STAFF REVIEW of Pumpkin Jack: New-Gen Edition (Xbox Series X)

Monday, November 22, 2021.
by Heather Webster

Pumpkin Jack: New-Gen Edition Box art Join the spooky side as the Mythical Pumpkin Lord in the new 3D platformer Pumpkin Jack! Jump right into the epically cool adventure through a different world and help in the battle of good and evil. You are now doing the bidding for the Devil while going after your greatest enemy in a quest that will take you through the Boredom Kingdom.

As the story goes, once upon a time the world was peaceful and boring, so the devil cast a spell creating eternal night. The humans didn’t like this exciting new world. They couldn’t handle being torn limb from limb by the occasional monster. They called on their champion, The Wizard, to put an end to the curse. The devil in turn created his own champion, by stuffing the soul of Jack into a pumpkin and giving him one mission; find The Wizard and destroy him.

Start out your journey as Jack and complete the tutorial, meet your friends, a haughty Owl sent by the devil to keep tabs on your progress and guide you through your game, and a snarky Crow who will help you through your journey and provide a distant attack against your enemies. The scripted banter between Jack and the Owl, and Jack and the Crow are packed with humor and really add a great sense of character to the experience. As a side quest through the game, check thoroughly around every corner for crow skulls to collect, and by collecting these skulls you can buy skins from the merchant who is a dead salesman. The skins are described to you as actual skin from others so you can dress as a variety of different people, I really like the lumber skin, so you can be lumber Jack!

The save points within have been integrated so well that it's not just an orb to collect, you have to drink the magic potion from the cauldron of green goo to save, with one of these cauldrons at the end of every section. The way the camera controls are programmed, you'll never lose sight of what you are doing, making it very easy to control and maneuver which is a must for games in this genre. Much like in other platformers, take some extra time and look around and destroy objects around you to refill your health bar.

There is a new exclusive features included in this next-gen version is ray-tracing. This is a technique for how light is modeled in transport, using a wide variety of rendering algorithms to generate a digital image. This makes the experience that much more realistic and enjoyable. As well, the amazing graphics put into this game are high-quality 4K resolution in performance mode and get 60fps, or you can switch to quality mode and get 30fps. The soundtrack to this game is full of spooky melodies and creaky wood to set the scene for a fun thrilling adventure.

Overall, I found Pumpkin Jack: New-Gen Edition to be a lot of fun with mixed with a good amount of frustration. The bosses have a great level of difficulty and the hunt for crow skulls to buy new skins for Jack is a cool addition to keep me playing. If you’re a fan of the spooky and want a game that you can finish within a handful of hours then Pumpkin Jack: New-Gen Edition is definitely for you! It's just a great bit of fun in a short game that is definitely on my recommended games list for any platformer fan.

*Pumpkin Jack: New-Gen Edition was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series S*

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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