Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations Review
From the start, it would have been appropriate to show cautious optimism by reason of track record, and following my time with Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations, cautious optimism is still an appropriate course of action. Investigations doesn’t possess fresh ideas, but there are moments that make the experience an enjoyable one. It’s just too bad they aren’t the majority. While I would advise against spending top dollar, there’s an amusing but flawed experience to be had in Investigations that, if nothing else, will provide a few laughs.
- Investigations has a surprisingly sizable campaign, with five cases for a combined playtime of anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. Each case follows a three-act format, complete with quirky title cards that help ground the experience.
- Gameplay consistently involves a mix of completing quests for world inhabitants and combining items you’ve found on your search. Consequently, it’s rare for players to not know what’s expected of them on a surface level, even if the solutions themselves may require outside-the-box thinking.
- The game does a fair job of injecting dialogue sequences with what the franchise is known for — humour stemming from puns, jokes between characters and the way in which messages are delivered tonally. The best moments help diffuse focused quest-seeking behaviour that would transpire to the exclusion of a casual mindset.
- Many of Ice King’s expressions make the mood light (even while what he’s saying might not be described in the same way), and Investigations would certainly be worse off without him sourly vocalizing his “relationship inadequacy” and so on.
- The script isn’t disposable, often integrating Adventure Time lore as seasoning to already enjoyable interactions. That, plus well-done voice acting, makes for a great combination that strengthens the game’s whole.
- There’s a good mix of outdoor and indoor environments that players visit over the course of the campaign, including Bubblegum Kingdom, Ice King’s Palace and Castle Lemongrab. And the further you progress, the better the locations get, both visually and in terms of interaction opportunities.
- Considering this is the first Adventure Time game to explore 3D environments, Investigations presents pleasing environments that, while without notable effects or visual touches, effectively consider the source material and are arranged in such a way that even non-fans can explore without being taken out of the experience by visual drawbacks.
- There are several weak points in the script that counter moments of comedic build-up. Foremost of these is the default behaviour exhibited by the duo after completing quests, which becomes automatic to the point that it rarely adds and in fact sometimes detracts from moments that would otherwise be memorable.
- The interface used to interact with characters and the environment feels clunky in the initial stages. As you approach interaction points, a visual cue will appear on-screen next to Finn indicating which of the four face buttons can be used. L and R will change your active item, while pressing Left or Right on the +Control Pad will pull up your entire collection to facilitate combinations with Y and X. There’s a general feeling that the controls could have been more user-friendly, even though the visual cues were included with that aim.