Summer Uprising Review: Chester


How does the platform game Chester stack up against the other XBLIG Summer Uprising titles? Read on and find out.

Chester is a clear candidate into the Platforming genre, offering up a solely single-player experience. As a platformer this game shares a tried and true formula with many other games in the genre where the simple idea to get from point A to point B. However Chester mixes up the game-play offering a whopping eleven unique characters from standard Chester, a yellow block (seriously), ranging to a.. space-ship as a character. All of these characters have their own special abilities tied to them such as Chester’s time-slowing ability, to Doodle Chester’s projectile shield. While other elements such as the variety of level styles to choose from impact the game-experience, I found the character selection with different traits the strongest impact to change-up the conventional running and jumping experience you’re used to with platformers.

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Levels in Chester start out simple enough with a few (surprisingly beautiful) signs hanging around the opening to guide you through the control scheme, help you get acquainted with the unique physics, and style of the game. While some of the earlier levels are a straightforward romp through a few stationary platforms and switches, I found myself getting lost in the later levels which are massive and filled to the brim with enemies, moving platforms and switches making a complex cave of paths to choose from with some impressive enemy AI hunting me down the entire way through. While it’s a shame to see no co-operative element tied into Chester, the game is surprisingly fun experimenting alone with the different characters and seeing the unique level design put in to make the game-play near perfect for the genre.

Besides the wide selection of characters offered in Chester, there’s also a huge variety in the style of each of the levels with a total of six unique styles ranging from the levels doodled on some paper, to an eight-bit retro style as well as four others. The developer @BennFried has obviously put a lot of thought into not only the level design and how the levels play out, but also as to how the selection of six styles can extremely alter the look and feel of any level in the game allowing you to choose which style you like the best for a more customized gaming experience. Overall the graphics are as varied as they are beautiful, with unique character and enemy models, to the artistic depth put into the shaping of the unique worlds and levels of Chester.

Alongside all of the other unique elements comes the varied level music offered in the three plus worlds of Chester. From the driving bass and guitar rifts, to the more calming, mellow music the overall quality is above-average for any XBLIG on the market. While I wouldn’t say the music in Chester is enough to rival the huge titles out there, the musical style is every bit as unique as the level design and artwork in the game providing a very nice change of pace.

Now it’s down to the final stretch on deciding if Chester is worth your hard-earned 240 :MSPoints: or $3 on the Marketplace. And in response I can happily say your three bucks will be well spent on an all-around excellent (albeit slightly short) platforming game that was recently patched (September 5th) to fix a whole slew of issues such as clipping through platforms, and moving platforms flying off-screen. Luckily, as noted those issues have been successfully fixed alone with a good deal of others to make the excellent controls, graphics, and sound-design work as intended in this above-average platformer. So yes, go out and buy Chester right this second if you haven’t, and if you’re still curious go check out the trial. Think it’ll be too short? For an added challenge try to get 100% of the collectables.


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