I made out like an RPG bandit this Christmas! My wonderful husband outdid himself, helped along by Steam’s holiday sale!
First up was my Christmas Eve present. Yes, my husband got me a Christmas Eve present. Isn’t that cute?
This PS3 title was released back in 2010, directed by the same guy who did Tekken 6. It’s not an RPG, but it’s a really cute action adventure with a pretty heavy emphasis on environmental puzzles. An evil darkness has overtaken the kingdom, and you play a human thief who doesn’t have a name but can talk to animals. By freeing the titular Majin, the huge, slightly derpy-looking moss monster on the cover there, you hope to defeat the darkness and restore the kingdom!
I played a few hours of the game on Christmas Eve, and I had fun with it. It’s got more stealth that I usually like in my games, but since the penalty for discovery is generally just to run away and hide behind a pillar for the ten seconds it takes for the enemies to forget you’re there, I could put up with it. The environments are very pretty, and the Majin is so adorable. He’s just this big lumbering goofball that you can’t actually control directly, but who you can give orders to. He’s pretty responsive about doing what you ask, so it never becomes a chore, and he’s genuinely charming with his goofy grin and slow speech.
Every other piece of voice acting in the game is mind-numbingly awful. I haven’t actually met a single other in-game human, but the player character can talk to animals, and every animal talks in a different voice, and each voice is more annoying than the last. Especially the goddamn parrots. Every voice actor who does the parrots insists on doing a screamingly terrible”POLLY WANNA CRACKER” parrot voice. Ugh!
Christmas Day, the video game bonanza continued with…
I actually quite enjoyed the first Rune Factory game on the DS. The Rune Factory games are essentially Harvest Moon meets dungeon crawl, and I liked the balance of the two: farm some, fight some. I eventually got bored with it, as I tend to do with simulation games, but I got hours of enjoyment out of it before I did. So I am looking forward to the many improvements I am sure will be a part of this third iteration of the series. Combat, in particular, is supposed to have been greatly enhanced. And although I haven’t started the game yet, according to the manual, I can transform into an adorable bunny sheep.
NO SERIOUSLY THAT IS A BUNNY SHEEP. So I’m pretty much sold on the game right there. I mean, LOOK AT IT. IT WEARS A LITTLE HAT. EEEEEE.
Okay, I’m done, sorry. I’ll write more about the game after I’ve actually played it.
Next up, another unexpected surprise:
Oh boy, was I excited to see this game! I have been wanting to play this game since I heard about it coming out. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but Atlus is hands-down my favorite publisher. Not only are they responsible for localizing one of my favorite RPG franchises, Shin Megami Tensei, but they are constantly bringing stateside a steady stream of really excellent and quirky JRPGs. Radiant Historia was also developed by Atlus staff. Other members of the dev team included some people who worked on Radiata Stories, a really excellent, humorous, and under-appreciated RPG for the PS2.
All reviews point to the excellent story, fun battle system, and interesting characters, so I’m really looking forward to starting this game. The music is supposed to be lovely as well, composed by Yoko Shimomura of Kingdom Hearts and Super Mario RPG fame.
Hilariously, my husband does not actually remember purchasing this game for me. He’s pretty sure he was kind of drunk late one night when he read an article about this game, thought “Hey, Rachel would like this!” and then bought it and forgot. When the package came, we just tossed it on the pile of Christmas presents. Well, yay for him. I’ve been wanting this game for years. HUSBAND POINTS ACHIEVED!
And now for the game I actually asked for this Christmas…
Words cannot describe how much I have been looking forward to this game. Studio Ghibli AND Level 5? Be still, my nerdy heart! I am deeply in love with the general adorableness level of Studio Ghibli’s work. I own a battered and much-loved VHS copy of My Neighbor Totoro that I have probably watched over a hundred times. And Level-5 is responsible for some really unique and solid RPG gems like Rogue Galaxy for the PS2, Jeanne d’Arc for the PSP, and the Professor Layton games for the DS.
Of course I had to try the game out at once. And it. Is. BEAUTIFUL.
I really is like being able to move around inside of a Studio Ghibli movie, with the same kind of lavish attention to details of the natural world that you see in Totoro or Arrietty.
I will definitely do a full review of this one after I’ve played it more.
And then, the final, coup-de-grace of a surprise…
He got me four copies so that I could start learning to make my own RPGS and recruit other people for my own dev team. How cool is that?
I’m a little bit intimidated, because there’s SO MUCH to the program that I’ll need to learn, but I’m also really excited. I’ve decided that my first project will be a short RPG based on William Shakespeare’s Richard III. Because, fast fact, between all the video games, the RPG Rabbit managed to earn a Master’s degree in Shakespearean dramaturgy. And seriously, why aren’t there Shakespeare video games? There should be.
And now there will be.