Saturday Morning RPG
Developer: Mighty Rabbit Studios, Inc.
Publisher: Limited Run Games
Category: Episodic RPG
Release Date: 04.26.2018
5 Hours Time Difference? More Like 5 Years…
For the purpose of this review, I’d just like to state that I was born in 1987. For this reason you might think that I grew up with 90’s pop culture. It’s important to realise however that, being English, I was probably 5 years behind the States. You have to remember that this was a time before the internet, cable or streaming. We had 4 channels on our TV.
Because of this, I feel as though I was essentially born in 1982, Pacific time, and therefore perfectly suited to handle this review.
Saturday Morning RPG
Originally released in 2012, Saturday Morning RPG is a gorgeous title that packs a real nostalgic punch. For anybody who grew up watching 80’s TV, there will be plenty of moments that bring you back to your childhood. Within an hour of playing, the game had referenced The Wizard, Power Glove and COBRA.
Saturday Morning RPG is clearly aimed towards a certain demographic and because of this, the charm may be lost on younger players. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy playing through this short and sweet adventure. By the same token, if you don’t get the references, it may equally just not seem particularly funny.
Saturday Morning RPG tells the story of Marty who in no way resembles his namesake from the Back to the Future trilogy. Without going into spoiler territory, this game tells the tale of Marty’s quest to stop his nemesis, the despicable commander hood, leader of HOOD. Again, just for the record, HOOD certainly do not, in any way whatsoever, resemble COBRA. Not even slightly…..
After receiving a magic notebook from The Wizard, Marty discovers unique powers and abilities. In handheld mode you can interact with the notebook using touch controls in addition to the standard button inputs. As a matter of fact, playing in handheld did seem like a natural fit for this title.
Let me just say, the game looks great, even for a 6 year old port. The developers have clearly put a lot of care into presentation, with an assorted assiete of bold and vibrant colours used throughout. To say they resemble Minecraft, certainly Minecraft Story Mode wouldn’t be wide of the mark.
The music is provided by Vince DiCola and Kenny Merideth who between them are responsible for the sounds of such iconic franchises as Duck Tales, Transformers, Power Rangers and X-Men to name a few. As you would expect from such a calibre of composer, the score is fantastic, and never seems dated, despite its inspiration.
Saturday Morning RPG consists of 5 episodic levels. When the game first came out they were released individually, as was the trend at the time. The Switch release offers the complete experience, all 5 episodes in one delicious package. The script is great throughout, to which I applaud the writers for so many laugh out loud moments and for keeping this humble hack grinning from ear to ear.
The only aspect of the game that did start to wear thin was the combat, for purely trying too hard. Similar to how the Paper Mario games get you to conduct the battles rather than simply watching the action unfold, Saturday Morning RPG offers a lot of options. However, it soon becomes repetitive and in all of the 5 campaigns, you have the same move set. Also, during particularly tough battles, you will use up all of your specials, and have to finish the fight by maximising your multiplayer and simply using your fists. It’s a shame really as it tried to do more than was particularly necessary, in this case at the expense of enjoyment.
Combat is turn based, as is the norm in RPGs. You use batteries as a multiplier to boost attack power but this is at the expense of magic power, which will recharge over time. Enemy attacks can be blocked, thereby reducing damage taken. Timing is key here. Press A as late as possible before contact is made for maximum effect, which at the same time will charge your multiplier a little bit. There are a plethora of attack options available with a variety of different buffs. Throw a flaming ball to burn your foe, or use a candy bar for a quick attack. Better still; why not try moon walking across the battlefield, complete with white glove, to paralyse your opponent.
Buy it, your way
As well as the digital version, which will be linked below as usual, there will also be a physical edition released by the delightful people over at Limited Run Games. It will release on May 28th 2018 at a cost of $29.99 and as if that wasn’t enough for all you collect-addicts out there (I’m looking at you Mr. Editor), it will also be released as a very limited edition collectors version.
This will contain a steel book case, a pair of 3.75 inch action figures, a poster and a cassette tape. The tape will contain 2 songs by the afore mentioned Vince DiCola. This, rare as hens teeth, package will cost $69.99.
My time with Saturday Morning RPG was from start to finish, a delight to experience, a real blast to play. Aside from the odd little niggle, mainly repetitive combat, there is a lot to like about this title. Everything about the presentation is clean and crisp, offering a modern pixel style. Whilst some people may find the graphics just a little too dated, I found them to be endearing. Very retro but crisp enough to stand out. The music was a personal highlight and rarely did a tune seem out of place or become stale. For fans of 80’s pop culture, and adults in their 30’s-40’s alike, this game will provide a real treat. And you know what, it’s a brief experience, so why not save it to play on a Saturday morning.
Quirky episodic adventure that offers a throwback to the pop culture of the 80’s. Lovingly presented, the soundtrack being a real treat. Vibrant, colourful visuals. Lots of replay value. Likewise very quick to just play through.
Buy Saturday Morning RPG $9.99
Or For £7.19
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