February 15, 2014

Sorcery Saga Review

Posted in video games tagged , , at 9:07 pm by riulyn

I’ve been too busy playing games to write about them. Or rather, it’s best to write about games when you are finished with them instead of almost done with them. Though, I suppose I could have written this review days ago, before I embarked on the 256 floor extra chapter dungeon…

TLDR Unless you really need some “easy” and moe rogue-like to wind down your evenings, there’s really not a $40 experience here. Unless you like to collect items and level them up. There are all types of those to play around with.

Anyway, so the curry RPG makes me want to eat curry when I play it, but the question is why should you eat curry? Because curry is the most delicious food in the world? Yes, and it can give magical powers which allow you to level up faster! If that was true in the real world, then we’d all be eating curry like crazy.

With this game being my first foray into the “rogue-like” genre, I can’t say the issues I have with the game are things that people actually want from rogue-likes.  I think the challenge of random restrictive conditions as you explore floors, with the potential of being ambushed by a bunch of enemies (called Monster Houses in this game) and a shit ton of items to pick up (and throw), are supposed to be the good base of the game. With the condition that if you die, you lose your items and money. Really, I have no major issues with this basis and the overall execution is up to the standards. It’s just little things that annoyed me.

  1. Sometimes you lose everything except the items equipped on you, and sometimes you lose even the items you have equipped. In a game where every time you enter a dungeon, you start from the first floor and at level 1, that means you could die in a dungeon and basically have wasted all your time and actually negatively affect your ability to conquer the dungeon in the future, since the game auto-saves. Therefore you can’t reload and erase the existence of that absolute crap run. Best thing to do is, when you know you are going to die, no item/ability to warp out, and you really don’t want to risk losing your equipped items, you reset the game before it does the autosave. Since leveling up weapons and shields is the major way to boost your stats and more important than gaining levels, it really stings when you lose that +30 shield. You eventually can find ID scrolls which allow you to tag items so that they return to your item case even if you die, but they show up in Chapter 3 (of 5). You need that item to be in your inventory at least, though, as I learned when my +35 shield was knocked off by a monster and I knew I was about to die, so I used a Transport book to get out. The item was lost forever 😦
  2. The auto item pick-up system when you have such a small inventory. It’s pretty natural to want to check out all the items on the map, right? It doesn’t mean I want to actually pick them up. Interestingly, once you fill out your inventory, when you step on a square with an item, it tells you what it is and asks whether you want to pick it up or throw it. The first choice makes no sense since you can’t pick it up and put it in your already full inventory. The second command is great and what should be available any time you encounter an item. Also, if you just cancel out you don’t do anything with the item! This should have been the way items should be dealt with in all cases, full or not full inventory.
  3. The fact that dungeons don’t have a warp checkpoint. No, I don’t want to go through the 50 floors again when I had to suddenly warp out level 36. It would be nice to have the experience level you were at and the dungeon level you were at saved so you could restart there the next time you entered a dungeon (unless you cleared it), but I guess that would have made the game too easy.

So what’s actually good about the game, besides the moe and over the top humor?

  1. Lots of dialogue in this game, except in that extra chapter. In addition, character skits are unlocked from special items found in treasure chests while dungeon exploring. They aren’t any more serious (or sillier) than the main plot. Though to be honest, I was enjoying the silliness of the plot that I didn’t predict what would happen.
  2. Throwing items at your side-kick Kuu and at enemies to see which ones healed and which ones hurt. Yes, you can throw certain weapons and they “heal”. Interestingly, some items healed Kuu but hurt enemies. Of course, there were also some enemies that were immune to your item-throwing, which was lame 🙂
  3. The curry-making aspect is another fun way to use items. I think certain curries preferred certain ingredients but it still seemed pretty random whether or not the curry would actually turn out right or be so bad that it was “cursed”.

Other things that people may care about:

  1. Japanese voices only. Voice acting seemed fine to me. Interestingly, the main character, who is a female, uses “Boku”. The other females use more typical female pronouns for “I”, like “Watashi”, “Atashi”, “Watakushi”. One of the other female characters uses “Washi”, but she’s the mysterious and beautiful fortune teller, so she can do whatever she wants.
  2. Music is kind of crappy. Well, I was not fond of the dungeon-crawling music and that’s the majority of what you hear. I played the game mostly with the music off because of that.

In conclusion, I don’t feel like the game is a waste of time per se, but it falls into that category that games like Project X Zone fall into. They are good for certain needs/wants and do a good enough job execution-wise, but they are nothing special.

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