Do you like turn-based JRPGs? Did you grow up on things like Transformers, He-Man, GIJoe, Fraggle Rock, and Back to the Future? Do you like clever mechanics, fun in-jokes, and a game that never, ever, even comes CLOSE to taking itself too seriously?
The game follows the story of Martin “Marty” Hall, an average high school student who has been gifted a powerful ability to channel magic through everyday objects. With his newfound powers Marty has inadvertently attracted the ire of the world’s most heinous villain – the evil Commander Hood. This leads Marty into a series of dangerous plans that he must unravel to save the world (several times!).
Saturday Morning RPG is a Japanese style RPG that allows players to build Marty’s power up throughout multiple stand alone episodes. Players can carry over stats, inventory, and even story decisions between these episodes (sometimes your actions in one episode will ripple into previous or future episodes!).
It is available for PC, Mac, Linux, and a host of mobile platforms as well, and if you get it on Steam, right now it is LESS THAN $2.50. This is a STEAL, imho.
Reasons to buy it?
- Fun retro graphics, complete with visual injokes right down to the posters on the high school’s walls. Your status screen is a TRAPPER KEEPER, complete with various covers and scratch and sniff stickers (which you get to scratch before battle for bonuses).
- There are four episodes out right now, which seems to translate into about 8 hours of gameplay for me. The studio’s also got up a sneak peak of the next episode, which will be a FREE update for those who buy the game. So…$2.50 for about 10 hours of fun. Way better than any movie.
- The episodes involve such lovable characters as: Commander Hood (of the evil HOOD organization), Omega and Gigantitron (as well as Butterfly and Sunhowl), representing the Botchangers and Badbots, respectively; and a host of *ahem* "Private Johnson" characters who you might recognize, as well.
- A surprisingly deep battle system: elemental strengths and weaknesses, multi-hit and status attacks, guarding, button-timing minigames, etc. There’s a lot of different weapons which give different attacks, and you can swap them out to use whatever combo you want. If you chose some of the ridiculous random-based weapons, you could have a Really Interesting time of it.
- Good progression mechanics. You get bonuses for exploring, for picking up chests and items in random areas. You pick up new weapons, stickers, etc. as you go, and the difficulty felt about right to me. Around Ep. 3, it did get a little battlegrindy, but overall the game does a good job of leading you around and letting you do different things. It’s not hard and isn’t supposed to be.
- Incredible nostalgia factor. The writing is really well-done. The references made me laugh, as it uses and also pokes fun at the usual Saturday morning cartoon plot tropes.
- Soundtrack by Vince diCola. Yes. That Vince DiCola. It is electric guitars and synths and chiptunes ALL THE WAY, and it’s great. You can listen to/buy it here, actually. And a neat thing I just realized, poking around on Youtube? Check out “Legacy” from that Bandcamp link, then check out this, on Youtube. No idea if the Youtuber is correct, but if they are, I find it awesome that a song originally written for the Transformers movie is on the soundtrack. :D
Anyway, I recommend, especially at the rock-bottom sale price. A+, would play again.