REVIEW : Hell Pie (XBOX Series X)
Most 3D platformers follow the same formula: bright and colourful worlds with happy, wide-eyed residents. While the majority of people live in this location, there are a few that distort these principles. Hell Pie is a hideous adventure that chews up and spits out the adorable design that lingers in the genre, drawing inspiration from titles such as Psychonauts and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Will this repulsive platformer tickle your taste buds or make you sick?
Nate, you play as the ‘Demon of Bat Taste’ in hell itself. Satan’s birthday is the most important day of the year. To make it even more unique, you must comb the surroundings for a variety of unusual components to create a nasty pie. Because this is no ordinary dessert, you will need to gather unclean objects such as turd-covered tampons and corpses to prepare it. The humour is purposely filthy and immature throughout, which is refreshing for the genre. While the writing is a touch erratic, it manages to generate a lot of laughs that will thrill aficionados of black and gross-out comedy.
The Odd Couple
Nugget, the bare-bottomed, deformed cupid, is by your side. Together, you can navigate landscapes and combat enemies to achieve your goal. The angel, which is linked by a chain, can be used to swing mid-air to reach distant platforms. Nate is agile and able to combine talents to avoid a variety of hazards, thanks to his double leap and dash ability. The dynamic grapple is a welcome feature, but it is insufficient to compensate for the sloppy platform mechanics. Travelling can be exhausting. Nate struggles to engage with components of the environment, which adds to the frustration when attempting to navigate more complex places. This isn’t helped by the camera, which appears to combat you at inconvenient times.
A slew of enemies prowls the streets. To get rid of these pests, simply whack your friend’s bat at them. Combat is simple and lacks any real impact. You can pick up grenade plants and throw them, but most of the time you’ll just pound the one button. Some elements, such as a third-person shooter section, give diversity, although they are few and far between. Enemies follow conventional clichés, with some slithering across the ground and others shooting from above. Animations of enemies would frequently halt as they stutter towards you. This appears to occur for full runs and is only reset upon death.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The bosses in Hell Pie are ridiculous in the best manner possible. They are ridiculous and hilarious, and their size underlines their foolishness. While your opponents are unique, the fight itself is uninteresting. Phases progress but do not stray too far from previous attacks, making them a pretty easy battle. I did have problems with one boss in particular, where the next phase would not trigger. Even if you died during the sequence, this would not start the following phase. To advance, I had to fully exit the game. While not everyone is affected, there appear to be sporadic glitches that impede the experience.
Each hub world contains a variety of collectables that encourage exploration. Find enough stuff to upgrade your talents and boost your health, swing, and other aspects. You can sense the general position of goods with your horn’s ability to assist and lead you. Other skills can be unlocked by finding things hidden throughout the world. The game’s centrepiece is the presence of portals to traditional levels within the wide environment. In one stage, you go through the whale’s guts while harpoons pierce its skin and form platforms to reach your target. Although cruel, it is a novel way of structuring a level. Hell Pie is a horrible platformer that falls flat on its face. Certain areas shine with originality to produce some entertaining and exciting moments, but an assortment of glitches, uneven gameplay, and an overall lack of polish makes the game a lethargic experience.