Video games, cartoons and comic books; this is what defined a child's life in the 80s and the 90s. It's a recipe that when mixed together creates a concoction so strong that it's hard to think poorly of it. At least, this is the case when you're talking about most games that have a noticeable amount of passion put into them. Saturday Morning RPG, on the other hand, doesn't succeed in its attempt to recreate the nostalgic life we all crave so dearly.
A boy named Marty has to use the powers of his newly obtained magic notebook in order to save the girl of his dreams from the evil Commander Hood. Along the way, he will fight monsters and villains with tons of different attributes by using his wicked style. By that I mean you can do the moonwalk, summon transformers from the sky, and throw laser discs at your foes, all in turn-based RPG combat.
Saturday Morning RPG is a charming game, but it's repetitive. As an episodic RPG, everything tends to feel very fresh and new in every chapter, but I also can't help but feel it lacks proper consistency. There are five episodes to play through, each with a different story about Marty's journey to defeat the big baddy at the end of the road. It works well, considering what the game is about, but it falls short in creativity beyond its obvious nostalgia, and in the aspect of the amount of time you'll be playing the game.
Aesthetically, the game looks awkward. The visual design in some areas is very appealing, but the 2.5D look mixed with all of the lazily drawn imitations of 80s and 90s cartoons just doesn't look good. A lot of the colors are clashing, and the art direction is somewhat bothersome at times, which is a shame considering how good some of the environments do look. Finding enemies standing around the map just waiting for Marty to walk up to them is also a design choice that just seems a little lazy. While one could argue that it fits the aesthetic, I just don't think that's the case.
The game does, however, nail its references to pop culture, but it gets stale very quickly. The combat is unique as it offers button pressing minigames depending on the items you use, but it gets tedious midway through. The stories are all written well when it comes to references to the 80s but overall the game could have used more creative and engaging story. It feels like a constant battle of "ifs" that are thrown onto every positive feature of the game.
There's a lot to love here, given the obvious indication of how much love and passion was put into the development of the game, but I can't help but feel it just isn't all that enjoyable beyond the nostalgic novelties. While it's cool to see references to your favorite kung-fu movies from back in the day, and while the plot is just as cheesy as the time period it's attempting to recreate, the core design of the game feels small in scale and ultimately boring after an hour or so of playing.
Most of my time is dedicated to tearing apart games and movies, then telling you what I think about it. I've been a gamer since birth, practically born with a controller in my hand. I've always spoke my mind, so critique was a natural fit. Twitter: @Jsrf38