Posts Tagged ‘EasyGameStation’

Spawn Point: The best JRPGs for total beginners

Tales of Symphonia

Welcome back to Spawn Point, where we take an element from the world of gaming and explain what it is, why it’s worth your time and how you can dip your toes in and get involved. Last time, Brendan gave you a 101 course in Final Fantasy XII, a JRPG that recently got spruced up for PC twelve years after its original launch on PlayStation 2. This time, however, I’m going to be looking at JRPGs as a whole, discussing what they are and which ones you should try your hand at first if you’ve never played one before.

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Wot I Think – Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale

Shop-keeping/monster-biffing indie RPG Recettear is out at last, following Carpe Fulgur’s elaborate translation of EasyGameStation’s 2007 Japanese game. It arrived on Steam, Impulse and Gamersgate yesterday, and I’ve been playing it on and off during the last week. It seems prudent to report my findings.

What I think is that this whimsical indie tale of manning the tills of a semi-stereotypical RPG item shop is about ten times bigger than I’d imagined. I thought I’d got the measure of it from the demo, but what seemed a small and simple thing unravelled and expanded throughout – every time I sat back and thought “that’s it, I’m ready to write this up” it threw in a little something else.

The key effect of this is that “An Item Shop’s Tale” isn’t all that accurate a description. “A Surprisingly Enormous, Sprawling Roleplaying Game” would be far more relevant, if less neat.
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Capitalism, Ho! Recettear

I really, really like this. Even though it arguably gets its core gag absolutely wrong. It’s the old pun about why RPG shops are happy to repeatedly buy and sell the same old crap to the same old heroes writ large, as a rather funny and monstrously compulsive strategy-RPG hybrid. The fact there’s an RPG in that… well, that’s what it gets wrong. The RPG shopkeeper gag is that they don’t know what the hell they’re buying, what animal arse it’s been pulled from or why the guy selling it is covered in bits of town guard. When the shopkeeper’s part of the adventure, they’re no longer the naive/mercenary money-grabber we’ve encountered in a thousand different games.

I still really, really like this. I played the (fairly long) demo through twice. Can’t remember the last time I did that.
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