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Johnny Platform Saves Christmas Review
Review Score:

It’s the Douwe Egberts of Indie Games

Two things surprised me last year. One was the fact that Heather Mills has decided to show her face in the public again and two that not all Xbox Indie titles are complete shit. Unlike Heather Mills you can browse through the vast amount of titles without getting a splinter. Where, as Heather on the other hand only has one title ‘Wooden Legged Gold Digging Slag’.

What I’m trying to say here is simple, you can delve through the eerie past of Xbox Indie titles because there is always a gem waiting to be found and in doing so you forgive it for having some of the most shocking games you’ve ever come across such as ‘360 Massage’ ‘360 Snake’ and some stupid game that helps you chat to girls more easily. One of the games that took be by surprise at the beginning of 2009 was Johnny Platforms Biscuit Romp a game developed by IshiEiketsu. The game was quirky, took on board all, of the platform based rules and provided a humorous and challenging 2D platform title that screamed quality.

Fortunately IshiEiketsu has given us another iteration of the series late in 2009 called ‘Johnny Platform Saves Christmas’. You may be wondering if this has too many Christmas overtones and whilst it does have present boxes, snow and Johnny wearing a Santa hat. Do not be deceived, this game can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The developer has been clever in not smothering the game in Christmas cheer and I only hope that people don’t overlook this game as just being a seasonal frolic, because it isn’t. Johnny Platform Saves Christmas is a sturdy, fair and balanced platform based game that once again screams quality like a woman who’s had her G-Spot touched for the first time.

So for those who are strangers to the series the game uses a series of logic and skill to pad out its 100 levels and in many cases you have enemies on paths to shoot you, you need to jump on these enemies heads to unlock a magic door to take you to the next level. Now that sounds simple right? Well, I would say it is pretty simple until Level 24. The developer starts throwing at you some curveballs to keep you on your toes, whether it be a new set of enemy robots that have a more intelligent movement pattern or levels where you have to run onto ice and slide through flame throwers crouched down to survive. It’s very clever stuff and the pace remains throughout. Whilst many games of this ilk in the past had difficulty spikes at odd places, JPSC seems to make it more difficult as you progress. I think it’s a testament to this title when I can say I have enjoyed playing it as much as N+ and for goodness sake it looks a hell of allot better than N+ too.

Unlike most Indie Games JPSC actually displays in high definition. The graphics are crisp at all times and the clever transition between horizontal and vertical playing fields are ultimately a mark of genius, especially the ability to walk off the left hand side of the level and appear on the right hand side, the developer has used this as a fundamental for some levels. So if you already own the original title I am glad to say that there are a couple of new moves Johnny has in the second. You can now cartwheel across chasms, jump on enemies heads and cartwheel away from death giving objects and to see them being used with real purpose makes it more the worthwhile.

One of my favorite moments in this game is the audio. The soundtrack has that uncanny addictiveness to it, heck in the first title it had me making up rude lyrics. Even Johnny has his own voice and it’s sampled in such a way that it’s just darn humorous. Though to really top this game off it’s the fact that IshiEiketsu have made a character that is addicted to caffeine! It’s something most gamers and office workers can have empathy with as we all rely on it ourselves to even get out of bed and operate. If anything it’s probably one of the most inspirational character traits I’ve seen in a videogame since Gordon Freeman in Half-Life. Too many games make unbelievable characters and you can believe there is a human equivalent of Johnny Platform somewhere, which is marvelous. If we were to compare this game as a coffee it would be a Douwe Egberts. It has discerning quality, should be savored and drunk above most of the other crap on the Xbox freeze dried indie beans.

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Johnny Platform Saves Christmas Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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