Bizenghast: Wicked Labyrinth Review
- Haunting soundtrack.
- Simple controls and easy to learn gameplay.
- Unlockable artwork by M. Alice LeGrow.
- Overly simplistic gameplay; repetitive maze-like challenges.
- Only tangentally related to its source material and influences.
Wicked Labyrinth fails to capture the haunting style of Marty's work in Bizenghast by sticking with a series of basic maze-like challenges.
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Although not strictly a Manga, Bizenghast, an ongoing Gothic inspired comic by M. Alice LeGrow (otherwise known as Marty) is none-the-less associated with many of its trappings including cosplay. Wicked Labyrinth by Tokyopop seeks to expand the series in to the gaming frontier, but where the comic cleverly deals with the main character Dinah's need to free trapped ghosts every night, the game takes a less subtle approach.
Each level places Dinah in a 'maze' complete with traps that needs to be navigated to reach the end, with additional levels increasing the challenge slightly until you complete the game. A simple virtual d-pad allows you to move Dinah one square at a time, but holding down a button will cause her to slide along smoothly (though this can be hazardous especially on later levels). It's a fairly tragic affair as players are challenged mostly by their ability to navigate without dying to instant traps, though later levels do add an interesting twist as you try to stave off being poisoned by getting to an antidote in time.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Wicked Labyrinth is its presentation, with Marty's lovely organic illustrated style being reduced to a bland series of lifeless isometric tiles. In the very least the artwork does try to keep in synch with Gothic theme, but the only real attachment to the comic series and Marty's artwork comes in the form of unlockable extras gained by collecting tarot cards.
While not necessarily the most popular of comic titles, Bizenghast still deserves more than a cursory effort that does little to address the story or style of its source material. Wicked Labyrinth can occasionally prove to be challenging, but its bland gameplay and repetitive levels are far too easy to ignore. Fans may appreciate some of the smaller touches in the game (such as messages after every 10 levels), but it's still a hard title to enjoy.
DescriptionWelcome to the Wicked Labyrinth... Once you seal your contract with the Sunken Mausoleum, yo will become the latest human agent in the guild of Bizenghast. Navigate fiendish mazes and solve deadly puzzles in order to fulfill your deal with the afterlife and regain ownership of your life and your soul! Gather tarot cards to earn points and unlock images in the gallery... But be careful not to wander too deep into the darkness, lest you be trapped for all eternity!
~elegant graphics pulled straight from the world of Bizenghast
~dozens of creepy and challenging puzzle levels to tease your brain and send a shiver up your spine
~earn points to unlock bonus art
About Wicked Labyrinth:
Enter the Wicked Labyrinth...
You are Dinah, a troubled young woman tasked with journeying through the dreams of the deceased to set souls at rest. But first, you need to hone your ghost-fighting skills! Navigate the treacherous traps and devilish devices, escape, save your friends, and try your hardest to survive... Because the most difficult tasks still lie ahead...
Bizenghast, created by M.Alice LeGrow, is a dark fantasy series from TOKYOPOP Inc. Running 8 volumes total, it chronicles the adventures of Dinah Wherever as she and her friend Vincent Monroe are contracted to a mysterious mausoleum and given the difficult job of setting disturbed souls at rest. Find out more at www.bizenghast.com and http://www.tokyopop.com/product/1398/Bizenghast/1
About M. Alice LeGrow:
Mary Alice LeGrow (aka Marty) spent much of her early childhood in Germany and other parts of Europe and later moved with her family to Connecticut. Much of her work is influenced by a combination of the German language, art and architecture, as well as the ghost stories and legends of New England. She attended the Savannah College of Art and Design and received a BFA in Sequential Art. She was a runner-up in TOKYOPOP's second Rising Stars Of Manga competition. See what she’s up to now at http://sadwonderland.deviantart.com/