November 3rd, 2016 - Jason
If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you no doubt spent some Saturdays waking up and watching cartoons. The phrase Saturday Morning Cartoons was something thrown around every week by friends and family, following the heroic efforts of your favorite characters. Well take those experiences and throw them into a game that plays similarly to a Mario RPG, and you’ve got this. But are we talking Saturday Mornings in the 80s/90s, or right before Saturday Morning cartoons were cancelled?
The game begins with a boy sleeping while watching a cartoon, and waking up in that universe to be severely beaten when taking the place of the hero. Not much of a surprise, considering he’s had no training and is going up against the baddest dude around that plans on stealing his girl. It’s then that the Wizard shows up with his Power Glove, and imbues the boy with a selection of stickers in a notebook that is reminiscent of the infamous Trapper Keeper. You get to select your nottebook’s design that has everything but the Lisa Frank name.
The stickers and other collectibles come in handy for the many battles you’ll be facing, as they offer you bonuses at the beginning of each battle depending on how fast you can scratch them, and the others you have equipped will serve as your special move set. Each move has a limited amount of uses per battle, but life and moves are regenerated fully after the completion of each encounter. Powers include inflicting negative statuses, buffs, multiple attacks, and attacks that are boosted if you click at just the right time on a meter. And these are just from the very beginning!
Now, referential games can be very hit or miss with me. As much as I love a good reference, games have become pretty dependent on them in recent years. And games that rely solely on references also alienate a whole section of their potential audience if they fall flat and don’t work on their own. The audience for this game is pretty clear, and was more or less already mentioned. If you grew up watching cartoons in the 80s and 90s, you’re golden. Memories will come flooding back, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll remember how you never got that robot you wanted… And while the whole game is pretty much a reference, I do believe it’ll work with the younger audiences that won’t understand where all the humor comes from.
On top of a pretty strategic battle system, the game has more to offer in amusing dialogue and side missions. The side missions aren’t all that difficult, as they are often things you’ll run into as you explore. And it’s in your best interest to do them, as they offer extra experience that will definitely help as battles ramp up in difficulty pretty quickly. If you’ve played anything from Zeboyd Games, you’ll know what I’m talking about it. You need to make use of all your moves, learn who to kill first, what statuses you want to inflict, and whether bringing buffs or heals is really worth it. Basically, you can’t just press a single button and walk down a hallway to beat the game.
If you’re able to manage all of the battles, maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to save the love of your life. Maybe you’ll save the world. Maybe… you’ll wake up. If you’re looking for an RPG with heavy influences from the 80s and 90s, as in… you grew up in those times, you’ll likely enjoy this game (assuming you like RPGs). Being that I was born in the 80s, I can’t say for sure whether it would be enjoyed by a teenager in this day and age. But I do believe the mechanics work well, and the writing is funny even without knowing who the characters are supposed to be. You can tell how much love was put into this game, and it’s great to see it continually ported to more platforms.
- Deep Cuts
- In-depth Battles
- Fun Dialogue
- Perhaps Too Referential
Saturday Morning RPG was developed and published by Mighty Rabbit Studios. The game launched on iOS in 2012, Android and PC in 2013, and more recently on PS4 and X1 in January and October 2016, respectively, for $9.99. The game was provided to us for review on X1. If you’d like to see more of Saturday Morning RPG, check out the official site.
Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.