Q*Bert REBOOTED: The XBOX One @!#?@! Edition (Xbox One Review)
The current generation is building quite the reputation for remasters and reboots, more so than any of its predecessors, and for good reason. Gaming is now at a point where it has an amazingly rich history and we are at risk of falling out of touch with all the great games that you may never heard of. Some games we haven’t seen for years, outside of a few movie cameos, and Q*Bert is a prime example. So you would be pleasantly surprised to hear that Q*Bert is making his way to Xbox One with Q*Bert REBOOTED: The XBOX One @!#?@! Edition, which might be the longest title we have ever seen on an arcade game.
Originally released in early 2015 on both Steam and PS4, Q*Bert has been ported to the Xbox One by GPC Games. Not only has Q*Bert seen an improvement in graphics from it’s original release way back in 1982, but the Xbox One version has received a revamped soundtrack by EnV, as well as some additional outfits to unlock. In fact the online store even boasts improved gameplay from the other versions.
Q*Bert offers both the old school version of the game, Q*Bert in his purest form if you will, and the new rebooted version of Q*Bert. It has been several years since I last played Q*Bert, and by several I mean almost a decade, so I started with Q*Bert and it feels as close to the original experience as possbile, minus the arcade setting and authentic joystick. The real star of the show, however, is Q*Bert’s rebooted section. The rebooted section changes Q*Bert’s gameplay to survive setting of yesteryear and turns Q*Bert in to level based game with loads more depth. These levels are comprised of different layouts, a series of more fleshed out enemies, and a challenge based star system. It is extremely important that Q*Bert’s level layouts change, as for the number of levels Q*Bert has it would become incredibly stale without this variety. Thankfully the level design works perfectly and the design and manipulation of level objectives, like not being able to step on the same tile twice without it reverting back to its original colour, gives almost a puzzle like approache to Q*Bert. On top of the level design the other new aspects escalate in difficulty as you progress onwards throughout the galaxy themed map. Although there were points in which the difficulty seemed to ease off and the tutorial/introduction of enemies lasts right up until the last 25% of the game, but it is done in such a way that without the pacing you would be shouting the uncensored version of Q*Bert’s rather charming assortment of characters.
The newly added challenge system is something for the more hardcore Q*Bert players, as it challenges you to get higherscores and faster times to challenge both the leaderboards while earning stars. With every star you collect in a level the higher the rewards of the bonus stage at the end that section, therefore the more stars the more gems. These gems allow you to purchase the variety of different outfits for Q*Bert,ranging from colour swaps to horror themed outfits, that are all charming in their own way. That being said these outfits have no real impact on the game beyond the look of Q*Bert, I’ll be the first to admit that DraQula is the cutest iteration of Q*Bert but earning the gems for the outfit felt like a stalling tactic as opposed to any meaningful addition. Especially since I was able to earn all but one of the outfits prior to the end of the game without the need to replay any level.
For those looking to rekindle a hero thought lost to the ages, Q*Bert is the perfect answer, the level design is completely on point and the newly updated soundtrack by EnV is brilliant. The moment I sat down to play Q*Bert I was completely fixated, trying to topple the leaderboards and complete every level to the best of my ability. Even those completely unfamiliar with Q*Bert won’t be hard pushed to fall in love with the orange tennis ball with a nose for days, and that’s really what Q*Bert REBOOTED: The XBOX One @!#?@! Edition is all about, falling in love with Q*Bert – all over again or perhaps for the first time. There is something for everyone, even if the package might seem a little bare.