Saturday Morning RPG is a nostalgia based RPG with turn based battles that use timing and button mashing attacks. It is a love letter to 80s cartoons, full of nostalgia.
It feels incredibly unique for a RPG with a style all its own. You get a trapper keeper that you can put stickers on it for buffs. Well a chance at buffs. You can put 5 stickers on the trapper keeper, but when a battle starts, you have a certain amount of time to scratch the stickers for buffs in battle. The battles are incredibly simple, yet take far too long. You have powers, none of which feels powerful. Each power has a limited amount of uses per battle, but it replenishes after each battle. The battle has a timeline. Depending on what attack you’re going to use determines where you are on the timeline. Certain attacks are quicker, such as using the pencil put you first. When a battle starts, the enemy always goes first. No matter how many times the game bluntly tells you ‘sneak attack,’ they’ll always attack first. It feels like a glitch. Most abilities have button timings to do more damage.
Because your abilities and attacks do little damage, you have the ability to ‘charge your battery’ which will become a damage multiplier for your next ability or attack. You can keep charging until its 9.9x. You have a variety of ways to charge the battery, either by spamming a button to charge it, being accurate on a slide bar or just picking a default 2.8x. I got tired of button mashing, so I just always selected the default 2.8x.
You can get more abilities by finding them or purchasing them in vending machines. You have to do something with the gold you collect. Like the stickers, you can only have 5 abilities equipped at once, but that’s enough. I made it through the entire game without buying an extra ability. I would visit the vending machines, see everything laid out and there wouldn’t be any descriptions. Sure I could buy the abilities and equip them to see what they did, but my first episode abilities were good enough to take me through the entirety of the game.
Most of the abilities and attacks all have a timing to them. I never really liked timing based attacks, because you quickly get the hang of it and exploit it. That’s probably why other RPGs just use random chance. However, the powers can only be used X amount of times in battle. After each battle you’re fully recharged. HP, MP, powers and everything. You never get any other characters, its just you against Cobra soldiers, He Man lizard men and Transformer robots.
You can block / dodge attacks by pushing a button at the right time, but even though it tells you that you defended, it sometimes damages you more than an undefended attack. I’m not sure if that’s a bug. The timing with some things seems off where I know that I’ve missed a perfect time window, but it still counted as perfect. It is also odd hearing a boss laugh about how you fool energy attacks only make me stronger, right after I energy attack him, right before he dies after saying that. It is also odd that I can get a ‘sneak attack’ on an enemy where it bluntly tells me sneak attack, yet the enemies get to go first. You’ll see the enemies on the map, so there are no random battles. Enemies don’t respawn, so you can’t really grind. The enemies and battlers aren’t varied enough and eventually just feel like a chore. Another cluster of 3 soldiers, another pair of red transformers. Even moving into episode 3, you’ll still find the same soldiers from episode 2.
If you die, then you just restart the battle or from the last checkpoint. That keeps you playing with no real consequence for losing. To top that off, there is an arrow that bluntly points you in the direction of your current quest. You will beat this game if you keep playing.
The overhead map uses 2D sprites on a 3D map… yep. You heart that right. The 2D 16 bit sprites on a 3D map with millions of colors. It just looks out of place. The sprites aren’t that impressive, but the 3D has a good look to it. It makes me think this game was rushed or cheap. They could have done 3D modeled characters, because the entire world is 3D modeled, but nothing is animated outside of the 2D sprites.
The game has four ‘episodes’ and they’re pretty quick within 40 – 50 minutes each. There is usually one puzzle per dungeon / episode. The puzzles show some interesting stuff and real thought put into them. If only there could have been more to keep me engaged. The final episode was a disappointment and just felt quick with no challenge, the final boss was a sad pushover.
The game takes a brief 3 hours or so to complete it. There are side quests, an endless battle mode and an arena mode. I just can’t justify the $7 for this game when it wasn’t fun. I’ve played other games that I really enjoyed that last only 3 hours, but this isn’t one of them.
This game just seems rushed and shallow. More like a set of awful mini games disguised as a RPG. Battles are extremely repetitive and you feel very underpowered. You’ll button mash far too much to buff yourself so you can actually damage enemies. Each attack takes way too long due to attack animations and killing animations. It also feels pretty linear even if episode 2 opens up into a less linear area, which is entirely inside of a school.
Avoid this game.