Posted: May 1
Imagine, if you will, a sitcom. It's a sitcom about a topic you really like, so you check it out. You know these sitcoms where the laugh track is the only indication that something funny just happened? This is like one of these sitcoms, only without the laugh track. The title is by far the funniest part of this game. There are lots of jokes or, more accurately, things the devs thought would pass as jokes. The formula seemed to be as follows:
- Take classic JRPG trope.
- Put said trope in the game, with a note saying "think of funny subversion later".
- Get bored and work on something else.
The game ends up playing straight all of the things it's supposed to subvert, with a few schoolyard level jokes tacked on where there was space.
Now, imagine watching said sitcom (why are you doing that again?) with a controller in your hand. Imagine that every few seconds, the image freezes, and the only way to continue watching is to press the "A" button between four and seven bazillion times. "Silly me", you exclaim. "I forgot to turn on the difficulty!" So you press the difficulty button on your remote, and you find out that you are already on the highest possible difficulty. You start the game over on "easy", thinking that maybe there's a bug where the highest difficulty is actually the easiest one, and indeed, switching to easy has a significant advantage: You only have to press "A" between four and six
bazillion times because the enemies have lower health now. Anyway, save for boss battles, the difficulty is of virtually no consequence. You have lots of fancy special moves to use in fights, a combo count to build up, mana points to manage, which is all fabulous except for the complete lack of a bloody difference it makes. There's just no incentive to get into all these intricacies of the battle system when you fare just as good spamming your basic attack over and over. After each battle, your health is fully restored, so it doesn't even matter how often you're hit, as long as at least one member of your party survives.
"Well then", I hear you say, "the battle system may be an unfortunate abomination of nature, but when I watch Passions
, I have to hit my telly every few minutes to get a clear image too, so that's okay as long as I can enjoy the story." First off, go get a new television set. Second, to enjoy the story, there would have to be a story first. I haven't finished the game (in much the same way I didn't finish pouring that bucket of battery acid over there on my head), so maybe the story picks up somewhere after the two-hour-mark, but I doubt it. So far, it's been: "You're a hero. Supposedly witty comment. Go east and kill something. Unfunny joke. Now go north and kill something else." You get party members who are supposedly parodies of some kind. One wants to be a vampire! It's funny because everyone hates Twilight
! Why aren't you laughing yet! Said party members provide the crucial addition of being able to push the "A" button more often per round.
To summarize: I do not recommend buying this sitcom
game. Want a funny video game? Go play Monkey Island. Want a nice, retro JRPG? Go play the first few Final Fantasy. They even have a few jokes in them, which is more than I can say about this. Want to donate two quid to charity? I guess this would count.
I can't say anything about the bundled game, "Cthulhu Saves the World", because frankly, when I think about "playing" a second "game" from the same people, that bucket of acid suddenly seems oddly appealing.
Just my two cents
dollars, which I will never get back.
- Betta George