ReviewsReview: Beast Quest

Review: Beast Quest

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When books get converted into a; TV series, film or gaming franchise it’s a gamble. In theory, it should be a raving success with ample money behind it, a massive fan base, and as many plots and well-designed characters as you can shake a stick at. Beast Quest is a much-loved book series aimed at young adults. It follows the tales of a young Knight called Tom and his female friend Elenna. The pair attempt to bring peace and order to the world of Avantia.

Developed by Torus Games and published by Maximum Games, this cartoon RPG adventure has been out for 3 years and has failed to make a good impression on its audience. Will I see it any different to my peers, or can I find a diamond in the rough?

A colourful Fable-Esque themed world jumps out at you the moment you load in. You are chucked straight into the action with a cut scene that attempts to bridge the novel with its newfound home on the console. This quickly rolls into a brief yet in-depth tutorial that teaches you the fundamentals. You are told why you have been chosen, and what mission you must undertake to save the world. It’s all straightforward and familiar, like any of the hundreds of RPGs I’ve played. This wasn’t an issue, however, as many have this inherent fault and originality is scarce these days.

Ah, such a pretty birdy.

A tale of one Wizard and four Beasts!

The story revolves around a deluded and evil Wizard who wishes to destroy the world by controlling four beasts of different elemental powers. Fate dictates that a young man who is true of heart will step up and save the world. Unsurprisingly, that is you, Tom the young, unheard of Knight. You must venture across 5 realms; a volcano, forest, icy plains, mountains and a grassy plateau. Each has a unique look and comes with its challenges and monsters to battle.

As you succeed in each fight, you will earn AP. This is spent on improving your character and your skills. The main attributes are; speed, health, power and defence. Alongside this, you will unlock; new attacks, better ways to block, and more. Like the story, this is nothing new, and it won’t amaze you with any surprise elements. Equipment will be found or purchased to further improve stats. I liked the cosmetic changes with each main garment or weapon choice, but was disappointed that the smaller trinkets didn’t appear. It’s as if the small details didn’t matter, but in an RPG they help to define your personality.

To follow on from this, the game sets itself up as a tactical RPG with battles that require; patience, skill and observation. In reality, it’s an arduous hack ‘n’ slash event that suffers from a serious case of Deja Vu. The developers attempted to mix things up with your Beast Quest companions’ special attacks. Sadly, this added very little other than to end a battle early, but that at least eliminated the tedium of each event (every cloud and all that.)

Maybe the main bosses and side quests will be its saviour?

When a game centres all its attention around its 4 beasts and an evil Wizard, you are right to expect some epic fights. Don’t get your hopes up! Repetition is the tonic that Torus Games rely upon. Sadly, this isn’t the cure for what ails this title. Well, surely its shining light is the many side quests you undertake? It is if you like; collecting flowers, wolf skins, pieces of paper and many other (*sarcastic tone*)dangerous tasks” like these, then you’ll be in your element. But seriously, everyone knows that the secondary missions are a mere distraction, unfortunately these are so weak in design that it’s a painful experience taking them on.

A wooden shield against flames, I don’t fancy my chances.

With such an excellent foundation found in the Beast Quest books, I was shocked by how badly wrong the developers got this. It’s mediocrity at its best! If you had never seen an RPG in your life, you may be fooled into thinking this was a good example, but you are more likely to be put off the genre for Eternity. It sadly lacks any redeeming features, and I have yet to cover; the wooden acting, terrible script, dreadful sound bites and dated graphics.

Amateur dramatics has less ham than this. 

A three-year-old game shouldn’t; look, feel, and behave like it was made for an early generation console. Yet, somehow, this is exactly what happened with its odd 3D presentation and terrible cinematic. There are clear influences of; Fable, Zelda and Monkey Hero. The three combined should make an awesome looking game, however, it’s a mess. Bad animation haunts this throughout, and the enemies slide towards you slowly. The landscape is blocky and bland to look at, and quickly blurs into one easy to forget image. The lip-sync of the cutscenes is off and easily distracts you from what is being said. It’s one plus side is its use of colour works well with the fantasy setting. The bright and vivid tones set against the earthy landscape made the characters stand out.

Moving swiftly on to the audio. Cheesy, horribly acted and memorable for all the wrong reasons. The script is dreadful and is full of failed humour and a wooden delivery. Every time the action stopped, and it cuts to one of these scenes, my heart sank. If it wasn’t so badly presented, I’m sure the intended jokes would have amused me, but it failed miserably. On the plus side, I enjoyed the music. The folksy tunes had a classic RPG feel to them, and the beat and tone matched the situation you found yourself in. This was the best element of the game. Sadly, it had little competition to gain this accolade.

It then comes crashing down to its usual standard when you listen to the sound bites. Tom says some of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard in a game. Each time he spoke it added nothing to the gameplay and made me shake my head with disbelief.

These skeletons could do with a hearty meal.

It handles worse than a shopping trolley.

There is nothing worse than a game that has potential, only to be let down by terrible controls. Unfortunately, Beast Quest is one of those games. Slow response times, terrible dodge mechanics, a weird movement system and a jump that allows you to unintentionally levitate. It’s a mess from start to finish. I found it ironic that its tutorial was one of the easiest I’ve ever come across, but it confuses itself with poorly executed commands and awful optimisation. 

The developers have sold this as an adventure game with a sprawling world that will suck you in with exciting action and its many quests. In reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth. The linear gameplay restricts you to where you have no freedom to explore. Repetitive elements, treasure chests that have predictable loot, and battles that will send you to sleep. If you can stomach it, you’ll endure around 5 hours of gameplay to save the world and get to the end credits. 

A disappointment from the off. 

It always pains me to be so brutal about a game, but when one has no redeeming qualities, and misses the mark on all points, then it wouldn’t be fair to recommend it. Beast Quest had so many opportunities to get the game to a reasonable standard, but it tried and failed repeatedly. If you want an RPG adventure title then look elsewhere, the market has plenty that are leaps and bounds ahead of this. If you want to buy it, you can here! Tom must learn to be a Knight and save humanity and the land of Avantia from the evil Wizard. 

SUMMARY

Beast Quest has so much potential, but it let's itself down at all but one element. It's mediocre at best! A weak plot, poor dialogue, and badly implemented controls are somehow buoyed up by an enjoyable classic RPG sound track. There are much better examples of the genre for you to spend both your money and time on.

+ A good classic sound track.
- Dated graphics.
- A badly written script.
- Terrible acting.
- Clunky controls.
- Boring gameplay.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Beast Quest has so much potential, but it let's itself down at all but one element. It's mediocre at best! A weak plot, poor dialogue, and badly implemented controls are somehow buoyed up by an enjoyable classic RPG sound track. There are much better examples of the genre for you to spend both your money and time on.<br/> <br/> + A good classic sound track.<br/> - Dated graphics. <br/> - A badly written script. <br/> - Terrible acting. <br/> - Clunky controls. <br/> - Boring gameplay. <br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>Review: Beast Quest