In terms of being as simple, charming fun, it is hard to beat the first-and-a-half Costume Quest game. The main game—minus the Grubbins on Ice expansion—had that Calvin & Hobbes feel to it, what with the mix of the real world and a child’s imaginations, and all that jazz. The expansion was also good, but I always feel it took a bit away from what made the original so charming: All of a sudden the Calvin & Hobbes sensibilities were washed out, and there was no longer a question if what you were seeing was real, as opposed to that of a child’s imagination.
Either way, both were great fun, and Costume Quest 2 is by no means any worse. Yet again you get an incredibly fun game, with tons of atmosphere and personality.
Here Wren and Reynold—you can choose either to be your main character—and their friends are up against Dr Orel White, a dentist who has waged a war on Halloween in a way that would leave Bill O’Reilly mortified (had this been Christmas, that is). Dashes of time travel is thrown in, and the game maintains the original’s Halloween theme, like any self-respecting October-released game would. (Last year’s Halloween, but the point remains.)
Things are a bit simplified this time around. The combat is streamlined and the healing system has been changed around a bit. The control system has been tightened up just a bit. More importantly, the side-quests are more varied, and are for the most part very entertaining.
But again, it all comes down to the charm of Costume Quest’s universe. Double Fine has sprinkled everything with nifty little details, and it’s kind of fun to see old-school references to Double Fine classics, as opposed to the old LEC stuff we so often expect to see. (I mean, it’ll make you feel old too, but that’s just something we all have to live with.)
In the end, Costume Quest 2 is more of the same, just for better and worse enhanced in different ways. By worse I mean that some of the innocence of the first game is missing, which is what it is. The game is still incredibly fun, and you’d be as cold-hearted as Jason if you don’t like it.