Top critical review
Fans of the originals, don't get too attached. Not the best game out there.
on May 14, 2015
While this game was fun for what it is, it lacked quite a bit of charm the other games had. For one, the controls were difficult to get used to, in the way that I felt they were dumbed down. The camera tried to do all the work when in reality, I wasn't able to jump straight because it kept jerking around. While I loved the original games, I can't give this a great review on nostalgia alone. The new level designs were interesting (to the point of being so nice they lagged the game) and the coin collection system was much the same. You can buy power-ups and even have new costumes to use (something implemented in the second game, I believe) But unlike that game, these costumes were basically one-time use, unless you wanted to go around collecting all the secret loot. But there isn't really a reason to.
Which brings me to another flaw. You don't need to use the other characters very often, so buying them power-ups doesn't really do much. I'm specifically referring to Carmalita, who has multiple upgrades but you only play as her twice. And neither time is very exciting. In fact, the game might have been better without her since all she does is fume at Cooper and get herself kidnapped. Twice. But that's another story.
I was also confused by the pacing of the puzzles. Most of them were easy, but the extremely easy ones were sided up with difficult ones and then they became easy again after that. I didn't feel like there was a progression in difficulty. It was all mismatched together and thrown into the game.
And as far as characters go, while the original gang is more or less the same, I can't help but feel like the secondary characters (bosses included) had no real character despite having strange and irrelevant back-stories. They have no motive and no purpose. The entire game felt devoid of any solid characterization.
The game has a cliffhanger ending. This game is not the time or place to have cliffhangers. As far as I know, they're not planning another one. I don't know why they thought it was a good idea to do this. It's not rewarding in the least to finish this game. It feels like a slap in the face to loyal fans of the original. You can unlock a "Secret ending" by collecting all the loot, but it's not worth it. It's a sorry excuse for dragging out the gameplay. And my God, it doesn't need any more dragging out. The bosses alone take FOREVER to defeat. Longer than most of the puzzles.
All in all, if you're a fan of the original, I'd say don't waste your time. Just go back, play the originals, and enjoy what a good game should be. Let it rest in peace. But if you're curious, and have a few hours to kill, it's not the worst game out there. Just be prepared for a disappointing ending.