Review: Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom (PS3/PSV/PSTV)

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Platforms:

  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation Vita

Extras:

  • PlayStation TV Compatible Yes
  • Cross-Buy No
  • Cross-Save No
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom
Format: Blu-ray Disc PlayStation Network Download (PS3 323 MB) / (PSV 355 MB)
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Little Orbit, LLC
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Original MSRP: $39.99 (PS3), $29.99 (PSV) *This is NOT a Cross-Buy title.
ESRB Rating: E10+
Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is also available on Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, and PC.
The PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita download versions were used for this review.
Copies of this game were provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is a game based on the hit cartoon show Adventure Time featuring Finn the human and Jake the (shapeshifting) dog. Before I get too far in I’ll mention that I’m not incredibly familiar with the show. This review is more aimed at how the game plays to an outsider to the franchise rather than to someone who likes the show.

Secret of the Nameless Kingdom sees Finn and Jake waking up in a distant land, where they are thrust into an adventure to save three slumbering princesses. You’ll play as Finn, who runs around solving puzzles and battling baddies with Jake providing helpful shapeshifting backup, such as being a shield or grabbing items. Either as an homage or as a clone the game is very similar to the 2D Zelda games, specifically games like Link to the Past or Link’s Awakening, right down to the perspective and the way the screens scroll between areas.

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The princesses are all located at the end of dungeons spread out on a somewhat small world map and Finn gathers a variety of items to help him navigate the world. These include a banana that stuns enemies then returns to the user like a boomerang, or a fire pixie that lights the surrounding area like a lantern but can be thrown like a fire spell. Even Jake gets in on the action occasionally gaining new abilities during the adventure.

Even if they don’t feel completely fresh the dungeons are well designed for the most part. The puzzles may be very basic “push a block here,” “pull a lever there” types but they’re interesting and fun to solve. Dungeon bosses are the best part of the game being much more of a puzzle than a fight when compared to Zelda bosses. The second boss especially as he is impervious to all of Finn’s attacks and must be taken down by reflecting his own attack using crystals in the room. There’s no shortage of enemies to use Finn’s sword on so it’s a nice breath of fresh air to have bosses that don’t die from a few sword hits.

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The biggest problem with the game is that it can be a bit frugal with instructions at times. It may be a bit of a blessing that the world map is as small as it is because it took me far longer than I’d care to admit to get into the second dungeon. I scoured the entire map several times trying to find the items I needed before finally realizing what needed to be done. If you ever find yourself lost the butler guy in the castle will offer advice on the next major task although usually not on how to go about it.

Visuals:
The graphics in Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom are solid 2D style graphics. They’re not much above a browser or flash game but they suit the style of game well enough that it doesn’t matter. There’s enough variety in the dungeons and areas to keep things from feeling all the same although there isn’t as much enemy variety between the areas. Blowing the graphics up to larger sizes for the PS3 version does make some things look a bit more pixelated, but not enough to be a huge bother.

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Audio:
Music in the game also feels Zelda-inspired with some adventure-y sounding world music and slightly more ominous dungeon music. The music loops are a little on the short side though so I found myself turning down the volume to keep it from getting too annoying too quickly. Voice work, as far as I can tell, comes from the same voice actors as the show so it should be familiar to fans. There aren’t a ton of lines but what is there is voiced well.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single player only.

Conclusion:
There aren’t many options for anyone looking for a top-down-Zelda-like game on the Vita or PS3. Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom fills that role with a competent but not particularly noteworthy adventure.

The biggest drawbacks of the game are the relatively short run time and the occasional lack of direction. Those are probably minor if you’re a fan of the show and want to play a decent licensed game but for others this might be an adventure you don’t need to spend time on.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature.

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Written by Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

A longtime PlayStation fan who enjoys JRPGs and rhythm games when he’s not tweeting about his parrot.

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