ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! Xbox One X Review

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! serves as a great journey back down memory lane for this cult classic.

By Grayshadow, Posted 28 Feb 2019

ToeJam and Earl is a cult classic among older gamers, with much of its appeal coming from the graphical style and unique characters. ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! captures much of the original's atmosphere and gameplay. It won't appeal to everyone but those with fond memories of the duo will get a lot of enjoyment with ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove!

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove!,NoobFeed,

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! Toejam and Earl crashing on Earth after trying to impress their dates Lewanda and Latisha. After a miscommunication, Toejam and Earl crash their "borrowed" ship and must retrieve the parts to get home. 

Players can choose from up to 9 characters, 6 available from the start, that has their own strengths, unique bonuses, and weaknesses. You can play alone or with a friend online or local, which is a nice touch. The unique talents do come in handy during the adventure such as Earl's ability to eat rotten food to restore health while everyone cannot. I did run into a glitch where the unlockable characters would remain locked even after completing the game.

Much of the title features the same gameplay mechanics from the original SEGA Genesis version. Players will move through levels by using the Elevator while searching for spaceship parts. You can collect a variety of presents to aid in your journey and pay helpful Earthlings to aid you such as restoring health and earn bonuses to your overall stats.

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove!,NoobFeed,

The present system can be a bit vexing, these items offer unique bonuses but unless you pay a specific Earthling to tell you the contents you're getting something random. Not all presents offer benefits and some are boobytrapped, forcing you to gamble whether it's worth the risk. 

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! is about the adventure and less about combat. Players are expected to walk and evade hostile enemies instead of fighting while gathering helpful items by shaking interactive environmental items. The enemies are diverse with varying abilities ranging from traditional damage, mixing up your controls, and causing to become immobile for a few seconds.

The levels are designed after the classic game, with small plots of land serving as the environments littered with hidden paths and occasionally environmental hazards such as sand that slows your movements and slippery ice. It does offer a range of color but for the most part, you're still doing the same throughout the adventure. ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! does offer harder options including a randomize setting that mixes everything up for those looking for more challenge. The soundtrack also carries the nostalgic feel of the original, with a finale song sung by both Toejam and Earl. The voice-acting does the job of capturing the duo as well.

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove!,NoobFeed,

Graphically, ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! isn't on par with modern games. The opening cutscene is polished but the animations and graphics are dated within the gameplay section. In addition, the slow pace of walking everywhere won't appeal to everyone. Enemies can run at a higher speed at the player and movement is largely limited. Since presents have to be opened in real time and are random, often you'll have to take the hit when in difficult situations and during the higher levels a frustrating amount of enemies are put against you.

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! is made mostly for fans of the original. Much of the title features are found in the 1991 classic such as slow walking pace and randomized presents. The animation and the gameplay also won't win over fans as it is dated compared to modern titles. ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! serves as a great journey back down memory lane for this cult classic.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): HumaNature Studios
Developer(s): HumaNature Studios
Genres: Action Platformer
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2019-03-01

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