[PS4 & Vita Review] Broken Age
Excellent return to Adventure gaming9.5
The super successful Kickstarted adventure game from Double Fine is now on PS4 and Vita. As the first part came out on PC over a year ago, we are getting the complete package with both parts. Awesome!
Broken Age is a timeless coming-of-age story of barfing trees and talking spoons. Vella Tartine and Shay Volta are two teenagers in strangely similar situations, but radically different worlds. The player can freely switch between their stories, helping them take control of their own lives, and dealing with the unexpected adventures that follow.
– Original soundtrack, composed by Peter McConnell, recorded by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
– All-star voice cast, including Elijah Wood, Jack Black, Jennifer Hale, Masasa Moyo, Wil Wheaton, and Pendleton Ward
– Dialog Trees!
– Some jokes. Unless you don’t think they’re funny, in which case we totally weren’t trying to be funny
– A whole bunch of awesome PUZZLES
– This one really hard puzzle that you won’t get but you’ll look it up online and not tell anybody
– All your hopes and dreams
Purchasing this content entitles you to both the PS4™ and “PS Vita” versions!
Broken Age – Launch Trailer | PS4, PS Vita
Wow. Broken Age is something. Broken Age comes to us from the mind of Tim Schafer, creator of games such as the Monkey Island Series, Full Throttle, and Grim Freaking Fandango. He decided to Kickstart another small adventure game, which he hadn’t done in a while. Double Fine originally had a goal for $400,000 and ended up getting $3.45 million dollars for it. This considerably bumped up the scope of what was supposed to be a simple game and made them actually take longer to develop it, thus having to split the game into two different parts. How did the game turn out?
Broken Age starts with you being able to select either of the two main characters, Vella or Shay. They are both sleeping at the start, showing us that they are telling parallel stories, even though you can’t quite see the connections initially. I will give a brief overview of the story as to not ruin any major story beats:
Vella is a girl from a small town called Sugar Bunting, and there is a Monster named Mog Chothra who will come to their village and destroy it if they do not do the “Maiden Feasts.” Maiden Feasts consist of girls from the village being offered to Mog Chothra as sacrifices, which all of the girls consider a great honor. Vella is not quite ready to be a sacrifice, so looks for her options to stop the feast and Mog Chothra himself.
Shay’s story is a little different as he’s in space… in the future? Hard to tell the timelines. He is all alone on the ship, with the ship’s AI acting as his mother and father. He is on a rescue mission for his planet, but the ship’s main focus seems to be on keeping him safe and not putting him in any danger. He is looking to break out of his mundane existence of safety and boredom to actually help do some good, putting himself at risk.
This is as far as I will go, but I wanted to give you a taste of the dual storylines. I actually liked Vella’s story a little better, which surprised me as I thought Shay’s would be right up my alley. The other cool thing about having the two stories is that you can switch between them at any time and go to the other. Near the end of the game, you might be doing this a lot.
The game is a point and click adventure. If you have not had a chance yet to play a point and click, you should get familiar with some of the old classics. You walk around the environment by pointing and clicking with your cursor. You can highlight objects and have your character pick them up and use them with other things in the environment. These often turn into deep puzzles, and you will have to use logic to figure out how to combine items with other items or characters to progress further. Overall I did well with the game and didn’t have to to use any internet help to solve puzzles in the first act, but by the second act things do ramp up and the difficulty gets considerably higher… so I did have to get a few hints to help guide me on my way.
The game looks beautiful. I had friends visit while I was playing. They are not super familiar with video games and thought it was a cartoon on the TV. The shocked look on their faces when they realized I was playing a game was priceless. The game’s art style gives it a painted watercolor look. The world of Vella’s story is bright and colorful to match her world, and Shay’s story has a more sterile feel that works perfectly with his world. The voice acting is awesome with a great cast of actors including Elijah Wood, Jack Black, and Wil Wheaton! Every character in the game has a unique personality that perfectly fits their voice actor.
I did play the game on PS4 and Vita as it is a cross-buy and cross-save title. The Vita version was just as great as the PS4 version, with no issues. The cross-save worked great and allowed me to continue playing right where I left off on the other platform. This was a great game to take on the go, but I was glad for being able to take things to the big screen.
The game has a plethora of trophies available to trophy hunters, including a platinum trophy. This is one that I definitely want to go back to, as I enjoyed the game profusely. You will need to play the game multiple times to get that platinum. I would suggest that you play for fun the first time, then play again as you focus on getting the trophies you missed, to then take one final go to Speedrun of the game to complete it in under one hour.
Broken Age is awesome. I don’t know if you got that from my review. This proves that the adventure genre is not dead. The game is gorgeous and magical, plays great, and does an excellent job of juggling two different stories to make them come together in a perfect way. There is almost nothing not to like, unless you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like great games. Now let’s bring on a Day of the Tentacle HD Remaster… and please, Tim Schafer, could we get a remaster of Full Throttle as well?
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer.
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