A Mathematical Awakening – Part 1

Hi folks, no… this isn’t some sort of educational article or anything (if you’re here for that, you may have made a wrong turn at Albuquerque). No, these are my initial impressions of the 3DS game, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d you steal our garbage?!!

Here’s a short history of my 3DS experience. I waited for it to come out but saw no games worth getting at release, but my intrigue lingered. I waited till a bundle came out and BAM! Zelda Ocarina of Time with a custom shell was released around Christmas time last year. PERFECT! Or it would have been if I liked the game… Yup, I’m that guy. The Zelda series has never held much interest for me but the shell was pretty so I bought it. Other than one Atlus game, I haven’t turned the thing on since it was released… Until Adventure Time.

Now if you’re unfamiliar with Adventure time with Finn and Jake, it’s about a kid (Fin) who appears to be the only human and his best friend Jake (voiced by John DiMaggio who’s best known as Bender from Futurama!) who’s a yellow dog with almost limitless stretching and shape changing abilities. The show features these two incredibly likable characters going on very D&D-like adventures with surprisingly adult humor, mixed with totally juvenile mischief, and featuring that RARE mix of truly imaginative storytelling/writing, all while not talking down to its audience.

So, onto the game. It starts out like every other rpg/fantasy/adventure game (Castlevania, Zelda II, Pokemon). You wake up and you’re basically a Swiss army knife with most of it’s options tied down. But right away, the 3D is done right. It’s not intrusive and adds some nice depth to the EXTREMELY 2D world of Ooo (where the show/game takes place). Another thing I love is that they were faithful to the art. The show is extremely charming in its simplicity and the style translates perfectly to the game. My main issue with the 3DS is most of the titles that have been updated from the GBA and DS had the art style go from beautifully animated 2D to painfully soulless pseudo 3D polygons. One perfect example is the Fire Emblem series, but I digress. This game is beautiful and reminds me of all the games I loved when I was younger. The twist is, these characters don’t talk down to you. They know that when they gain a new ability and need to move on and throw in some playful  fourth wall breaking jokes. I was playing this game while on an exercise bike and howled at some of the jokes (just wait till you get the bridge ability). After running around for a while on the world map, you’ll have some random encounter fights, get some items, meet some of the cast, do some quests that progress you through the story.

The entire time running around you’ll hear some great dialogue, see some really great characters including: BMO (your 3rd main character who’s a portable gaming system that doubles as your touch screen in game – PERFECT!) NEPTR, Finn’s robot “son,” two water nymphs that hang out by the many fountains you use to save the game (which you do often) and the Ice King, who’s the antagonist with some pretty funny dialogue and an extremely weak reason for messing with you. There isn’t much of a tutorial and you seem to learn some of the controls just messing around instead of having it taught to you, which I love.

It’s a game console within a game console. Is your mind blown or what?

You fight various anthropomorphic “enemies” and some regular animals with various tools duct taped to them (including a rabbit that has a knife taped to it’s back and is now drunk with power), until you get to the first “real” boss, a bear with an eye patch and a chainsaw strapped to it’s back.

I won’t go into any more detail or spoil anything (mainly because I’m not that far into the game), but other than some odd control decisions, the clunky inventory system, and the slightly slow travel on the world map, this game is excellent.

If you’re looking for a classic style adventure and a game that doesn’t take itself seriously at all (again, the plot is that the heroes had their garbage can stolen), this game is totally for you!

Want more Adventure? Check out episode 41!