What did you do, Mae?
If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Unfortunately you can’t call those guys because they are busy bustin’ and generally feelin’ good. So instead why not call Mae Barrons. Who is Mae Barrons? I hear you ask. Well she’s the medium who’s more likely to turn up to exorcise your ghosts with a shotgun instead of a crystal ball and all her unconventional supernatural skills are needed in Golden Ruby Games latest release – Extreme Exorcism.
Extreme Exorcism is a paranormal platformer set in a haunted house and it’s up to you as Mae to de-hauntify it. The haunted house is broken up into 10 stages each containing five levels. At the start of each stage you must destroy a possessed chair to unleash the Crown ghost. From then on the game has two simple rules – Rule One: Kill the Crown ghost, move onto the next round. Rule Two: Ghosts mimic your movements and attacks from the previous round/rounds.
Mind your step.
This may sound like an easy enough task but the more rounds you complete the more ghosts there are on screen and when you get into the double digit rounds the screen becomes rather hectic. Careful planning is needed. You might go in all guns blazing early on but you will quickly learn that less firepower is best as you’ll need to remember all the routes taken and shots fired in all the previous rounds if you are to progress onwards.
Thankfully to aid you with Rule One you have unholy arsenal of weapons at your disposal of which you can carry and fire up to three at any one time. These vary from close-ranged melee attacks like the uppercut to long ranged weapons like guns. There are also weapons such as mines and magical staffs; there’s even a side order of lightning bolts thrown in for good measure. The one weapon you should always keep an eye out for is the Exorcism. This permanently removes the ghosts that enter its radius and is extremely useful when you make it further than round ten and start to lose track of the movements you made multiple rounds before. Not all weapons are available from the start of the game; they are unlocked when you have killed a set number of ghosts. It never feels like a grind to your next new weapon either. No sooner have you settled on your favourite combo of weapons when you unlock another and suddenly you have a new favourite weapon.
You proceed through the haunted house in Extreme Exorcism by unlocking stages. To do this you need to achieve a certain score spread across the levels of the stage before. Each new stage provides a different challenge. For example, the balcony – It has gushing winds that will push you left and right so you struggle to reach the platforms above you. Or the kitchen – it has an out of control fire that you must avoid. These stages keep the game feeling fresh and although you might find yourself breezing through the early stages you will have to work hard and plan harder if you are to unlock the later rounds such as The Altar which requires you to get a high score of 600 in the cellar. You are free to tackle the haunted house as a single player or you can team up with up to three couch mates and play it as a team of ghost busters.
When you have completed arcade mode, Extreme Exorcism offers two additional modes. Challenge mode is for those of you looking for an even tougher battle. There are fifty separate challenges that require you to dispose of the ghosts in a variety of different manners such as finishing a set number of rounds only killing the Crown ghost or killing ghosts using only guns. Then there’s Death match mode which pits you against three couch mates in a 4v4 game where the last man standing is the winner. You can even customise the rules of the death match, which is a nice touch. There is also an online leaderboard so you can compete against other would-be exorcists.
The controls are simple with you controlling the movement with the left stick, cross is jump/double jump and square is fire. That’s it. I said it was simple!
The trophy list is well balanced with trophies popping for completing arcade and challenge mode. Some are for killing ghosts a certain way and a few other miscellaneous ones. I earned most of these through normal play. If I was to pick a trophy that could cause an issue it would be the one for completing the challenge mode as some of the final tier challenges are a little tricky.
Extreme Exorcism is a fantastic game that needs to be played to truly understand. Okay so the arcade mode may be a little on the short side but the gameplay more than makes up for this. Death match mode is especially entertaining as you’ll find yourself trying to manoeuvre ghosts into your couch mates’ path whilst at the same time trying to gun them down.
NelMaNo Rating – 7/10