Adventure Time Pirates of the Enchiridion for the Switch Review: Ooo, Lackluster

Adventure Time Pirates of the Enchiridion

Adventure Time Pirates of the Enchiridion starts off with the promise of being an open-world RPG adventure where your favorite characters of the series set out into the vast sea exploring the land of Ooo. This premise sounds like the perfect game any fan of the TV series would enjoy, but unfortunately, the game runs into some drastic performance issues, lackluster gameplay and repetitive RPG battles.
The game starts off with the series’ main protagonists, Finn and Jake star gazing at the clear night sky alongside BMO. The duo fall asleep and when waking up, they find themselves lost in a flooded land of Ooo, where the water has reached the heights of the mountains and towns have been sunken below. The pair set out to find out what was the cause of this by traversing the vast seas.

The story goes more on the linear side of things with some subplots mixed into the adventure. The story itself tries to plan out a lot of unnecessary questions which could easily be deducted, and by the time the big baddy is revealed, it wasn’t much of a surprise. And most of the questions are quickly answered toward the last five minutes of the game, making the ending feel rushed. As a minor spoiler, the story does have somewhat of a connection to the series finale which I wasn’t expecting at all.
The land of Ooo is wonderful in the TV series, with so many locations to visit. But since the flood occurred, the locales were narrowed down to four main locations. The Candy Kingdom, the Ice Kingdom, the Fire Kingdom and the Evil Forest. There’s also smaller islands that generally have side quests or collectibles, but they’re never visited again after the first time.

The Ice Kingdom is criminally underused since there’s only a small area playable, the Fire Kingdom has many path but not much to it and The Evil Forest is visually unappealing since it’s dark and full of fog.
To reach any of these locations the player needs to traverse the vast sea. It’s enjoyable to sail the first few times and discover new areas. But sadly the enjoyment doesn’t last too long, since the sea itself doesn’t contain much to do. During the first few sails the protagonists sing songs or talk about the game’s plot, but around half way through the adventure the characters stay completely silent, making the travel all the less interesting. The only thing players can find are enemy pirate ships, boxes with some loot inside or discover nearby islands. This is interesting at first, but doing the same actions over and over later make sailing tedious and repetitive.

The battles against enemies is simple but enjoyable. The player has all the basic elements a turn based RPG has, including basic attacks, special attacks, items, shield and run. Special moves require a certain amount of power from a gauge that fills up one point during each character’s turn. There’s a separate gauge each character has that fills up according to certain conditions. For example, Marceline’s gauge fills up if she deals the final blow on an enemy, while Jake’s gauge fills up every time he takes damage. This adds some sort of strategy to battles, and planning out how the battle plays out is crucial.
The Battles don’t change much during the campaign, so it may feel repetitive to fight late game. I tried to avoid enemies later on since it did eventually become tedious to fight. It’s frustrating how big the encounter radius is for the enemies, since a battle could start even though an opponent is far away. Even more annoying is when trying to avoid enemies, a battle could start because one of the characters in my team got close to one.

Aside from battle, there’s occasional puzzles to solve from time to time in the game but they’re extremely simple. There’s also a good amount of side quests that will most probably be left for the post game, and all of them are to collect or defeat something.

By far the worst part of the game and the factor that made this game unenjoyable is the performance issues. The loading times, the amount of times the game crashed, and the frequent frame drops made me want to drop the game and never continue playing. Loading times range at around 30 seconds to almost two minutes, the game crashed every time I arrived to a new place or opened the menu and the game somehow managed to freeze entirely after I defeated the final boss, making me have to do it again. Sailing is time consuming, so when doing so for a few minutes just to arrive to a new area and have the game crash on me made my veins boil. And the game loses frame rates a lot, the drops are so drastic that the game may stay frozen for three seconds before going back to normal. The game is also glitchy, so I could go inside walls or fall out of bounds for seemingly no reason at all. The game’s campaign lasts around roughly ten hours, and I’m pretty sure one hour of that total is load times and booting up the game after every crash it had.

Controls are solid for the most part, although I would’ve liked an option to modify the button scheme to something I preferred more. I also would’ve liked a fast travel system to skip the tedious sailing the game forces you to do. Jake has an ability to turn into a motorbike and controlling it is by far the most enjoyable part of the game.

Adventure Time Pirates of the Enchiridion could’ve been a fantastic game, but the RPG battles are simple and traversing the sea is extremely tedious. The game looks, sounds and controls great, and although the story is linear it’s still enjoyable. What drags the game down however, is its embarrassing performance issues which made the game rage worthy through,out the entire way. All in all, this title is more mediocre than anything. But I still encourage any fan of the series to try it out, since the game will more than likely end up being targeted to the fans rather than the general audience.

Somewhat Recommended

Note: The Developers (Outright Games) said that they are working to patch the performance issues soon, so the Review and Final Score may change later on if the game improves.

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Review by LucasXD, reviewed on the Nintendo Switch. Provided by Outright Games.