Game: Skrillex Quest
Platform: Web Browser
Publisher/Developer: Jason Oda
Describe This Game in Three Words: Link vs. Skrillex
Plot Synopsis: In the kingdom of code inside a copy of The Legend of Zelda sitting on DJ Skrillex's desk, a speck of dust on the cartridge has caused that weird sprite glitch that we all remember so well if you weren't good about keeping your connectors clean. The glitch is infecting and tearing apart the code, leaving the valiant P1 to quest through the dissolving world to stop it.
Up Up: The last time Jason Oda sent me one of his games, it was the light-hearted and engrossing Perfect Strangers game he'd put together. Skrillex Quest is quite a bit more ambitious.
You guide a heavily pixilated and generic P1 through a series of levels that resemble the castle from Link to the Past, the first dungeon from the original game, and Haunted Wasteland from Ocarina of Time, all backed by an endless loop of Skrillex's "Summit" featuring the awesomeness of Ellie Goulding.
The enemies are constantly shifting pixilated blocks, but they die easily on the tip of your sword. They're not really the challenge. Your goal is to make it through the dungeons collect keys to free the Princess Ghost, Skrillex treasures like Sabre Glasses, and scrolls to unlock the Master Sword before the timer runs out. You don't die when it does -- that's actually the cue for the next level -- but it does mean you miss the chance to get the items in the level if you miss them.
The best part about Skrillex Quest is the amazing old-school gaming humor that Oda brings. In the shifting glitch enemies, you'll see countless screens from old NES games, and the shops in the Wasteland area offer surreal non sequitur power-ups like "Fiona Apple Pacemaker Level 75." You can also select "Sexy Time!" with Chun-li at an inn, though you don't get to see that strange blocky act.
Down, Down: Though the game is fun, it can feel a little cheap in that improving your rank involves exploring, and the game is specifically designed to limit your exploring through the time limit mechanic. You're going to have to spend a lot of repetition at the game figuring out exactly which path, especially in the second level, will allow you to collect what you need before the clock runs out. This would be a lot less annoying if the opening animation came with a skip option.
Though the odds are you won't have any difficulty completing the game at all, the battle mechanic of the glitch boxes is, well, glitchy. Sometimes they fly backwards when struck like classic Zelda villains, and sometimes they seem to randomly reappear elsewhere. Like I said, it won't likely cost you the game, but it is pretty annoying at times.
Left, Right, Left, Right: Just the arrows and space bar direct you through Skrillex Quest. It's a casual and fluid process that you can master in seconds, but your character is a flaky and loose in on screen, especially when trying to get through a door. On the plus side, there's a fun little glitch after you pick up an item. Hold a direction during the animation and P1 will slide off in that direction with his hands raised in the air as if screaming, "Who's awesome? Me!"
B, A: I grew to like Skrillex after seeing the documentary Re:Generation. His music is never going to be my favorite, but taking him on in a boss battle that was very reminiscent of the Armos Knight fight (My favorite Zelda boss battle) made me even more amiable towards the DJ. Teaming up with Oda on a project like this shows he's a pretty cool guy, in my opinion.
Start?: If you hate Skrillex you will probably not have a good time with this game, but I thought that it was a fun little adventure romp that showed real progression of skill on Oda's part. There are hundreds if not thousands of little classic gaming jokes and bizarre bons mots hidden behind scrambled text and scenery, and since you can play the whole thing for free regardless, why not?