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Review

Cloudberry Kingdom Review

  • Game release: July 30, 2013
  • Reviewed:
  • X360

Cloudberry Kingdom is a wonderfully challenging platformer with exciting level design and great game-changing power-ups.

by

'

Cloudberry Kingdom revels in the kind of split-second precision platforming that can turn even the most bashful of players into a rage-spitting, controller-hurling mess. Each one of its intelligent, procedurally generated levels is a lesson in patience and unwavering dexterity, making you fight for every coin, stomped enemy, and miraculous escape from a wall of deadly spinning blades and vicious spikes. The rewards for doing so aren't measured in measly unlockables, or mere high scores, but in the satisfaction of a job well done. Yes, success doesn't come easily in Cloudberry Kingdom, but knowing that you've worked yourself to the bone to achieve something that perhaps no one else has is a wonderful thing.

That's not to say such attractions are obvious at first glace. Cloudberry Kingdom's visuals hark back to a time of 56K modems, GeoCities websites, and--most importantly--dodgy Macromedia Flash games. It's overly flat and overly simplistic, and the animation looks like someone is awkwardly shuffling cardboard cutouts around the screen. But it's easy to see past that when you pick up a controller. Bob, as your character is known, is a very responsive chap. And while he lacks the defined weighty feel of a Mario or Meat Boy, he moves with a precision that makes nailing those all-important split-second jumps and tight midair manoeuvres a pleasure.

That's a good thing, too, because Cloudberry Kingdom gets very challenging, very quickly. Sure, the first few levels put just a handful of moving platforms between you and victory, but you're soon faced with performing lightning-fast perfect runs over precariously placed enemies and saw traps. Repetition and muscle memory secure the path to victory, so while each level may last only a few seconds, once you nail it, expect to spend a great deal longer leaping to your death and meticulously practicing each and every jump to get there.

It's an intoxicating feeling when you overcome the seemingly impossible, and the uniqueness of each procedurally generated level makes victory taste all the more sweet. The level generator is impressive, and you rarely feel like a level has just been spat out of a computer at random; there's always just the right number of jumps to make and obstacles to avoid in just the right places to offer up a challenge. It's the frequency and density of those things that increase as you move up the levels, culminating in challenges where you're bouncing off multiple enemies in a row above bottomless pits, ducking below electrified spinners, and squeezing between double rows of spikes in seconds flat.

And just when you think you've got it nailed, Cloudberry Kingdom throws new abilities into the mix. These range from the classic, such as a double jump, through to the absurd, like being stuck inside a cardboard box or on a rocket-powered trolley. All of them completely change the dynamics of the game, with the level generator creating excellent unique challenges for each ability. If you're plonked onto a pogo stick, for example, platforms are made smaller and higher to make them trickier to reach. A Bob that fluctuates in size means you have to time your jumps carefully; the more nimble mini-Bob can reach platforms farther away, while Fat Bob's larger frame can manage only short hops. There's even a spaceship mode that apes a fiendishly difficult 2D shooter, complete with hundreds of enemies to quickly zip around.

The quick-fire nature of these abilities and the sheer difficulty of the levels do inevitably cause some frustration, but it's never in question that it's your own skills at fault, rather than flawed game design. In Story mode (although the wafer-thin princess-kidnap plot can barely be classified as a story), you're given unlimited lives, which ensures that with enough determination, you can make it to the finish. It also prepares you well for the tougher Arcade mode, where you're given a set number of lives and a high score to chase. Coins scattered around each level award you with more lives if you collect enough and have the added benefit of pointing out a path, even if it isn't always the simplest.

Even trickier is Time Attack mode, where you need to collect coins to add precious seconds to the clock. Games are short, but incredibly tense and fast-paced, and are great for a quick burst of action. Hero Attack ups the ante even further, with each timed level adding in a new ability for you to work with. If you're really after a challenge, though, try playing the game in local co-op. While you can't smack each other around like you can in, say, Rayman Origins, the extra characters onscreen, coupled with the sheer busyness of each level, means you spend most of the time wondering what the hell is going on. This mode is fun for a while, but it doesn't lend itself well to the trial-and-error approach you need to make it through a level, and tests even your most patient friends.

Still, who needs friends when you've got as tight a single-player platforming experience as Cloudberry Kingdom? The game is both exciting and terrifying in equal measure, with a "just one more go" feel that makes it incredibly hard to tear yourself away. Plus, with an ever-changing set of levels, it has a replay value that few in the genre can match. Sure, Cloudberry Kingdom doesn't look like much, and there are moments when you'll want to tear your hair out in frustration, but that warm, fuzzy feeling of satisfaction and reward makes putting up with that frustration more than worth it.

