by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Choose your Sin
Party of Sin is a side scrolling puzzler with a heap of fighting involved, much along the lines of the original Prince of Persia. The difference here being that Party of Sin doesn’t just contain the single playable character, but instead allows you to control characters representing the seven deadly sins – Greed, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth, Lust, Pride and Envy.
Each of the Sinful characters has two abilities – a fighting move and a special move that is required to complete the puzzles. Each of the Sins are introduced individually early on in the game, giving you an indication on how each performs. Greed has a special hook on a gold chain that he can use to reach things from a distance or swing across gorges like Indiana Jones with his whip. Lust has the ability to summon clouds which can be used as stairs to reach higher points. Gluttony has the ability to swallow large objects and then regurgitate them when required. Envy is the green eyed monster – enabling him to shoot laser beams from his eyes to light sconces and flick switches from a distance. They all have their own uses, and all will be called upon for you to progress.
The puzzles are the strong suit of Party of Sin. Early on, you are given the basics of each of the Sins and their abilities and the puzzles are straightforward, requiring the gamer to simply use the power of each Sin in turn. But as the game progresses, you are required to add the abilities of multiple characters in order to solve the problems. For instance, one puzzle may require you to jump a large chasm, meaning that you’ll have to use Pride, but to get to the top of the ledge, you may require Lust and her ability to generate cloud steps. Of course once you have jumped the chasm, you may require Gluttony to pick up an object and place it on a weighted platform, opening a door to the exit. No doubt the door will be too far away to reach before it closes again, which will require you to use Sloth and her slow-motion ability so that the gate closes slowly enough for you to pass.
It all works rather well, and you will need to switch between multiple characters throughout the course of the game. I certainly like the idea that you have to become familiar with each of the characters in order to progress in the game, rather than playing through the game with a character that has a huge bonus compared to the others.
Upgrading your Sins
Each of the Sins can also have their abilities upgraded. These upgrades cost Apples which can be collected through the levels. Some are quite hard to find, and some require some puzzle solving of their own to reach. Many just require Greed’s gold chain whip to drag them into a reachable position. Anyway, as I was saying, each of the characters can have their abilities upgraded. Lust, for instance, gets an upgrade known as Sex Bomb, which acts as a grenade in the form of a perfume bottle. The ensuing explosion causes damage-per-second injuries to foes. Greed has an upgrade known as Gold Member which causes enemies to turn to gold during melee attacks. The upgrades are a bit if fun, but I found they rarely added anything meaningful to the combat portion of the game.
Combat including Boss battles
Unfortunately, the fighting section of the game is the weak point. The combat controls are simple, but the fighting is way too easy. Some enemies will run headlong toward you for suicide melee attacks whilst the more cautious amongst the enemy legion will fire their weapons from a distance. It is normally these foes that create the most headaches but they are seldom a problem either. The ease of the combat results from the Sin you choose to fight with. There are a couple of Sins that have overpowered ranged attacks making for light work of flying and ranged foes. Melee combat with Gluttony is also too simple. Yes he can take hits, but his special power that grants him health for devoured foes makes him almost unbeatable.
From a visual standpoint, the game had me reminiscing of the classic Golden Axe, albeit with improved resolutions. The backgrounds in the early are rather dull, with loads of bricked landscapes, but later on are more colourful and a bit nicer to look at. The Sinful characters and their foes are a touch better and clearly stand out in the desolate scenarios. And that just adds to the feel that the background art is of a lower quality. The protagonists are easily distinguishable from each other, and the enemy types (although they don’t vary a great deal) are also each to identify.
Party of Sin tries to be a decent title, but it just lacks a bit of polish. Actually, it lacks a lot of polish. With upgraded visuals and better controls and some adjustments to the dull combat system, the game could have been really good. For the most part, I found the puzzles enjoyable, requiring the use of multiple characters to performs their part in order to solve the puzzle. The boss battles were a matter of working out the set patterns and were a bit on the easy side once you worked out the best Sin (or Sins) to use. The other fighting scenes seemed like they were just designed to make the game last longer, requiring you to defeat simple opponents on your way to the next puzzle. Overall, Party of Sin is a reasonable game from a small developer, one that could ultimately use a touch of refinement.
Puzzles require the use of multiple characters, so you are obliged to try out all the Sins
Visually dated. Controls are sluggish. Combat is too easy.