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Costume Quest

Could Tim Schafer's latest be an XBLA and PSN gem?

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Now towering above the town, we strike first by hitting 'X 'to attack. Unlike many other RPGs the game commands your attention in battle, since each costume has a different type of attack mechanic. As the mech, we're required to time a button press to hit a sweet spot on a bar. Mistiming the button press sacrifices a damage boost.

After dealing enough damage, our candy bar fills up and gives us access to a special attack. We hit 'Y' and watch as robot Wren releases a salvo of rockets, taking out the demon goons and winning the battle. Naturally, items and EXP are rewarded for our victory.

The battle system offers a unique twist to the vanilla adventure core - but how long its rather simple mechanics will keep players entertained remains to be seen.

Our celebrations are cut short by a hooded, wand-carrying Witch who recognises Wren as 'not the average trick or treater'. Quickly throwing us aside using a conjured-up Tornado, the hag strips us of our costume. Wren exclaims that she's "ruined Halloween". Battered and Costume-less this can mean only one thing... a quest.

Zoom

Rescuing brother Reynold is put on hold while we search for the necessary components to rebuild the robot costume. After smashing a few objects with our surprisingly sturdy candy pail and being informed of a road closure due to "vehicular malfeasance" by a podgy cop, we once again don the robot garb.

Each costume grants Wren with a special ability in non-battle portions of the game. The robot outfit, for example, allows us to tear around the town using roller-skates, which come in handy for outrunning Travis the bully and bounding over ramps.

Like previous Double Fine games, Costume Quest looks to take a simple, traditional set of gameplay mechanics built on a fun, visually interesting world.

So far the XBLA and PSN effort features all the hallmarks of a Tim Schafer game; the dialogue is well written and we even had a few laugh out loud moments.

The RPG mechanics are simple, but have the potential to become engaging; adding the numerous costume properties to the mix creates an element of strategy that genre fans will likely appreciate.

It's shaping up to be a classic slice of Double Fine goodness - and, boy, could 2010 do with one of those.

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