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Scarygirl Review

 
 
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Scarygirl. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience.
 

Reviewed on: PS3
Developer: TikGames
Publisher: Square Enix
Rated: "E10+" for Everyone 10+

 
CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki
Presentation 8/10 
Scarygirl is reminiscent of the classic Tim Burton opus The Nightmare Before Christmas. It's dark, yet colorful, imaginative and quite frankly, hard to describe. The narrator is a nice, if predictable touch.
Gameplay 7/10 
Scarygirl is a mixed bag content wise; the platforming is surprisingly stellar, but the combat, which makes up a major portion of the game is utterly disappointing.
Lasting Appeal 5/10 
Though the game isn't as lengthy as one would hope, there are plenty of reasons to go back and play through levels thanks to the scoring system for each level.
Overall 7/10 
It's as uneven as it is unique -- Scarygirl often feels like a developer trying to force an awkwardly shaped peg into a round hole -- try as much as you want -- it just won't work the way that you want it to.
CHEATfactor 4/10 
 

Scarygirl may be new to PC and consoles, but the platformer has a unique history all its own. The character started as the star of a graphic novel, created by Nathan Jurevicius. That graphic novel was then turned into a downloadable game exclusively for the PlayStation Portable. That game was then expanded and ported over to Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network for its current incarnation. How does the latest incarnation fare? Well, it's a lot like the Delorean from the 80s -- sure, it looks flashy, but underneath the hood, its performance is mostly lackluster and forgettable.

"It's dark, yet colorful and vibrant."

 
   

It's genuinely tough to describe Scarygirl to someone who has never seen it. It's easiest to describe it as the video game version of a Tim Burton movie. It's creepy, yet loving. It's dark, yet colorful and vibrant. You play as the titular Scarygirl, an orphan who looks like a discarded child's doll and was raised by a caring octopus. Scarygirl has a nice life, but her dreams are becoming increasingly vivid and violent. It's for that reason that Scarygirl sets out on a journey -- because..well, because why not?

The visuals of Scarygirl is an obvious high point for the title. I used the Tim Burton reference earlier, but perhaps Scarygirl is even better described as a dark children's book. The backgrounds resemble watercolor masterpieces and everything animates really well. Amazingly, it was the little things that I will remember most about Scarygirl, the blades of grass swaying in the wind, the way some of the goofy NPCs walk. The audio isn't quite as remarkable, but the narrator is a nice touch, even though it feels a bit predictable in a game like this.

The downside of all these unique visuals? It seems like the development team didn't put as much work into the gameplay and core mechanics. The biggest issue is with the combat, which is anything but unique. You'll have light and heavy attacks, as well as the ability to grab enemies with your tentacle arm. As you progress through the game, you'll be able to build up your scary meter to unlock a series of powerful attacks including one that involves unleashing a powerful fishhead of doom. So here's the problem; all of this never feels as fluid as it should, let alone rewarding. Thanks to the clunky and slow controls of Scarygirl, the mechanics only seem to disappoint.

"... the platforming works quite well."

 
   

If Scarygirl has a saving grace; it's that the platforming works quite well. Levels are built on non-traditional 3D planes, so there's plenty of room to jump from background to foreground and glide around areas. Sure, Scarygirl borrows a lot of the mechanics from other platformers and puzzle games, but at the very least, the developers knew which ones would fit well with their game.

Scarygirl isn't a lengthy game, and you'll be able to finish most of it over the course of an afternoon, but there's plenty of reason to jump back in and try different levels again thanks to the scoring system. Throughout the game, each level is scored by how many enemies you defeat and how many items you collect. Completionists are going to love Scarygirl.

Throughout my time with Scarygirl, it was hard not to appreciate the visual style employed by the graphic novel turned game, it's just a shame that the gameplay couldn't quite match it. It's as uneven as it is unique -- Scarygirl often feels like a developer trying to force an awkwardly shaped peg into a round hole -- try as much as you want -- it just won't work the way that you want it to.

 
 
CHEATfactor
 
CHEATS USED: Trophies/Achievements List
 

One of the coolest moments in Scarygirl comes when you are able to unleash some pretty cool moves by filling up your scary meter. Throughout the game though, I couldn't help but want more of these, and I would crave a way to instantly feel my scary meter.

Stick with Cheat Happens for more on Scarygirl.

 
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