Max: The Curse of Brotherhood Review

Platform: Xbox One Publisher: Microsoft Developer: Press Play
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Platformer Rating: Teen

In 2010 Press Play an independent company released Max & The Magic Marker for the Wii and was not only praised for their work but won some awards as well.  Since then Press Play wanted to continue their dreams by making Max come to life but was unable to achieve this goal until around mid 2012 when Microsoft not only bought Max, but also purchased Press Play.  The thing about being a first party developer under a high profile publisher is that not only do you get a bigger budget but fans across the world will now have you under their microscope and with Press Play’s first Xbox game Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, it deserves every bit of that.

Not only is Max: The Curse of Brotherhood night and day compared to “The Magic Marker” but it is also one of the most charming and best looking platformer I have seen, all for the price of just $14.99.  The characters designs are beautiful, the character’s voices fit them perfectly, and something that is completely original to its own. On the other hand it also suffers from stuttering in cutscenes.  While it isn’t something that makes this game any less enjoyable, it is something that is noticeable immediately.

Unlike the cut scenes the gameplay on the other hand runs smooth through and through.  I did encounter a glitch a couple of times but the gameplay was refreshing and an overall joy.  Max plays very similar to Limbo with the same physics 2.5D Platforming.  I would say Max is Limbo’s colorful twin in all honesty.  Even though the platforming and style is pretty much exactly the same the gameplay is way more varied in Max due to The Magic Marker.

The Magic Marker allows for a variety of puzzles based off of elements.  In each new Chapter you unlock you will unlock a new ability for you Magic Marker that makes the puzzles more complex and in which always keeps the game new and refreshing.  Whether you use vines, flames, or water you will always be getting something new with each chapter. Most of the puzzles are usually a breeze to get through but when offered the right puzzles this game shines in vibrant colors.  Using all the elements together is when Max is at its best.  It does offer some great action puzzles as well.  This is where the platforming really shows while you are sliding down a tree trunk and then all the sudden you need to create a vine to make it to the next gap.  These are exciting sequences that is enjoyable but mostly easy. Don’t worry though, Max does offer a challenge with numerous puzzles and also has many hidden items to make the game even harder much like Mario does.  While I would prefer the main puzzles were all this challenging max does offer a wide variety of puzzles that will always keep you on your toes.

Analysis

Max is both beautiful and fun.  The story is charming that reminds me of Pixar, Nintendo, Media Molecule, and Rare like characters.  It may not challenge you like a game like Portal would but offers you variety and a unique experience.  Much like Limbo it is a great game and Press play has shown that they are not only a great developer, but have shown that they have the potential to be a superb studio for Microsoft in the long run.

Score Positive Negative
Gameplay 8.5 Wide Variaty of puzzles and fun platforming Much of the game is easy
Artstyle 8.5 Charming characters, colorfule, and beautiful settings Cutscenes Stutter
Story 8 Voice Acting Fits characters
Overall 8.3
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