The lights are on
The official GameInformer review makes plenty of valid points about this game, not the least of which is the ill-conceived save system, but disregarding this game on the whole, I believe, would be a mistake. Now, I need to be upfront that this game is more or less tailor-made for me. I did not get a whole lot of opportunity to celebrate Halloween as a kid, but it was always my favourite. This game essentially allows me to enjoy that day without the need for a time machine or making me sit through a corny kid's animated Halloween movie, which I do plenty of around this time of the year.
The writing is decent, functioning on a more kid-friendly level, but once again the save system almost wards kids off. Any player who does not carefully monitor their auto-saves is likely to lose a chunk of play. The combat, while not especially engrossing, is quick enough not to really bother me. For me, it's not why I am playing the game. The art direction is fun, as well as things like the costumes, candy collection, and fun quests.
Ultimately, I can't recommend this for everyone, but I can recommend it for some. If you feel like you could potentially enjoy it, at least check out the demo. I did, and I'm happy with my decision.
I agree with Joe Juba's point about lack of a user controlled save system. But, I figured it out within the first autosave after seeing that there was no save ability from the main menu.
I have to disagree with Joe about the animations. I never really got tired of them.
I have to say this game is not perfect and I would give it a 7.75 out of 10 going by GI's past reviews and scoring system. I feel that a 6 out of 10 is too low of a score.
The story and humor were great, but in the last stage for me the combat was way too easy. In the first stages of the game I would actually be defeated in combat, in some cases 3 times in a row. At the end of the game I just used the same abilities (Battle Stamps) over and over to win each round of combat with no challenge at all and almost full HP to boot. It would have been nice to be able to adjust the difficulty and also would have been great if the combat mechanics were a tad bit deeper.
I know this is a "mini game" so to speak and I was not expecting a full on RPG. With the games flaws I mentioned I still would recommend this game to most gamers, especially if the games price drops after Halloween.