Really Done Playing: Tobe’s Vertical Adventure (XBLA)

I originally posted after I played the trial of Tobe’s Vertical Adventure that I loved the look of the game but that the D-pad exclusive controls were infuriating thanks to the Xbox 360 controller. Soon after I was contacted by the game’s creator who let me know that — due to like-minded response — analog control would soon be patched into the Indie Games release. Excited about finally enjoying the game (and after a detour through Mass Effect 1 and 2) I finally bought the game and jumped back in.

Analog control is definitely in place now but it only confirms that it’s not just the command inputs that made the game frustrating. There’s something about the way Tobe handles in this game that stands at odds with every other platformer you may have played. Bouncing off of enemies, jumping from a hanging position, even doing a run-and-jump feels stiff and frequently unresponsive. I’ve struggled through half a dozen stages expecting to adjust to the gameplay. While it was only mildly annoying when there wasn’t a timer and impending doom chasing me, every stage forces you to rush back out as the path changes before your eyes. If I hadn’t wasted all my lives on the way down, I surely did coming back up and then you have to repeat the entire stage all over again.

I’m sorry Rayteoactive. I really love the visual style, the music, and even the concept of Tobe’s Vertical Adventure. It’s the control I am incapable of coming to terms with. I’m still hopeful that one day I’ll finish the game and get that download code for the soundtrack, but things are on indefinite hold until I get another masochistic retro platformer urge.

From the Archives