Posted: December 1, 2013
Cthulhu Saves the World(CStW) Review
Cthulhu Saves the World is a game starring everybody's favorite Lovecraftian abomination, Cthulhu. Stripped of his powers by a mysterious spellcaster upon yonder cliff, Cthulhu must set out on a quest in order to become a true hero so he can regain his powers and destroy the world after he saves it. Sounds crazy, right? Well, if you're interested in the premise, then it is well assured that the rest of the game is even better. I'm here to analyze the game and give my personal opinion on it, so if you're looking for a serious review, you've come to the right place. Let's start by looking over the story.
Story:I'm going to just give you the Cliff's Notes version of the story: Cthulhu rises from R'lyeh to destroy reality. Sorceror robs him of his powers. Narrator tips off Cthulhu that he has to become a hero to destroy the world. Cthulhu begins quest to save then destroy world. After that, Cthulhu goes from town to town saving the populace from stuff, such as Nyarlathotep-controlled zombies or a demon-dragon in a volcano. While the title says that Cthulhu saves the world, he never really does so until the final dungeon, making the game more like The Adventures of Cthulhu the Hero and Friends. CStW's story has nothing connecting the various events that occur together, but since this game is a parody of JRPGs, it's just enough for a person to not question it.
Characters:While the story of Cthulhu Saves the World may be a loose string of events that barely constitute as a plot, the characters can kinda make up for this. As per Zeboyd Games standard, the characters are rather creative. In the party you're stuck with throughout the game's course, there's the hero himself, Cthulhu, who is on a quest to restore his powers; The resident Red Mage, Umi, who has a crush on Cthulhu after he saves her from two slime monsters; Sharpe the living sword, who is only there because Cthulhu wants a huge sword like every other hero; The angsty Black Mage and gothic necromancer, October; Cthulhu's old alien cat friend, Paws; The senile White Mage on the brink of madness, Dacre; And the reformed demon-dragon, Ember. They're all wacky and provide the game with most of the humorous dialogue, but are the ones given most of the characterization, since they appear more than once in the game. Besides them, there's those three hero guys who only pop up twice and the chapter bosses who, besides Ember, who joins your party, only appear once. It's kinda unfortunate that nobody else gets any real characterization besides being a stereotypical NPC. However, the characters that do get some focus make the game much more enjoyable.
Gameplay:Cthulhu Saves the world's gameplay is a refined version of Breath of Death VII:The Beginning's gameplay. You can choose to battle at any time and there are a set amount of encounters in each area of the game, like in Breath of Death. When you engage an enemy, you can attack normally, use magic or physical skills, use a Unite skill with another party member, or defend/dodge. As each turn goes by, enemies grow 10%, giving you a psuedo-time limit. When you win a battle, your health is fully restored and you get some magic points back. Despite sounding so simple, it's a welcome departure from the battle mechanics of other RPGs and makes for a fun, albeit repetitive, experience.
Music:CStW's music is really good. Each track fits the feel of the situation it plays in, from the relaxing town themes to the action-packed boss themes, Cthulhu Saves the World's music is certainly notable among other RPGs.
Graphics:Cthulhu Saves the World's graphic are an homage to the graphics style of early 16-bit era JRPGs like Final Fantasy IV and other games like that. However, they still manage to be well-detailed to the point where enemy recolors always have something besides palette that sets them apart from the opponents that came before them.
All-in-all, Cthulhu Saves the World is not for everybody, but it provides hours of fun with its various references, fun gameplay, and unique charm overall. If I had to point out any major flaws, however, I'd have to criticize the lack of coherent and fluid story in addition to lack of characterization for non-party members. However, if you like classic JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Breath of Fire, etc. then Cthulhu Saves the World will not disappoint.
Score:7/10 - Good
Cthuhu's Angels Extra Mode Kinda Review
Cthulhu's Angels is an extra mode of Cthulhu Saves the World added in for the PC release of the game. It features October as she goes on Cthulhu's quest for him with three other (female) party members because... Hey, octopus/dragon/demon gods are generally lazy. Now, before anyone asks, I call this a "kinda review" because I'm not giving it a score, but I am going to go over the altered story and added characters while giving my opinion. That being said, let's get on with it.
Story:In Cthulhu's Angels, October the super-angsty necromancer has fled to that place where Cthulhu washed up in CStW because everybody in her hometown mocked her for studying the arcane art of necromancy. There, she finds a holographic projecter that Cthulhu contacts her with,telling her that he was stripped of his powers and needs her and three other ladies to become heroes for him because he's off doing who-knows-what in who-knows-where. Along the way, the Narrator keeps messing with the party, doing things like bringing a bridge to life as the boss that replaces Star Terror, the second boss of CStW. And, yes, I said "replaces". This is because the story is a rehash of CStW's, and a poor one at that. But hey, this is a parody game. Keep that in mind throughout the whole thing.
Characters:Now, Cthulhu's Angels adds some new characters to the party. First, Elona/Elonalina from those random hero group replaces Umi as the first party member, and is a rehash of Dacre gameplay-wise. Then, Umi replaces Sharpe as the second party member and is a direct clone of him in terms of gameplay. And by the way, this isn't the Umi you all know and love, this is her silvery-haired evil side brought upon by her trying to wield Sharpe, who is now her weapon, and a cursed sword. Kinda like what happened to the Masamune in Chrono Cross, the "sequel" to Chrono Trigger. The third and final party member, Molly the Were-Zompire, joins where October would've, and is a replica of Paws in terms of gameplay. She's from one of Zeboyd's other works. Now, in terms of other major characters, Cthulhu becomes mission control, the Narrator just messes with the party, Ember doesn't do any fighting and is just there as a means of flight, October is left unchanged, Paws is killed right after he says one sentence, and Dacre... I won't spoil what he does.
My Opinion:Cthulhu's Angels feels like a poorly-done ROM hack of CStW, with characters being replaced left and right. It follows the exact same path as CStW, and just feels like a boring rehash. However, the ending was one of the most insane twist endings in any video game I've played, so there's some redemption to be had there. But in all seriousness, this extra mode left a somewhat bitter taste in my mouth, with only one dungeon changed, all the bosses altered in some way, and if it isn't already blatant enough that Zeboyd just took CStW and changed it slightly, I dare you to try entering the first bonus dungeon before visiting the first town. See what Umi, who isn't even in your party at the time, has to say. All-in-all, I felt like I was just playing an amatuer's attempt at a ROM hack. But please, don't let my opinion on an extra mode keep you from buying this game. The main game itself is well made, and this mode is just an extra unlocked after you beat CStW. So if you don't think this mode seems interesting, don't play it. You've still got a bunch of other modes to mess with besides this one.