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Foul Play Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . With its great sense of humor, exciting narrative, cool art style and fun stage play antics, you would think that Foul Play would be at the top of everybody's must-buy list. Unfortunately it's bound to get lost in the mix, thanks in large part to a release date that has it going head-to-head with the most expensive video game ever made. No matter what kind of gamer you are, Foul Play is not to be missed. Rating: 85%
Foul Play
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In a few months I am going to put Foul Play on my list of favorite games of the year and nobody will know what I'm talking about. And for good reason, because it's being released one day after Grand Theft Auto V. Not only that, but it's at least the fifth 2D brawler of the year and coming out a week after the similarly themed Puppeteer. With all this stacked against it, chances are you'll forget about Mediatonic's newest beat-em-up before you're done reading this review.

But don't forget about Foul Play. I don't care if you have to tattoo the name to your hand, do not forget about this game. Foul Play is one of the most charming action games of the year and will delight even those who normally hate 2D brawlers.

Foul Play (Xbox 360)

As it turns out, our hero, Baron Dashforth, might actually be the most interesting man in the world. And unable to keep the harrowing stories to himself, he's decided to reenact his many adventures to a sold out audience. He and his trusty chimney sweep buddy, Scampwick, fight vampires, mummies, robots and sea monsters through five very exciting stage plays.

Set at the turn of the 20th century, Foul Play sees Dashforth continuing his father's research into demons and the occult. When mummies invade the harsh deserts of Cairo, our heroes spring into action and come face-to-face with the walking dead. But these two adventurers quickly discover that things are not what they appear and Dashforth's father may still be alive in an alternate dimension.

This sets the two demon hunters on a quest to battle supernatural monsters and complete the elder Dashforth's research. Along the way they get mixed up with a bunch of pirates, the vampires in Victorian London and even go underwater for battle the robot scourge in Atlantis. Each level comes with its own unique set of enemies and a mutli-part boss fight. And with each level down, Baron Dashforth and Scampwick come closer to revealing the horrible truth.

Foul Play (Xbox 360)

All this takes place on stage and in front of a live audience. You'll see sets constructed in the background, stagehands placing objects, actors calling for lines, enemies dangling from strings and even a few extras who aren't fully dressed. And because these are reenactments, the enemies are played by real people. Sometimes the costumes are convincing, while other times they are comically bad.

The live audience also plays into our hero's well-being. Instead of using a normal life bar like so many other 2D beat-em-ups, Foul Play decided to go to Rock Band and Guitar Hero for inspiration. As Dashforth clobbers demons and mummies, the audience will hoot and holler to show their enjoyment. However, get hit too many times and the audience will lose interest and kick you out of the theater. They are a temperamental bunch.
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