I first experienced Costume Quest by downloading the trial game on Xbox Live Arcade. I was pleasantly surprised by its art style, clever script and overall charm. I was easily persuaded to buy the complete game and it turned out even better than I could have imagined.
Costume Quest starts as a duo of brother and sister who go out trick-or-treating on Halloween. After one candy corn costume wearing sibling is abducted by candy-stealing monsters, you set out on a quest to save him or her and put a stop to the invasion of these loathsome creatures. Costume Quest plays as an rpg that has you exploring around several location, including a mall, carnival and neighborhood. You go around collecting costumes, candy and fighting monsters that get in your way. The fighting is takes place in your characters imagination where their cheap, cardboard robot costume turns into a vicious fighting machine and the relatively ordinarily monsters become hordes of super powerful foes. You can find the materials for several costumes throughout the game and can transform yourself into many interesting forms. One costume that stands out is a simple French fry outfit that transforms into gigantic crab-fry creature. This would be corny in any other game but it fits perfectly into the creative ideas of Costume Quest.
As you continue your quest to stop the monster and save your sister before midnight you will come upon a variety of interesting characters. Kids will join you, sell you battle stamps (which can be used to augment your character in battle) or trade you for various collectible items. The environments are fun to explore and offer many fun things to do. Several minigames can be found including apple bobbing and participating in a costume competition. Overall, the game is incredibly fun and the game script (although there are no words spoken, only text to read) is incredibly witty and had me chuckling throughout.
While the nostalgia and overall cuteness of the game is well worth admission, Costume Quest is not without its problems. Most notably is the repetitiveness of the turn based combat, which is fun at first but soon becomes a chore that you try to rush through. The new costumes (around 12 in total) add interesting powers and the battle cards add some strategy, but these battle segments (around 100 throughout the game) will eventually have you rolling your eyes and slogging through. Two other minor problems are a lack of some kind of map (not a huge deal but it would have been nice) and the lack of any spoken dialogue throughout the game. Costume Quest manages to outshine these problems as a whole and is quite easily the most fun DLC game I’ve played this year.
Graphics: The cell-shaded graphics add to the cartoony atmosphere of the game quite nicely
Sound: No spoken dialogue is a bummer but the songs are incredibly catchy and fit into the Halloween atmosphere
Playability: The exploration and minigames are fun but the combat will eventually get stale
Story: A well written story supported by hilarious script makes Costume Quest a blast to play through
Overall Score 9.0/10