Following the ongoing trend on XBLA, Scarygirls (developed by Tik Games and produced by Square Enix) is another side-scroller firmly entrenched in the “weird” category. Scarygirls is the tale of a little girl who was abandoned, but raised by an octopus and is currently living in a treehouse.
Based loosely on the graphic novel of the same name, which accounts for some of the weirdness, Scarygirl takes place across seven worlds with three levels each. The game is technically a side-scroller, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the view changes and rotates as Scarygirl’s paths wind through spooky terrain.
Scarygirl utilizes a sort of chain weapon with various unlockable attachments; each with their own unique abilities. She can hover for a brief period by spinning her chain, and string together some brutal combos by hooking, grappling and smashing her enemies. During our playthrough we more than once accidentally started one of these delightful combos, watching Scarygirl flail and spin about, crushing everything in sight.
The game also features its own rage meter called the Scarymode Meter, which when filled can be used to make Scarygirl truly scary - like giant reptilian monster destroying everything in her path scary.
We're told that Scarygirl is a short game, weighing in at only around six hours, but there are a huge amount of collectibles and unlockable items to go back for. There are a number of split paths in the game that players will have to revisit if they hope to gather all of the items. The game also features co-op in the vein of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, in which the second player (Buddy Guru) provides support on the same screen as Scarygirl.
Gameplay is simple, fast and fun. After only a few minutes we had picked up most of the controls and were starting to figure out some really cool combos. With another ten hours and a whole slew of unlockables, we’d be freaking Chuck Norris. You know, if Chuck Norris was the freakish offspring of a Tim Burton film and a graphic novel.
The game comes out January 18 on XBLA and January 24 for PSN and will cost $15 on both systems.