late.
The Adventures of Shuggy (Xbox Live Arcade) Developer: Smudged Cat Games Publisher: Valcon Games Released: June 15, 2011 MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points
Shuggy's tale is a lighthearted one. Our little vampire friend has inherited a castle, and it's naturally one that has its share of problems. (You ever see the original Ghoulies?) The story is minimal and told through brief comic-style cut scenes -- one for each of the game's five areas -- which work decently enough.
Granted, The Adventures of Shuggy is a room-based platformer with an arcade vibe to it, so narrative isn't exactly a top priority here. While I don't personally care for the art style, it works for the direction they took. The music, on the other hand, I did enjoy -- and it also meshes nicely with the theme.
The way the levels are presented seems odd at first, but ultimately, the decision makes sense. Every area contains many doors, each of which represents a level. Upon completing a level, a couple of nearby doors will open; this means you have some amount of freedom and aren't forced to play every single level to unlock the next area. I really dug that, since a few of 'em are total bastards. Of course, backtracking to specific levels is made slightly annoying with this navigational system.
The basic premise of Shuggy is that you need to collect all on-screen gems to complete levels. What makes the game special, however, is that mechanics are fairly varied. Some rooms might allow you to rotate the entire playing field, while others turn you into an always-moving zombie with chargeable jumps that need to be timed since you have no direct control over movement.
Another one of the big mechanics plays with time. Every thirty seconds, a clone of Shuggy is created. He'll do whatever you did in that span of time, and the cycle continues on so long as you don't touch any of your fellow vampires.
With just over 150 different levels (36 of which are for co-op play), you'd be excused for thinking that repetition could be an issue. But, it's really not -- at least in terms of room types. Since there are no checkpoints in Shuggy, a handful of the longer levels become painful when you touch an enemy seconds before completion and have to start over.
The movement is a little on the floaty side of the platforming spectrum, but I wouldn't call it bad; there's room for improvement, though. There were times when I lost and I wasn't willing to take full responsibility for what had occurred. We've all been there before.
Beyond the single-player missions described above, a few multiplayer modes are offered as well. First, the competitive modes: one has players collecting as many gems as possible in a given amount of time, complete with power-ups. Another lets you take turns beating levels, where time is also a factor.
Neither of these are anything too crazy. Every time I searched for an online session, no one was playing, which is to be expected. Thankfully, you can do all of this stuff locally and aren't made to rely on the online community to see content you paid for.
The two-person co-op is where it's at, in terms of multiplayer offerings. It's set up similar to the single-player, where you have to unlock access to levels through centralized hub rooms, but the levels themselves aren't repeats. In a world where couch co-op is usually passed on by developers, this was greatly appreciated.
For the price, it's surprising to see so much content packed into an Xbox Live Arcade game. The Adventures of Shuggy isn't as polished as the top-tier platformers it's put up against, but it is a great game regardless. I have a feeling this one will reach hidden-gem status for many of you, assuming you're willing to give it that initial chance.
The Adventures of Shuggy - Reviewed by Jordan Devore
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.
Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, 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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.
ShadeOfLight Who's that Dtoider?!
[img]https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/mxkiN8bETHyWOj2gJ4lg[/img] wutangclam Pathologic Classic HD just got announced and holy crap am I excited. If you haven't played the game, keep your eyes on this one. It's the very definition of an underrated title. Though I'm not sure what'll happen to the remake that was being shown...El Dango My opinion on Tomba has changed, now I dig it again. Stay tuned for updates.techsupport MGO is a blast and after playing for a few hours as each class, I'm glad I stuck with Infiltrator.CblogRecaps So assuming the terrible blog tools functions correctly, soon there may be a nefarious call to arms. So keep an eye out and hope there isn't a typo due to light-grey on white background text.Jiraya Gonna have a date tonight ? Here's a song for you.
And yes, this is video game related!Nathan D "Everlasting. True love. I am yours." -Rule of Rose T^TShinta MGO's pretty fun! I suck at it though. I mostly hang back and just mark enemies and get the occasional sniper kill. It's pretty fun to be semi-useful with a very hands off role like that. Love my avatar character guy too.Mike Martin Fuck Insecticonsnanashi they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food https://youtu.be/t-mKHCMhkEURobo Panda Z I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.KyWii Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xDAvoclefo Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yQlDnIAR14[/youtube]Rad Party God AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'OverlordZetta N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!OverlordZetta Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?VIRGO Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game. gajknight Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go. CJ Andriessen My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo