Wife Quest (Xbox One) Review
Unlocking new powers as you play each linear stage makes you feel stronger with each passing stage
Story is a comical role reversal as the wife is out to save her husband from kidnappers who want him all for themselves
2D pixel art is well done, minus the confusing backgrounds, and look Scott Pilgrim-ish
The background art is very misleading, thinking they are ledges or interactive when they are not
Play control is a little loose and hit detection can be a little shoddy
Stages are really long and cannot save/continue in the middle of them
Must grind each stage multiple times if you want to collect/see it all
A 2D action platformer sporting an all-female cast, Wife Quest swaps gender roles by putting the player in the shoes of a wife on a quest to save her husband from pervy female monsters. The narrative is purposely cheesy but the action is no joke.
Although you gain a special new ability at the conclusion of each stage, Wife Quest is not a true Metroidvania as each stage is linear and its own area; it is not one big interconnected world. That isn’t to say that unlocking these features, like a shield that reflects damage or wings that glide, isn’t cool because it very much is and it keeps the level of progression satisfying. In fact, killing enemies and finding chests unlocks coins which can be spent at the shop in-between stages and usually numerous upgrades can be unlocked at one time. You start the quest as a weak little girl but will be a powerhouse by the time the credits roll.
There are only a handful of stages in Wife Quest and each is capped with a tricky boss battle, one that will require pattern memorization and skill. Stages can take over an hour to complete the first time through which is actually way too long. Since saving and continuing isn’t an option, players need to be aware of this before starting. However, once all the upgrades are learned, players might be able to clear a stage in under ten minutes and the game actually encourages replaying stages. Unfortunately, these level re-plays are really grind heavy and are used to artificially extend the game’s length as there is no way to clear each stage under the restricted time limit, kill all the enemies, and find all the secrets in a single play through. Even skilled players will need at least three attempts to beat all these challenges for each stage.
Besides the lengthy and grindy heavy nature of the gameplay, the biggest issue with Wife Quest is actually from its graphical presentation. The 2D sprites are well made and give off some Scott Pilgrim vibes but the background layers are misleading. Each stage sports a different graphical theme but non-interactive elements in the background look like platforms or gameplay elements. The woods level, for example, there are horizontal branches that look just like the normal platforms, resulting in many undesirable deaths and backtracks. A later stage has pots in the background that look smashable with the hopes of finding gold. It is actually a real problem as just getting from here to there can be frustrating when you think that thing is actually a ledge. The hit detection is also a little shoddy and the controls are a tad loose.
Wife Quest prides itself on the Mortal Kombat-ish fatalities of every enemy, including the most common baddies and bosses. Performing a finishing move, which is just a single button tap, unlocks that animation in the main menu and can be performed on any bad guy going forward. However, it becomes repetitive especially considering players will kill dozens of the same enemies in each stage. The game knows this so a button can be held to increase the speed of this killing animation. It is cool the first time but not necessary going forward. Sometimes enemies are placed in cheap positions too, especially early in the quest when your attack length is very short. Levels are also rather large and wish there was a map feature as finding all the chests in each stage is difficult. The player is rewarded for exploring and taking those wide jumps as there is often some chests in this hard to reach places. I don’t want to spoil to too much here but the final stage is a brutal gauntlet and reminded me a lot of early Mega Man games. Clearing this will complete the game but also unlock an even tougher mini-game, one that is sort of unfair and unnecessarily long (there is no option to save and continue later either).
Wife Quest is a comical action platformer isn’t supposed to be taken too seriously. The grindy nature of the unforgiving gameplay is still entertaining for those looking for some retro-style fun. Also, it isn’t a roguelike, which is actually refreshing, as every game released these days is a rogue of some kind.
Also Try: Super Crush KO
Better Than: SHING!
Don’t Forget About: Swords and Sandals Spartacus
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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