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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Microsoft Game Studios
Developed By: Press Play
Genre: Platforming/Puzzle/Side-Scroller
Players: 1
Rated: E10+ (Fantasy Violence, Mild Language)
Release Date: December 20, 2013
Screenshots: Link
Price: $14.99 (Buy Now!)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

January 11, 2014 Ė Early in 2010, developer Press Play looked to making a unique action-adventure game that was accessible for all ages. The game in question became Max & the Magic Marker, which was released on several different platforms including PC, Mac Wii and the PlayStation Network. The premise of the title was all about a boy named Max who had the ability to solve intuitive puzzles via a magic marker. Max & the Magic Marker grew a solid following, which Microsoft noticed and secure the releasing of its sequel for its new console, the Xbox One.

Max is your typical boy dealing with real-world problems. He loves having fun, solving puzzles and being a kid. One thing he isnít fawn of is his annoying little brother Felix. This something older siblings having been dealing with since the beginning of time; only in Maxís situation, he has a special tool to help rid himself of his brotherÖ the Magic Marker. Looking on the internet, Max comes across a spell to help rid himself of his annoying brother. Upon uttering the words, a portal opens in their room and a giant paw comes through and snatches up Felix. Realizing the situation has gone horribly wrong, Max jumps through the portal after his brother; and so begins the epic journey of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.

While the story has some interesting aspects to it, most of your time will be spent on traversing the world, solving interesting puzzles and marveling at the wicked mustache on the main villain. Seriously, that mustache is hypnotizing. The Curse of Brotherhood is a 2D platformer within the confines of a 3D world. Think classic Mario Bros. and you hit the nail on the head. Max is armed with one tool; his trust dusty magic marker, which gains new abilities as your progress through the game. Early on in your adventure, Max will limited to drawing platforms, waterspouts and vines to name a few in order to traverse the area. A refreshing piece of the gameplay mechanics is that you will never use just one ability or simply draw pathways to reach your destination. A culmination of everything you learn on your journey is important in helping Max find his brother Felix.

With the power of the magic marker, you would think that you can draw almost anything, allowing you to go wherever or traverse however you please. Developer Press Play opted to create a more scripted experience which only allows you draw on pre-determined spots. This is good in the sense that everyone has the same experience, which limits the imagination being invested into the game. Most of the deaths Iíve experienced within this game were due to this limitation and having a hard time drawing a straight enough line when making vines. However, luck is indeed on your side as you there are a plethora of checkpoints along the way, so you never have to worry about dying and restarting the level from the beginning.

Visually, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is the beacon of animation for the Xbox One. Though the character models and environments donít share the same level of detail as in a Ratchet & Clank game, you can this world was handcrafted to tell a story all its own. Character models move fluidly and the special effects are perfectly fitting to this world. Each level was unique in design, which made for interesting puzzle creations throughout the game. The music score within the game is sold and the voice acting isnít bad, though some could be annoying at times. Overall, Press Play did smashing job bring the world of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood to life.

Depending on your approach to Max: the Curse of Brotherhood, you can easily complete the title in 4-6 hours. However, if you are like me and want to call all the items scattered throughout the game, you can easily sink another 4-5 hours into the experience. The beauty of going back through the levels to find the missing items is that they [levels] are broken down into sections, so you donít have to worry about traversing the entire level just to find one missed item. Couple that with its intuitive gameplay mechanic and ease of entry, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood a befitting title to help fill a void on the console. If you havenít already picked up the game, you owe it to yourself to have some fun.


Review copy provided by Publisher

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