After the dismal showing that was the Desmond Debacle DLC, I sincerely wished that Airtight Games would come through and give me what I wanted, more of the main game. IKE-aramba! served to be the perfect vehicle as well. A DLC pack about Ike, sure he was underrepresented in the game, but now you could expand on him and bring back more of the always charming John De Lancie. If you don’t like reading, let me go ahead and save you a few hundred words, they didn’t.
For the most part, I find first person platforming to be a huge pain in the ass and a terrible gameplay mechanic. Now there have been games, such as Mirror’s Edge, that have done it successfully, but they are few and far between. What absolutely never works is when you want me to do precise platforming in the first person and at twitch speeds. It’s not fun and the more you make me do it only results in me despising the game and the developers for making do it.
Quantum Conundrum: IKE-aramba! (PC [Reviewed], PSN, XBLA)
Developer: Airtight Games
Publisher: SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive
Released: August 28, 2012 (Steam), September 11, 2012 (PSN), September 12, 2012 (XBLA)
MSRP: $2.99, 160msp
Just as in the Desmond Debacle, the opening level of IKE-aramba! is a miserable excercise in everything that is wrong with Quantum Conundrum. One part of the puzzle has six switches for you to press simultaneously that require you to use the statues in the room, though not only have you never used statues in any part of the DLC or main game, but it doesn’t tell you that you have to use them. Unless you figure it on accident out or look up one of the many forum threads condemning this DLC you would never think to use them.
The other five levels are either entirely forgettable or feature a hairpulling section that is frustrating in a completely different way the the one I previously described. I can’t tell which piece of DLC is more insufferable, though I would have to give the nod to IKE-aramba! simply for the fact that it came second and learned absolutely nothing. These two DLC packs have angered me more than any other game in recent memory.
Perhaps the biggest offense come from the name. You would assume that IKE-aramba! would focus on the supposed-to-be-loveable-but-never-developed IKE, Nope. It took me dying and getting so pissed that I quit the game on the first level to realize, upon replay, that a frozen IKE is quickly swept by the screen by the robots that carry things. For some reason IKE has been frozen (I guess by the robots because they’re angry?) and it’s up to you to save him. It’s never explained and your reward for suffering through this is a congratulations image featuring IKE with a false mustache and a sombrero. Yay.
I actually enjoyed the core Quantum Conundrum. It had a few issues, but for the most part it is an enjoyable, fun experience. IKE-aramba! shows that not only does Airtight not know what made Quantum Conundrum good, but that they have absolutely no problem pumping out two of the worst DLC packs in existence. Please Airtight, do something else now and use this as experience. Please, leave this poor game alone.