'
The Good
Procedurally generated levels keep you on your toes
Tight controls make platforming a joy
Silly abilities change the feel and spice up the action
Devilish difficulty is supremely rewarding
The Bad
Ugly visuals
8.5
Great
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Discussion

166 comments
HitmanSquirrel
HitmanSquirrel

I don't get the hype around this game, it looks really bland and boring.

emmabeets
emmabeets

It's lacking life. For all its cool algorithms and tight controls, Cloudberry Kingdom is just bland. Every level feels the same. Visually, it's not compelling and manages to be repetitive and flat even with random level generation. 

swedensior
swedensior

This game got more reviewtime in the video than TLOU. GS need to change theire priorities!

swedensior
swedensior

I'm not buying this metacritic and userscore so low!

redder1111
redder1111

this game is a 200% "platformer" GS! not Action!

-JMD-
-JMD-

The moment when PS3 fans realize that this game got a better grade than "The Last Of Us!"

LittleSaintGoph
LittleSaintGoph

This game is decent and worth 800 MS Points.. Not been this mad since Super Meat Boy.

Gegglington
Gegglington

do you play as a hemorrhoid with a tash?

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

Yeah watched a gameplay video of it won't be getting this a little more difficult than I'm willing to put time into. SOme of the stuff I saw in the gameplay trailer looked ridiculously punishing. Have fun though those who do enjoy such things.

burgeg
burgeg

I'll wait for the Vita version. This kind of game is perfectly suited to handhelds.

Meta-Gnostic
Meta-Gnostic

Why did Gamespot review the 360 version, when this game is part of Sony's big summer Playstation Store Play promotion?

IceVagabond
IceVagabond

TLOU's fanbase is quickly becoming the worst in gaming history. Are they just going to whine and spam the comment section *every single time* any game gets an 8.5 or higher because they don't understand how ratings work?

And god forbid anyone prefers a game with no story but highly entertaining gameplay over an interactive movie with a good story and mediocre gameplay, right?

LGMRTBM
LGMRTBM

OH MY GAWD THIS GAEM IS BETAR THAN LAST OUF US?!?!?

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

8.5 ... should be better than The Last Of Us!?

PaiSan
PaiSan

So whats wrong with the graphics? I think it looks just fine ^_^

Bren128
Bren128

OMG in the background of the video on the right hand side.....two faces of michael Jackson

KoRniTo
KoRniTo

Side scrollers will always have a place in my heart. I'll give this one a try as soon as possible.

experience_fade
experience_fade

I feel like I'm the only person who's sick of 2D, side scrolling platformers.

andfx8
andfx8

@-JMD- comparing a big budget action game to an arcade platforming game is useless. Apples and oranges

Midnightshade29
Midnightshade29

@Meta-Gnostic 

Because the site is extremely biased in favor of xbox. 

Whats first on the menu...xbox, when "X" comes after "N" and "P" yeah... no one likes when I say that though, but think about it for a second. And this bs site also gives great PS games like Last of US a game that has like 50+ Perfect 10's a 8.0 (just for hits and because mcshay is a arse!)

Also almost every review is done on the 360 on this site, they don't even try to hide the bias.... its frustrating and bs!

DeanTheJinn
DeanTheJinn

@IceVagabond i do agree that the last of us fan base  should relax every time a game  gets more then a 8 but the last of us gameplay is far from mediocre

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@LGMRTBM 

No, they can only be judged by their own strengths and weaknesses.

Do you really not get this?

If it was a T.V. review, would you compare "CSI," to that of lets say "Doctor Who?" No because that would have no meaning in a REVIEW!

So why would this be compared to The Last Of Us? 

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@DaneGamer 

Ah some common sense. Nice to finally meet you. I haven't seen you around here for quite some time?  ;)

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

@ZoTrAcK  

from all i've seen and read, the last of us is lucky to not be given a 7.0. (no, i haven't played it.  i'll wait for a buddy to lend it.)

it's already number one on my overrated list and i've yet to play it.

presentation, cutscenes and cinema do NOT F'IN make a game.

STORY doesn't make a game.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

@PaiSan They're just complaining that it looks bland and somewhat unoriginal. The backgrounds are really uninteresting for me, but I like the rest of the graphics. I really like the cutscene graphics, but as there's only four of them in the game they weren't enough to sway the reviewer. But it's his opinion.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@Midnightshade29 @Meta-Gnostic

Aww come on! Really?

Don't use Gamespot then, since you clearly believe they love Xbox and you don't! Which is mental!

