Review: Q*Bert Rebooted
Going to my grandma’s house when I was younger meant that I’d have the chance to play a pretty wide selection of NES and SNES games. This was typically the place that I’d be introduced to any number of popular games on either of those two platforms. She had all sorts of games from that time as well as a fair amount of arcade games that were brought to the NES. One of which was Q*Bert, a game that I almost always made a point to play whenever given the chance.
As the years have passed it feels like Q*Bert has just been forgotten. (His cameo in Wreck it Ralph as a homeless video game character really hurt my inner child.) So naturally the announcement of Q*Bert Rebooted took me by surprise. Its PS4 release marks the first *new* Q*Bert game (if my research is correct) in something like 20 years. Rebooted features a version of the original arcade game as well as a Rebooted mode which features new hexagon-shaped platforms, characters, challenges, and 40 levels. It also comes with a new updated graphical style that I’m not a fan of at all.
Using hexagon-shaped platforms in the Rebooted mode allows for a larger variety in level design. You’ll still see the classic pyramid setup, but now the game also includes a number of other designs that keep things feeling fresh as you work your way through the game. Each level in Rebooted comes with three challenges (finish the level, beat the level under a certain amount of time, and get a specific high score) that you’ll need to complete in order to gain enough stars to progress. In order to get all three stars you are forced to play through the stage multiple times. So for instance you can’t get a star for clearing the level and a star for clearing it in under 90 seconds on the same run. You have to complete theses challenges separately which I found to just be annoying. This kind of thing only serves to pad out the game’s length when it really doesn’t need it.
The larger problem here falls on the controls. Q*Bert Rebooted in the classic and new game mode controls poorly. I lost track of how many times I died because Q*Bert jumped in a direction that I didn’t press. Many times I’d press down and Q*Bert would jump in a totally different direction. Sometimes this would lead to Q*Bert jumping off the edge or in the pathway of an enemy. I can’t think of anything that’s much worse than losing a life/getting a game over because of inaccurate controls. This is a problem that I consistently ran into using the d-pad or the analog stick.
In Rebooted you’ll earn gems that can be spent on special character unlocks like Q*Zard, Q*Bertha, Q*Zilla, and many others in the Q*Family. These characters don’t play differently, but I kind of appreciate the effort to make new versions of a character I really liked as a kid. (This is probably a good place to note that the trophy for getting 5000 gems is broken and won’t unlock.)
It sucks to say it, but the frustrating controls flat out ruin any enjoyment I had with Q*Bert Rebooted. The path that you take throughout each stage is so important to Q*Bert and having controls that don’t cooperate in that respect really sucks. It’s nice to have Q*Bert back, I just wish it was in better condition than this.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- New unlockable characters
- Includes a version of the original arcade game
What I Dislike:
- Poor controls in both the arcade and rebooted modes
- Padding the game's length by forcing you to replay early levels
- I really dislike the new graphics