Game Music

Comic Jumper: The Laughter and Music Save You From Breaking Your Controller

December 10, 2010 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook Comic Jumper: The Laughter and Music Save You From Breaking Your Controlleron Twitter

Following the success of ‘Splosion Man, Twisted Pixel has gone ever further out of the box in delivering Comic Jumper, a side-scrolling romp with some 3D sequences and a sharp sense of humor. Instead of the homicidally, adorable, flaming protagonist, we now have a dim-witted, arrogant nincompoop with a loud-mouthed asshole sidekick, Star. Though I always loved ‘Splosion Man, Captain Smiley holds his own and so does the rest of this rather difficult and musical blast.

The story finds Captain Smiley, a comic book hero, with declining sales numbers of his book, forcing him to guest star in other heroes’ series to regain fame and relaunch his solo title – a brilliant premise. Smiley is forced to run the gamut of different genres and series. In a wonderfully clever move, Twisted Pixel opted to assign different composers for the different worlds.

Much like different comic books have different feels and artists, Comic Jumper‘s levels do this and add the music to the unique sensibility of each level.

Immediately, we are introduced to the character of Brad, a musclebound jerk with the funniest theme song this side of last year’s Donuts song. “Who’s that super-fly musclepumper? (It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s Brad) / You’ve never seen a super-fly musclepumper as bad as this Brad!” No, really. Those are the words.

After Captain Smiley is forced to return to other characters’ comics in guest spots, we are introduced to the first of these appearances in a fantasy-medieval action comic/level called “NANOC: The Obliviator” (“Conan” backwards, naturally). Voiced by an Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator, Nanoc is an out-of-shape moron who still behaves as though he is capable of accomplishing epic feats. Josh Mosley, composer of ‘Splosion Man, scores the Nanoc levels admirably and epically. Incorporating voices once again, these tracks have all the tropes of fun and intense action music. Much like his previous score, Mosley incorporates a greater deal of musicality one might expect for a comedy/action score and, thusly, provides a hilarious juxtaposing of Nanoc’s epic and terribly dangerous world with Captain Smiley’s modern sarcasm and idiocy.

Matt Chaney, the composer of last year’s beloved “Everyone Loves Donuts” song from ‘Splosion Man returns here in a very different capacity. Scoring the levels of “The Adventures of Captain Smiley” (a bank heist), Chaney has opted for a more serious approach loaded with electric and bass guitar. This a series of tracks that work quite well in the context as the main character begins to rediscover some of his mojo. A terribly difficult level is made a little more soothing thanks to Matt Chaney pumping me up. “Side Scrolling” is the highlight of this lot and is a heavy, ass-kicking piece. Most of the tracks range about a minute in length, but “Side Scrolling” hangs a little longer and loops effectively.

In a nod (or jab) to Manga, Captain Smiley is sent to the comic book world of “Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids.” Encompassing the most dynamic of the world scores, composer Chris Sabat boasts a charming piece of chip music only to give way to Japanese-styled techno, in particular “Boss Battle.” Almost like acid jazz, this silly blend of genres poking fun at certain techno sensibilities is hilarious and a great compliment to the action.

The “Improbable Paper Pals” world is scored by John De Borde, but might be confused for Glenn Miller. This swinging jazzy collection joins its peers in the world of Captain Smiley in being irresistibly charming and fitting of the action. Part noir and part looney tunes, “Ropes Battle” safely embodies the lot of De Borde’s contribution to the soundtrack with trumpets playing silly (yet difficult) licks and smooth percussion.

Comic Jumper does not have an official soundtrack release, and very few of the tracks extend beyond ninety seconds of fun. Can we complain? How can we when it’s available for free HERE? For a game of this stature (though still quite sizable for a “downloadable title”), coupled with appropriate looping, it is more than adequate and feels quite substantive.

Twisted Pixel has just announced that a sequel to ‘Splosion Man will be its next released title. I have seen no screenshots or gameplay, but I think we can all rest assured that it will be fun, difficult, and have an awesome and charmingly fitting soundtrack.

Bravo, Twisted Pixel. Now, give me an easy mode without embarrassing me.

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