I've heard this so many times and it sounds just as stupid now as ever!

I like how Gamespot review their games for the exact reasons you don't! I personally hate seeing reviews, that say 10/10 for this game, when it clearly wasn't upon playing it!

Tom McShea is an arse you say? Why? He gave a fair review to the Last of Us and rated it high, but this somehow makes him biased in favour of Microsoft/Xbox, just because you feel it deserved more!

Do you really think "The Last Of US," is a flawless game?

Anyway, your statement has no basis in truth and it's soooooo stupid! 

Your explanation as to why the chose the Xbox to do the review is nonsensical, when the truth is probably much simpler than that and NOT some conspiracy!

Perhaps they maybe used the Xbox because they hadn't done a review on it for a while, or maybe they had all other gaming platforms currently running or most likely because... Why wouldn't they?

Oh and people don't like when you say this crap, for one reason and one reason only...

You are spouting nothing but Fanboy BS!


Tobajas
Tobajas

@Midnightshade29 @Meta-Gnostic You do know that the game had a number of bugs and an extremly simple combat AI that none of the perfect 10 people never talked about. But then again alot of the triple AAA games now a days seems to have a ton of bugs at release take Assassins creed 3 for instance never ever seen a more buggy game like that one but no one talked much about it and most sites gave it an 8-10

ryogapower
ryogapower

@DeanTheJinn @IceVagabond agreed. and as for the community.. the multiplayer is a real thinking mans game i've never met a more straight thinking bunch of guys on any multiplayer game before, not everyone is bitching and whining about review scores, the vast majority of the TLOU community couldn't give a toss and thats the truth.

xxxchris
xxxchris

@punksterdaddy @LGMRTBM I think the joke flew right over your head :P.

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

@DaneGamer @ZoTrAcK  

the fact that so many idiots who love tlou bitch, and, lol, continue to bitch about tlou's score, tells me all i need to know about tlou.

lol.  amateurs.

-JMD-
-JMD-

@udubdawgz So, you are saying that the game is already in you number one in your overrated list and you did not played the game yet... wow. That makes total sense! Rating a game before playing it! 

Dear sir, you have a future in gamespot ! Make a CV, make a essay saying in your own words why the PS4 will be owned by XBONE and send it to them. They will be happy to have you!

ryogapower
ryogapower

@udubdawgz dude, stop bandwagon jumping and giving way to expectation. play the damn thing, then talk smack.

JediMasterJ42
JediMasterJ42

@-JMD- @punksterdaddy @Midnightshade29 @Meta-Gnostic No. They're scoring this game in the context of an Arcade game - not in the context of full hardcopy games, like The Last of Us. So, no they aren't saying this game is better than The Last of Us...because the Last of Us isn't a 2D Arcade game.  If they scored The Last of Us and this game in the same context they probably would have given this game a 1. 

SillySkeleton
SillySkeleton

@udubdawgz @DaneGamer @ZoTrAcK You're doing yourself a disservice if you let a bunch of trolls and fanboys affect your opinion on a game you haven't played yet.

You need to let go of outside influences and just enjoy things for what they are.

-JMD-
-JMD-

@udubdawgz @-JMD- But to judge a game that you never have played... That is what i don't understand. You are judging a game by someone else eyes!  By someone else gameplay and experience. By just reading what other saw and played. You cant really make a honest decision like that! When i talk bad about a game i have played it and have my own opinion about it. 

Its like, i go to a site of playstation fans and they are all saying that the games of Xbox are badly designed and have horrible gameplay. I have to play to see with my eyes... The other option is to join with the trolls.

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

@-JMD- @udubdawgz  

yes.  like i clearly stated:  it is my overrated list.

i'm not being paid by anybody for my pro opinion.  i'm a gamer who makes judgments and, for me, putting tlou on the overrated list is an EZ decision based on what i've read and seen. 

you see, i trust my judgments and they're my opinions.

as well, something you need to know is the fact that if i'm wrong i'll be the first one to admit it.  i'm fine with being wrong.  it doesn't bother me one bit.

in this instance, me judging a game i've never played, gives me the perfect chance to bring up issues i have with the game, throw them at people who HAVE played the game and then ANALYZE their responses.

it's quite enlightening.

Cloudberry Kingdom More Info

  • Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 5 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Unix/Linux
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    Cloudberry Kingdom has you jump and dodge your way through billions of levels on a last-ditch mission to conquer infinity.
    6.5
    Average User RatingOut of 33 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Cloudberry Kingdom
    Developed by:
    Pwnee Studios
    Published by:
    Ubisoft
    Genres:
    2D, Action, Platformer
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms