This may LOOK like a kid’s game, but there are some things in it that take away from that idea. The Eggans would have creeped me the hell out when I was a kid. Brrr. Not to mention princess Ferne, and that there’s a darker note behind the cheerful colors, wacky dialogue and easy-going plot.
I’m told it’s a Pikmin clone, but I haven’t played that so I couldn’t tell.
The story goes that a lonely boy, Corobo, finds a magic crown that makes him king, and everyone else his servants (brainwash much?). He gets the help from his friends Liam and Verde, who gives tips and saves your game, respectively. There’s also the Bull Knight, who’s the driving force behind everything, urging the little king to world domi- err, unification. Yes.
The characters are almost all out of their mind in one way or another, especially the psychotic priest Kampbell of the Soup of the Soul. “Build me a church or God will punish you. And if he doesn’t, then I will! Ramen.”
As I came straight from playing Tree of Tranquility, I laughed out loud when I saw the animals - all being exactly like they are in Tree. There’s also an upgrade for your farmland part of the kingdom, named “Moon Harvest”. Doh. I also spotted a, much more random, Disgaea (and pop culture) reference. On a sidequest you go about saving animals who were captured by UFOs (th3 4l13ns 4ll t4lk t0 j00 1n ch4tsp34k for some reason), and when you save the penguin you can read in the notes section that it kept asking the aliens “Dood, where’s my car?”
You’re tossed straight into the gameplay without any step-by-step tutorial, which is a nice change of pace and I’m sure is a relief when you’re starting a new game, but it also felt rather abrupt. You have to read up on how to do things as opposed to being shown. I had no real idea what I was doing for the first hour or so apart from beating stuff up and digging up treasure, but it all works out as it’s very simple. You control a variety of troops and send them at things to open paths, dig up treasure or attack enemies. Things get easier when you get a platform outside the castle from which you can summon your troops as opposed to chasing them down downtown. The core gameplay is pretty easy, though targeting can be a pain with the auto lock on sometimes making it impossible to send your troops at the little enemies as opposed to the nearly dead boss, whose death would insta-kill all his minions. The line-of-sight targeting line that helps you target things also disappears everytime you open a menu or talk to somebody and has to be reactivated - it’s as easy as pushing C, but it’s still annoying as there’s really no reason NOT to have that thing visible.
I liked it well enough, but the ending is a bit of a letdown. It’s rather bizarre but you can probably see the big revelation coming from far away - however, there’s no real conclusion. Oh yeah, cool, we’re all living in a paper box theater built by a boy named Corobo and the whole thing was probably just him fantasizing about being king and the fantasy coming to life seeing as little king Corobo is staring at big, real life Corobo in as much shock as he’s staring back… but dude, those rats just destroyed about half the world and the king’s girlfriend got eaten alive by the rat big real life Corobo just tossed out the window. HELLO? THE END?!