Game: Saturday Morning RPG
Platform: PlayStation 4, PS Vita
Rated: E for Everyone
In some circles, video games are still seen as a new medium, played only by children. This is despite the fact that the industry dates back to the 1950s. The children that used to play their Ataris are now adults, playing games with billion production costs on the newest systems.
There are some, however, that long for a more simple time—a time when games were not measured by how much money they cost to make or how many frames per second they run at. Because of this deep yearning for nostalgia, there are some games being released without high resolution graphics or famous voice actors—games like Saturday Morning RPG.
Despite being a game that anyone can play, the story of Saturday Morning RPG feels directed at a certain crowd: people who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s. You will be hard pressed to play a few minutes of this game without it alluding to some pop culture reference of the time. While the jokes will make many smile, it will also leave many more scratching their heads. There are a handful of such references in the plot premise itself. The player takes control of a young boy named Marty over the course of five episodes, each one with a slightly different story, but the story is not where this game shines.
The Sights and Sounds of the 80s
Some will see this game’s visuals as quaint, but gamers brought up on the Nintendo Entertainment System and players eager to try something different may see something special—they may grow to adore the picture the developers have painted. The characters are colorful, pixelated sprits that are both nostalgic and refreshing to look at. The game’s tone is masterfully set with its delightful music, a pleasing sound that gets you in the right mood for what this game offers—a game that feels both new and old. Saturday Morning RPG plays like a Japanese role playing game. You explore interesting environments until you walk into an adversary and a battle commences, transporting you to a turn based play style akin to that of the Final Fantasy series. The levels are intriguing, my favorite of which has to be Marty’s school. There was something rather soothing about exploring the locker filled hallways and desk scattered classrooms while helping peers with comical side quests.
If you have ever played Paper Mario you will know what to expect from this game’s combat system. When using some attacks a meter will appear onscreen, if you time your button press correctly you will deal extra damage, if not, your attack will have little to no effect. Where this game differs from Paper Mario, however, is its sticker element. Throughout the game Marty will collect stickers, which gives him better stats for each fight he partakes in. To use these stickers you must quickly, and rather furiously, scratch them before each clash. This adds strategy but can, at times, become tiresome. Another nice addition is the extras. Although Saturday Morning RPG is a budget tittle, there are many hours of fun to be had here. Once you have finished all five of the game’s episodes, you can either replay them to get higher grades or even play other modes such as survival.
Saturday Morning RPG is a unique game for our time. Some players will not have the patience for its play style, but those who do will find an enjoyable and charming experience for a great price. PlayStation 4 owners will also receive the PS Vita version (or vice a versa) at no extra cost. A more expensive limited edition disc based version of the game will also be available. If you are an old school gamer or you just want to try something different, Saturday Morning RPG could be the RPG for you.