When the PSP launched, Death Jr. was the first game shown, with the release of Death Jr. 2: Root of Evil, Konami has followed up with a highly entertaining, fun, user-friendly game. With Tim Burton-esque graphics and a wry sense of humor, the game follows either DJ (Death Jr.) or his friend Pandora as they battle their way through a myriad of possessed enemies after having released a dangerous evil spirit from a cocoon.
Play as either of DJ or Pandora along their quest to stop the evil spirit Furi from taking over the world and in the process to rescue DJ's dad, the Grim Reaper. Utilizing his scythe, DJ swings and slashes his way through his enemies. The scythe has plenty of other uses as well, jump and spin it to float through the air, use the blade to grab onto hooks and bars and propel DJ through the air and through the levels. While Pandora has a chain that she wields and can also hook onto those ledges and hooks and other obstacles along the way. With a fellow PSP player you can play cooperatively as the two friends.
In Death Jr. players are able to purchase newer combo moves to better help the waves of attackers that come after you. As well, both characters are equipped with a variety of goofy weapons (after you find the various pieces to put them together that is) such as the C4 Hamster, which is exactly what it sounds like, the Flaming TP Launcher or the Cherry Bomb Launcher, which are inherently useful and necessary; especially as the hordes of robotic llamas, mutant security guards, giant gorillas and insects come after you. Along the way helpful chests filled with ammo help you reload and get ready for the next wave.
The levels are pretty straightforward, follow the map and attack everything in front of you. Combos learned along the way provide you with the means to knock back groups of enemies or do devastating hits upon individuals. DJ wields a mean scythe and Pandora's chain is just as deadly.
It is with the stylized graphics where the game delivers the most. Everything in the game is interesting and vivid to look at, the colors are vibrant, the style interesting and the enemies are all rendered in a manner that gives you some delicious eye-candy. In-game cut scenes are absolutely beautiful with incredible animation that is clear and detailed. The sound in the game is enjoyable if nothing special, the same with the music. It is innocuous enough that you do not always notice its there but it does provide a nice other layer to the game.
Gameplay goes quick, the story is not incredibly long with 11 real levels to master, they will take some time but nothing unmanageable. Ultimately, Death Jr. is a lighthearted, graphically appealing fun game to pick up, play for a while and come back to whenever. While the journey from start to finish will not take forever, it is not a quick dash through the game either. When the game ends you are left wanting more, which is always a good sign, (although another level or three might have been nice…)
Death Jr. is a really fun game to pick up and play; it will provide plenty of amusement, entertainment and enjoyment. Try playing it for just a little and you will only want to play more and more.
Learning Curve: approximately 15-20 minutes
Death Jr: Root of Evil is available now exclusively for the PSP