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Picdun 2: Witch's Curse Review


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On 03/11/2013 at 12:00 PM by Travis Hawks

The pixelated cartoon creating, dungeon crawling, soft core porno you should not play.
RECOMMENDATION:

Show this game to your mom and see what she thinks.

Can we talk about women?  They’re a wonderful part of our society; in fact they make up just about half of it.  With that many of them around, they’re able to have a huge impact by being mothers, scientists, lawyers, caretakers, nurses, teachers, doctors, police officers, and will even be fighting on the front lines of the U.S. military.  Yet, the makers of Picdun 2 think it’s just fine to stick ridiculously sexualized females into their stupid game to rake in a few bucks and set the entire gender back a few steps in the process.

If you’ve seen any promotional material for Picdun 2, you can tell it’s a first-person dungeon crawling affair - if you look carefully.  To discern this, you’ll have to peer around the three cartoon vixens that taunt and tease you through the game.  There’s a dominant lady here for everyone - a glasses wearing school girl, a gloved proper lady who can’t keep her hands off herself, and a woman who wields a whip and struggles to rein in breasts that are so large they are visibly pulling at her skin.  Sexual innuendo abounds while you’re forced to pair up with one of these women to perform attacks on enemies while you only block with a shield.  At least that’s the story – you can’t tell who’s doing what since it’s all in first person.

You and your chosen partner are exploring a dungeon (for some contrived reason) and each floor isn’t complete until you’ve stepped on every square possible, filling out a map of it in the process.  Upon leaving a successful floor, you’re rewarded by seeing that the map forms a picture of similar resolution that you find in picross.  The pixelated graphic then performs some perfunctory and flashy animation as exciting as a fork moving up and down.  This is supposed to incentivize you to walk around on a lot of squares. 

To be fair, you can’t just walk on every square since there are some puzzle elements involved in getting around and gaining access to every tile.  Some of the puzzles are just figuring out the proper route when there are slippery ice areas and one-way squares that push you in one direction. 

Other puzzles are more complex, or should I say obtuse.  They normally involve reading signs on the walls (by running into them) to get clues and then reading those or other signs on the wall in a certain order to open areas or make things appear.  Sometimes instead of reading signs to do things, you flip switches next to signs, or run into walls without signs, or flip switches that aren’t near any signs.  All of these puzzles involve you banging into the wall to perform actions in a certain order.  A few of these puzzles are clever, but most of the time they’re just a way to force you to walk all over the damn floor multiple times to do things in a particular order and for what?  To see a crappy picture and have a late night Cinemax movie character say something sorta dirty to you. 

To make plodding around the floors even more cumbersome, you must deal with random enemy encounters – which you would expect in a first-person dungeon crawler.  The battle system is decent at first, but gets old quickly.  Like I said earlier, you are supposedly just in charge of the shield and your current female partner (be it the magician, archer, or whipper) performs the attacks.  This doesn’t matter, though since you hit a button to use the shield and another to perform attacks.  It might as well be you doing both of these things, but then there would be no reason for a nympho to be tagging along, would there?  Anyway, the battles require you to block incoming attacks and deal damage when your power meter has filled up.  Striking the enemy when your power meter is low will result in little to no damage.  If you block an oncoming attack at the perfect time, you’re given the chance to deal a critical blow by quickly tapping a pattern on the d-pad and buttons.  This whole system is pretty engaging at first, but you’ll quickly get the rhythm down and be leveled up enough that it all becomes pretty repetitive. 

In addition to all of the boring stuff going on, there are some other bad design choices built in.  If you want to go back and complete a floor you didn’t quite finish previously, you can do so via an elevator every few floors.  A chance to perfect your dungeon run should be a great thing, except that the floor you return to is a complete restart and after finishing up your business, you’ll have to travel through every other floor to get back to where you hopped on the elevator to begin with.  This includes redoing any puzzles, fighting random encounters, and walking around endlessly.  When you realize what’s going on and want to quit the game, don’t expect the “EXIT” command on the menu to help you out.  What you want is “TITLE,” which will take you back to the game’s main menu.  Selecting “EXIT” does absolutely nothing, which is a shame since all I wanted to do most of the time I was playing Picdun 2 was EXIT. 

I applaud the makers of this game for trying out a new idea, even if it did turn out to be pretty mind-numbing.  If creating a dull game was the worst thing they did, I might feel like cutting them a little slack.  They chose, however, to paste in some over-sexualized women and ridiculous innuendo for no apparent reason.  It’s easy to point at big budget games and criticize them for how often they portray women in ways that do them harm, but small developers like Intense shouldn’t get a free pass by any means.  Women deserve better than this treatment and your spare time and wallet do too.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Ranger1

03/11/2013 at 01:09 PM

I think this review falls under the Public Service Announcement category. Thanks for the amusing review of what sounds like a ghastly game. And the warning.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

03/11/2013 at 09:21 PM

If I keep one person from buying this game, I have done my job.

BrokenH

03/11/2013 at 01:18 PM

Did anyone expect this to be good? Heck, I didn't even know about it until now. lol. I don't mind innuendo, sexual humor, and titillation but like anything it's how those things are implemented that counts.

Yet the inclusion of "hawt vixens" during a scary dungeon crawling expedition does seem out of place. (Unless of course we're talking about Risette's stripper labyrinth or Kanji's Bad Bad Bathhouse. I love Atlus!)

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

03/11/2013 at 09:23 PM

I hadn't heard of this either until it showed up in the e-Shop.  I knew it was risky, but the dungeon crawling with promise of some strange game mechanics made me curious.  But alas, I was robbed.

Proper implementation of hawtness can be good, or at least acceptable.  This is just downright tacky.

Temperance

03/11/2013 at 03:24 PM

I wish these tiny Japanese developers had more faith in their games, without resorting to questionable art to market it.  Then again, some games don't have anything else going for it.  Also, there's nothing more exhausting than action prompts in a turn-based setting.  Unless you're only encountering a handful of battles per floor, it's better to have a fast and breezy system.  That alone is enough to keep me away from this game.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

03/11/2013 at 09:24 PM

The battle system was fairly speedy. There are just so many random encounters and you have to retrace your steps a lot to complete a level that it eventually becomes a chore.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

03/11/2013 at 05:12 PM

damn this game must really suck.  

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

03/11/2013 at 09:26 PM

It does.  Just as a public service, though, I point you to our review policy link.  My 1/5 rating fits nicely into our guidelines.  Some sites might give a 1/5 to a game that is simply not functioning whereas our 1/5 games can actually work as intended!  (Note that this game had a few minor things that did not work).

Dandichu

03/11/2013 at 06:25 PM

I thought Picdun (the original) was terrible. Thank you for warning everyone! ;D

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

03/11/2013 at 09:31 PM

I actually read a positive review of it that I happened upon randomly.  It sounds like it was the same as Picdun 2, but without the ladies. I'll leave verification of this assumption up to you, the readers.  

KnightDriver

03/13/2013 at 03:52 PM

This formula of lousy old school RPG and sexy characters has invaded the Indie section of Xbox Live as well.

Anonymous

04/29/2013 at 07:07 PM
I actually liked the game.
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