Talent Not Included – Review
Follow Genre: Action
Developer: Frima Studio
Publisher: Frima Originals
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Talent Not Included – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: Fun fluid gameplay. Hilarious story.
Bad: Serious difficulty spike.
User Score
8.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Sometimes when you are bored the strangest things might happen. Actually many cool things got invented because people had nothing to do. Fun shows like New Kids and Jackass find their roots in some friends looking for a good timewaster on a sunny afternoon and just filming their mischief for the entertainment of others. The same underlying thought brought life to the story of Talent Not Included and is the start of this platformer adventure.

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Story

Our story begins with the three monsters from Notthatmuchfurtherland: Zordok, Derp and Kevin. This group of misfits is bored but since they are Shakespeare enthusiasts they might have stumbled upon the best idea ever. One wanted to write a play, the other wanted to play videogames and the third friend had the best idea: “let’s write a play about videogames”. With the idea set they went to www.allmymoneysgone.com and bought loads of props. Now that they have everything, there still are a few missing pieces to the puzzle. In search for some characters to participate in the play, the group hired the demon, Zot, and for an honest price he would get the actors and the venue for their play. Zot kept his promise and hired three actors: Cecil the warrior, Bonnie the rogue and Gundelf the mage. The dynamic group is all together and will bring you puns of many other games for your amusement. Each act brings its own little story that brings some more immersion towards the play.

The way how the story is told shows that this game is out to humor the player, with three separate stories. Each of them has great dialog right until the end, with some references like this is a real play and sometimes people will get hurt. Thanks to the narrative, you’ll be chained to the game until the final boss since it sparks the interest really well.

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Graphics

How everything is presented in this game feels just right. You have a clear vision on the theatre floor while decorations and props have just the right finish that gives the impression of strong workmanship. Flying opponents are held in by a rope to add in some comical factor instead of using thin fishing wire. The overall aura that the game emits makes you feel that you are actually participating in a show and playing a game at the same time.

Sound

The key to any good play is that visuals are supported by a good orchestra that plays feeling inducing music. Each stage is accommodated with a joyful melody that feels just perfectly right. Characters make constant noises by jumping or dashing and this could become a bit annoying for a few players, but is just a slight nuisance. For instance, when jumping around with the rogue for some time it reminds us of watching a tennis match with all the groaning.

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Gameplay

Talent Not Included is a 2D platformer in which the characters try to entertain the crowd in the best possible way. The game is played on stage and this environment changes constantly to become more challenging.  This means that you will need to watch out for the many dangers that lie in the spotlight: from spikes and saw blades, to hungry animals and lava pits. On most occasions the actor needs to touch an icon for the stage to proceed but on other moments this happens after a timer has run out. To know that you have reached the end a bright platform pops up and you will need to land there in order to complete the level. The ultimate goal in each scene is to have the highest score possible and this is affected by two factors: time taken to complete the stage and the amount of score accumulated by gathering candy and killing monsters. Candy is found spawning in and out on the field and if you can manage to get to a treasure chest you will find that this is filled to the brim with candy. The faster you go the more points you are able to receive, this means that although you could collect every piece of candy and destroy every monster you still can get a lower rating for being slow.

Each level is scattered with monsters that attack you in their own way, some only patrol but others will chase you around. Since the game is based on fast platformer action it is very good that the developers took in consideration that, when you take damage, you will not flinch but you will just follow the trajectory that the actor was following. If you get hurt you will lose a heart, when all are lost your character will collapse in defeat, luckily there are health items to be found on some parts next to the candy to heal your wounds.

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The game controls very fluidly and this allows for chaining many moves together. When this works in 98% of the times you will feel like a pro gamer since there are many skill jumps that you need to pull off, from flying dashes to teleportation tricks and wall jumps. Simple movement makes the game easy to learn and with only three buttons to use (jump, attack and unique move) it’s a game that can be enjoyed by a wide audience, just like the classic Mario games.

In each act there are fifteen scenes and every fifth stage has a boss fight, these bosses possess the item that our hero wants and the villain is persistent to keep its belongings. Bosses bring homage to the old days with their crystal clear pattern that needs to be learned so you can be effective as possible against them. With the first act as a perfect step stone to harder levels it does hurt a lot to see that the other acts ramp up the difficulty enormously, since the starting difficulty is very low this will separate the wheat from the chaff.

Conclusion

Talent Not Included is a really fun game that allows every type of gamer to enjoy it but after a while it will become harder and harder so only the real experienced players can make it to the end. It feels like you’re actually sucked into a play, with some rather fitting music to help the immserion. Controls are wonderfully smooth as well and the humor presented in the game, with the many puns, is one to enjoy on a sunny afternoon.

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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Talent Not Included - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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