PAX Prime 2012: Adventure Time hands-on preview
As I attended the first day of PAX Prime, I was well prepared for my hands on time with Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage? with my overly awesome Adventure Time/Batman mash-up shirt, my iPhone donned with an Adventure Time background, and my ringtone set to the Jake and BMO 'Where's Jake' song. To say I'm a fan of the show is an understatement.
As we were introduced to the game, we were reminded once again that Pendleton Ward was heavily involved with the storyline and overall game design. That pretty much means if you love the show, you'll find a lot to love in the game. It was also revealed that Ward himself loved the Zelda II gameplay from the NES, and translated that similar gameplay to Adventure Time. Needless to say, the brief time I had with it proved that not only will this game be a love letter to Zelda II, it will also be one huge fan service for the fans.
After the initial tutorial level which had me breaking tea cups inside of Jake and Finn's secret room, which got me accustomed to the controls, I was set out into the world and stumbled across the Town of Housies, which divulged that Donny was being jerk and needed to be dealt with. On my quest to find him, venturing across the world map, the similar silhouettes of Zelda II would roam around, and upon touching one would transport you into a sidescrolling level that required you to dispatch of all the enemies. Finn was able to use his strong but short punch, while Jake was able to stretch his arms out further but do less damage.
The big draw to completing these random encounters is for the loot. While you can't actually equip any of it, it proves extremely useful. From hamburgers, to ketchup, ninja cloaks and wings, you'll be able to use these items to help out Finn and Jake and give them some kind of boost of powerup. For example a burger will refill a portion of your health, and the wings will allow you to jump higher. However to make things more interesting, you can combine items that would normally go together such as a hamburger with ketchup, or with salt, and it will make that item more potent. Mix a burger with something that doesn't go with it and it can actually decrease your health.
The boss battle with Donny wasn't entirely challenging as it mainly required me to punch and jump away from his attacks, but it was fun nonetheless. After dispatching of Donny, we were able to continue our quest to find the Ice King.
Adventure Time won't feature standard RPG mechanics such as XP, however you can power up your character by finding Wizard Coins throughout the land of Ooo. Each one will allow you to decide which of Finn's stats you wish to raise, such as health or attack. Not only does finding these coins encourage exploration, I was told that the first time through, I probably won't find them all. On top of that, the game is said to be around eight to ten hours, which sounds like a perfect length for a game like Adventure Time on the go.
While the actual release date wasn't divulged, we can expect Adventure Time to hit the 3DS and DS this fall, most likely around November. And if you're a die hard AT fan, you owe it to yourself to get the collector's edition of the game, which will come in a Enchiridion styled steel case and other awesome extras. Mathematical!