Look at that title. Doesn't it make your skin crawl? Doesn't it make you think "oh, you stupid title. With your studied exuberance, and that same nauseating whimsy that makes my Nan think Curse of the Were-Rabbit is the most endearingly crazy movie title she's ever heard."
It's a knee-jerk reaction that we quickly forgot, because Hell Yeah! earns its title, by being unadulterated, overinflated, and by having more imagination than a series of Spongebob. The Rabbit in question is Ash, the Prince of Hell, and when photos get passed around of him in a less than Satanic scenario, he vows to kill everyone who's seen them. As they went viral on Hell's Internet, that's pretty much a mission to kill everyone. Ah, well. You don't get to be a lupine Prince of Hell without murdering a few people.
Hell Yeah! is a liquid beast. When Ash is on foot, it's a double-jumping platformer. More often, though, he's inside an inexplicable jet-pack wheel that combines platforming with twin-stick shooting. Handling is smooth and responsive, and because fast platformers can be frustrating, Sonic, you can pause and zoom out with a tap of a bumper button. No leaps of faith required.
Hell Yeah! is just as hyperactive and impatient as you'd expect, packed with dense action and intense but impressive visuals. What's unexpected is the Metroid-style depth that Arkedo hides underneath all the toilet humour and bum-shaped platforms that trump when you bounce on them. The script is also surprisingly likeable, even if the checkpoints are frequently on the wrong side of the dialogue.
Each of the 100 monsters you have to kill is finished off with one of dozens of ridiculous Quick Time Events. This is QTEs done right - not just a button prompt, but a range of extremely dumb yet intuitive mini-games that last a few seconds each.
At around five-plus hours of fun, Hell Yeah! doesn't outstay its welcome. From that first negative reaction to the title, we never expected to be saying this: Hell Yeah! is a fast, smooth and intelligently designed platformer with boundless enthusiasm, a winning imagination and stellar production values. If it had been released on the Mega Drive, we'd be calling it a retro classic.
So much better than the title implies
- Smooth, slick and intense
- A 2D art animation orgy
- Constantly changing
- Funnier than you'd expect
- Checkpoints can frustrate