Review – Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion

I’ve talked about my brief experiences with both previous Adventure Time releases and a short demo impression of Pirates of the Enchiridion in my E3 2018 article. I was seriously looking forward to the full release of this game, as it did leave a good impression. I’m glad the game is actually as good as I was expecting, even though there are a handful of issues and caveats I need to address.

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Jaws references are always welcome

As mentioned before, Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is a mixture between nautical open-world exploration and turn-based RPG battles, with some very basic platforming shoved into it. I had already played a bit of it beforehand, so I was acquainted with its very simple combat system (featuring a nice experience bonus whenever you use excessive brute force to defeat an already weakened enemy) and exploration gameplay. The game doesn’t push any boundaries in terms of gameplay, but it gets the job done. The overworld exploration controls however, are a bit stiff with the camera not behaving as it should.

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The ice king needs to chill. Get it? CHILL! I’ll see myself out…

The visuals largely follow the cartoon’s art style. Thanks to the source material’s simplicity, the polygons and textures are also very simple. Animations are quite fluid, especially when you’re battling enemies. However, slowdowns are too frequent, mainly when you’re exploring the overworld.

The sound department is the game’s highlight, as expected. The entire cast from the show is back. Every single actor reprises his/her roles with memorable lines and lots of humor. There are even some references for “grown-ups”, like a few nods to Jaws, for instance. The soundtrack is also pretty good, with the battle themes being the highlight, as they mix modern instruments with 8-bit chiptunes. While the music is good and the voice acting is sublime, Pirates of the Enchiridion suffers a bit in its audio mixing department. There are moments in which the music is a lot louder than the voice acting, for instance. It happened quite often during cutscenes, to my dismay.

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Still better than Sea of Thieves.

By far, my biggest issue with the game lies on its loading times. Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion features one of the most annoying loading times of any Switch game I have ever played. Be it when you’re entering a new area, loading a save file, or entering a battle, everything just takes too long to load. This does affect the pacing a lot more than expected. Even the game itself acknowledges the loading times by showing a “this might take a while” message during those screens. It certainly is annoying.

One thing that needs to be said is that this game is ridiculous easy, probably the easiest RPG I have ever played. I would be wrong to detract points from it, however: this is a game clearly made for a younger audience most certainly not used to playing RPGs. I’m an adult playing a cartoon game aimed at kids, I should not expect a challenge from a game like this. Furthermore, I still had fun during most of my experience with it. Without a doubt, the most enjoyable moments in the game were the interrogation scenes, with Finn and Jake acting as good and bad cops. Who needs L.A. Noire when you have this?

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Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway!!

Pirates of the Enchiridion is yet another fun Adventure Time video game. It might not be the most polished product out there and its loading times are borderline insanity-inducing, but I was smiling from beginning to end while playing it and I’m not even an Adventure Time fan to begin with. It’s charming, it has a great sense of humor, its combat is simple yet packed with some neat ideas, and it has enough side content to keep you busy for a few extra hours. If you’re looking for yet another RPG for your Switch, this Adventure Time title ain’t a bad call, believe it or not.

 

Graphics: 7.0

A faithful recreation of the cartoon’s visual style, even if some character designs don’t look good when comparing them to the main cast. Framerate hiccups are quite frequent, sadly.

Gameplay: 6.5

The combat system is extremely easy to learn and features some clever mechanics, even though it’s largely simplistic. The overworld controls are a bit stiff though and the camera could have behaved A LOT better.

Sound: 9.0

Good overworld music, awesome retro-inspired combat tunes, and outstanding voice acting. All of them occasionally hindered by somewhat faulty sound mixing.

Fun Factor: 8.0

I had a lot of fun with this game due to its excellent sense of humor and simple but engaging combat system, but I got really annoyed with the long loading times.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Also available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

A copy of Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion was provided by the publisher.

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