Pros: Stylish combos, a new twist on being a hero (saving people), overall
lots of fun
Cons: Camera problems, a short game if you don't go for 100% completion,
lack of graphical variety and washed out graphics
Maximo vs. the Army of Zin isn't a sequel that is a rehash of the same
game. Instead it improves on everything that made the first game a good
game, which makes this game even better. That's not to say that
everything has changed. Maximo vs. the Army of Zin is built on the same
engine as its predecessor and the gameplay is rather similar. However,
Maximo vs. The Army of Zin has enough additions to keep the game fresh.
If you haven't played the first Maximo this part is for you. Maximo is a
platformer that is built with Ghost and Goblins in mind. You play as
Maximo, a warrior that fights the forces of evil because that's what
good guys do. To face off against the endless amounts of enemies you
have your trusty sword. You can engage into a combo by mashing the
attack button. If you get hit you lose life, of course, lose one bar of
life and your armor drops one level until you're literally in your
underwear. At this point if you lose this last life bar you're history.
You can collect up to four levels of armor, which means four life bars
to do battle in.
Maximo vs. the Army of Zin does a lot to improve on this formula. First of
all the combo system is much more fluid, it's comparable to Devil May
Cry. There's even a meter that tells you the number of hits your combo
is, also akin to Devil May Cry. You can slash at one enemy, turn around
and attack another and your combo value keeps going up. Maximo has a lot
of moves to choose from. You can throw your shield like Captain America,
do a spinning slash like Link's whirlwind attack, and even do Dante's
rapid poking combo. On top of that you have the uncanny ability to
transform into the Grim Reaper by pressing L1 and R1 at the same time.
While you're the Grim Reaper, you're faster, have longer reach and give
more damage. This transformation is relatively short at the beginning of
the game, but you can purchase an item to increase the time you remain
as the Grim Reaper.
To power Maximo up you collect gold coins from defeated enemies to
purchase items. Gold coins can also be procured by saving the endless
amount of citizens that are under attack. This one of the cooler
features of Maximo vs. the Army of Zin. Similar to House of the Dead or
any other light gun game the enemies attack random civilians that you
can choose to save. If you don't save them they we'll die no harm done
to you. If you do save them they can give you valuable items like gold
coins, armor or even sell you items. While it is optional to save anyone
the game presents situations that make you want save the hapless
citizens. You'll see the townsfolk run for their lives from enemies
right in front of you. All of this creates an atmosphere of necessity,
which drives the game from one location to the next.
While Maximo is fun, it isn't without its problems. First of all the
camera is rather troublesome. The camera shoots from an over the
shoulder perspective, but it can be freely rotated. The problem with the
camera is that when you're surrounded by enemies, which happens often,
you won't be able to see behind you or to your side. There is no option
to zoom in our out, which would be really helpful for some of the
chaotic fights. Another problem with the camera is if you're pushed into
a corner by a couple of enemies the camera moves out of focus trying
sometimes inside an enemy or completely away from the action. These cuts
become problematic in such a fast paced game. The camera problem is
magnified even more when trying to jump from one platform to the next.
You don't seem to be able to get a clear sense of depth due to the
camera and graphical style. This leads to frustration when you're trying
to jump over one of the many bottomless pits in the game. Another
problem is the lack of variety in the enemies. Capcom made some funny
enemies like the treasure chest that attacks you and the rabbit that
turns into a raving beast. However, the majority of the game is spent
battling it out with the same robots over and over. These enemies all have
the same attack pattern too, which makes them easy to beat after the
first time. The boss battles are pretty simple too. Like the standard
enemies the bosses have a basic pattern that they switch once mid
The graphics in the game are similar to Maximo, but they're clearer.
Maximo isn't a colorful game, its not meant to be. The setting is in the
middle ages, which had drab colors and little light. Maximo follows this
style well, but at the same time makes the game look washed out. The
characters are clearly influenced by cartoons. To match this style
Maximo has a lot of animations and facial expressions. The only other
problem with the graphics is they're repetitive. You save the same
townspeople over and over again. The only difference is a different
colored outfit. A little more variety would go along way. The graphics
are pretty clean, even though they do appear to be washed out. The sound
isn't bad either. The music sounds like its orchestrated music that
sounds like if it was pulled from a cartoon. The sound effects are done
pretty well too. The sword hits have a sharp "clang" sound and the fire
roars. The voice acting isn't half bad either. During the intro Maximo
has a chat with the Grim Reaper and while the dialogue isn't going to
win any awards the characters sound like who they're supposed to be.
Maximo sounds like a rugged warrior and the Grim Reaper has a raspy
What Maximo vs. the Army of Zin lacks in the dated presentation of the
game, it makes up in fun gameplay. Maximo remains entertaining since
there are bountiful chances to be a hero with instant rewards. As a
platformer there is a lot to do if you choose to save all the
townspeople and find all of the secrets. If you choose to forgo the
extra challenges the game may be a little short, but its a fun filled
all the way to the end.
The controls are fairly easy to understand and get a hold of and there
is English voiceovers inside the game. This combination make the game
highly import friendly.
Maximo vs. the Army of Zin is slated for a release on January 20,
Maximo vs. The Army of Zin is a game that a lot of people will
enjoy. Fans of the first game and platform gamers will obviously enjoy
it. The game offers a little more than the standard platformer like a
good combo system and a sense of urgency. If you can ignore the camera
problems, this game, while short, will be a fun ride.