Extreme Exorcism is a multiplayer arena brawler that looks to bring back the golden era of couch gaming, where you and up to 3 friends are thrust upon a creepy haunted house and it’s your job to exercise those pesky poltergeists. However this one brings a unique twist. Whether playing cooperatively or solo, at the end of the day, you’re still going to be your own worst enemy.
However the question remains, should the power of gaming compel you to become the extreme exorcist or is Extreme Exorcism a spectre that should be exercised from your must play list?
Extreme Exorcism features a pixel art style and an unmistakable color palette that isn’t particularly common among current games, but they’ve managed to pull it off quite nicely. Every area of the house features it’s own style and design that ties the levels together, however the overall look of all the areas together is cohesive and believable as belonging together.
Golden Ruby Games had a clear picture of the characters they were creating for their exorcists, unfortunately because of the characters small stature the chosen pixel art style doesn’t convey a lot of detail/ definition. It would’ve been nice to see a little more detail applied to their faces.
It isn’t uncommon that a game will feature a brief bit of storytelling as a means of setting up the events of the next level, but doesn’t really have much impact on the actual gameplay. Well, Extreme Exorcism doesn’t even offer that much in the way of storytelling. As a matter of fact it doesn’t offer any storytelling at all, it’s reminiscent of old school arcade games in that regard. The gameplay that Extreme Exorcism offers doesn’t need much explanation or story to be enjoyed, it’s fun all on it’s own.
However I thought I’d have a little fun with this section of the review… Extreme Exorcism is about the wealthy Beauregard family, they’ve reluctantly moved from the comfort of their big city life and relocated to small town America to attend to the family business. Unfortunately they were a little too preoccupied with finding the biggest status symbol in town that they didn’t pay attention to the warnings of their realtor. They had been warned that just because the house had been vacant for several years, didn’t mean that there weren’t any signs of life. The rooms within the manor had been haunted by the deadliest and most childish spectre’s you had ever seen.
It didn’t take long before the Beauregards discovered that fact for themselves, so they began calling on every ghost hunter and exorcist they could find on the good ol’ interweb. All of them answered the call, some were experienced ghostbusters while others were merely fraudsters looking for a pay day, unfortunately experience didn’t matter… none of them survived. And that’s when they found “The Extreme Exorcist” Mae Barrons and her fearless team, that’s where you come in.
Rid Beauregard Manor of it’s poltergeist problem, before they claim you too.
It’s clear right from the start that this arena based game was meant to be played as a multiplayer couch game, it’s meant to be bring people together in the spirit of old school gaming. Of course for those more fragile relationships you’ll want to focus your attention on the cooperative play, however for those of you that aren’t afraid of catching a little hate from your friends there’s also the head to head deathmatch.
However for those of you that may not be into the multiplayer experience, don’t fret because aside from deathmatch, you can play single player. As you embark on your journey, you’ll quickly learn that the game is centered around surviving round after round, while racking up points to unlock new weapons and the next room of the big haunted house.
Round 1 begins with a chair that has been possessed and it’s your job to slay it. Unfortunately in doing so you release those childish spectre’s. Right about now you might be asking yourself “why does he keep referring to the ghosts as childish?”, well it’s quite simple really… they copy your every move, like a child repeating everything you say.
Round 2 begins with a ghost wearing a crown, instead of the possessed chair. The ghost mimics every single move you made in the 1st round, including every sword slash, shot fired, ninja star thrown, etc… Slaying the crowned ghost will instantly end the round. However from this point forward, in every round an additional ghost will be added to the mix.
Round 3 starts off with 2 ghosts in the room, the crowned ghost will be mimicking everything you did in the last round while the other ghost will be mimicking everything you did in the round before that one. Round 4 features 3 ghosts, again the crowned ghost repeats everything you did in the previous while one of the other ghosts will be repeating everything from the 2nd round and the other ghost is repeating everything from the 1st round. As far as I can tell the rounds don’t end until you’re dead. Take a moment to imagine what round 23 looked like as it featured a total of 22 ghosts all repeating my previous movements in the hopes of killing me.
The best advice I can give you, is try to keep your movements to a minimum. Be thoughtful in how you approach the room. If you can keep track of your own movements in this round, then you’ll be able to predict where the crowned ghost will appear next.
Arcade Mode: In this mode you’ll be focusing on unlocking the various areas of the big scary house. You’ll start off at the intro, where you’ll get your formal ghostbusting training all wrapped up in a neat little 6 round package. Then you’ll move onto the Graveyard, which features a total of 5 levels. In order to unlock the next level within the Graveyard you’ll need to get a score of at least 50 points. The next area is the Foyer, where again there are a total of 5 levels and a minimum score of 50 will unlock the next one. Then you move onto the Library where you’ll need a score of 75 to unlock the next level, you get the idea from here… Not only does the score requirement increase over time, so does the level of difficulty contained with the design/ layout of the rooms.
Arcade mode can be enjoyed by yourself or cooperatively with 3 other people.
Challenges Mode: Features a total of 5 tiers all containing a total of 10 specific challenges, like “finish 6 rounds when every ghost has a harpoon gun.” or “get 12 kills before round 7.” and of course “ghosts will kill you if you touch them. using only a gun, kill 6 ghosts.” Unlike arcade mode you don’t get the luxury of choosing where you want to go next, the room you get is tied to the challenge at hand.
You’re on your own for challenges mode, it’s a single player experience.
Deathmatch Mode: Features good ol’ fashioned head to head combat. Whoever wins the round, gains their very own ghost that mimics their movements… lucky for you, your ghost only hurts the enemy. You’ll gain another ghost for every round you win. And of course whats a good deathmatch without the ability to customize the rounds. There’s a wealth of customization options allowing you to tailor your deathmatch however you see fit.
Unfortunately deathmatch doesn’t feature any AI support at all, so this mode requires a minimum of 2 people to play.
As far as your weapons go, there are a total of 20 ghostbusting weapons, including; swords, guns, grenades, mines, rocket launchers, razor-sharp boomerangs, lightning spells and Kung-Fu moves. In order to help you stay alive, you’re able to wield 3 weapons simultaneously. And don’t worry about switching between them, because they all fire at the same time.
This is one of those games that has proven to be surprisingly addictive, more so than I was expecting. I’ve found myself replaying the same levels over and over. just to see if I could survive longer than the last time around.
Extreme Exorcism is the style of game that my 8 year old son loves, if I gave him the opportunity he’d be just fine playing this game all day long.
Extreme Exorcism features a distinct look and feel that takes me back to the glory days of gaming, which is a compliment in itself. In my mind there isn’t any question as to whether or not this game deserves to be added to your must play list, however where it ranks on the list depends on how you plan to play it. If you’re primarily looking for a single player experience, I’d buy it on sale as I don’t think it lives up to the $12.99 price tag. However if you’re planning on making this a staple of your gaming get togethers with friends, then you’ll want to make sure you have this in your rotation ASAP and buy it now.