We take a look at some new environments in Capcom's long-awaited action game.
Capcom has just sent us a new playable demo of the US version of Maximo. As you've surely heard, the game was recently released in Japan, and for all intents and purposes, this demo is identical, save for the translation and a few omitted levels. We've managed to delve a bit deeper into the game and explore some of the later environments. In our last preview, we described at length the game's first area--the graveyard world, which is packed with all kinds of deadly obstacles and creatures. This time around, we'll take you through the next world--the dreadful swamp environment.
For those who've not yet heard of the game, Maximo is a 3D action platformer, with a definite emphasis on the action. Though it definitely has its share of precarious platforms to traverse, you'll find that the game is especially combat-heavy; enemies spawn at maddening frequency, and you're given a nice array of moves and weapons with which to dispatch them. Maximo's combat is significantly deeper than the combat in most games of its type, and the pacing of the battles, as well as their level of difficulty, is most welcome. Learning the attack patterns of each type of enemy is key to getting through each stage in one piece, and you'll constantly find yourself swarmed by various types of creatures at once. Luckily, Maximo is quite mobile, and his move set becomes more versatile as the game progresses, meaning you'll usually have some kind of escape route at hand.
Maximo is also an aesthetic descendent of Capcom's Ghosts 'N Goblins games. Much of the classic series' essence is re-created in this 3D game, resulting in an experience that will undoubtedly wrench the heartstrings of many veteran gamers. From its haunting theme to its general look and feel, Maximo makes more than one subtle reference to the notoriously challenging series, perhaps in ways above and beyond the game's presentation.
No doubt about it, Maximo is definitely a challenging game, even as far as 3D platformers go. As mentioned before, it puts an emphasis on pattern memorization, much like in the days of yore, and some of its platform romps are not to be taken lightly. Reckless play is punished a bit more severely than in most modern games, though deliberation isn't the best way to go about things either; sit too long and most likely a horde of unpleasant things will surely find you. When things get this unpleasant, though, you'll likely have more than a few ways to cope. As you play the game, you'll come across a whole bunch of different power-ups. Some are dropped by enemies, others you find in chests, and a couple are up for sale at the various "shop" stations littered throughout the environments. Basically all of these power-ups have an effect on combat: You'll find items that add to your attack frequency, lengthen your blade, let you fire motes of energy from your sword tip, and widen the area of your piercing shockwave, among other things. Others have less of an impact on direct combat--one adds a block to your life bar (or armor bar, as it were), while another lets you hurl your shield and retrieve remote items. While you can carry as many of these items as you like and enjoy the effects of every one you have, you can retain only a limited number of them upon death. You start the game being able to retain three, with one added as a bonus every time you clear an entire area. Toward the end of the game, you'll have access to a pretty formidable array of powers.