Hanjuku Heroes: Aa, let the word be half-baked!
This is a comedic strategy game by Square, with music by Koichi Sugiyama (of Dragon Quest fame — here’s a Square-Enix crossover!). It’s on the borderline of strategy game vs. strategy RPG. Here’s my criteria for a strategy RPG:
- It needs to have a narrative you play through, not just an end goal
- It needs to have individual, named characters that you can develop, not just generic troops.
I played this game for a bit and it definitely qualifies for the first criteria, but I’m not sure about the second. There is no experience points, and I can’t tell how (or if) the characters can develop. The Japanese list of RPGs I’ve used does not have this game on it even though it’s usually pretty expansive.
I debated whether to play this — there’s not much recognition of it in English and it seems to be a fondly remembered game in Japan. In the end I decided to skip it for now because I feel like I need the instruction manual to do it justice. Maybe I’ll come back to it at some point.
46 Billion Year Story
This was released in English as “E.V.O.: The Search for Eden.” It’s another marginal game. Here’s the definition I finally came up with for an action RPG:
- It needs to have statistic development with more than just life and magic
- It needs to have safe places like towns
- It needs to have some element of exploration, not just stages.
I think this game fits criteria 3 but I’m not sure about 1 and 2. In any case it was released in English so I’ll skip it regardless.
Next up then is Elfaria, a game that tries to buck the usual RPG trends (no XP or money!). I’ll have the first post on Saturday.
For what it's worth, I discount E.V.O. as an RPG in an upcoming post. Hanjuku Heroes sounds interesting though, and I hope you reconsider covering it.
Hanjuku Hero doesn't have music by Yuji Horii (of Dragon Quest fame), but by Koichi Sugiyama (of Dragon Quest fame).
E.V.O. was scored by Sugiyama as well.
The Hanjuku Heroes games are early RTS, not really RPGs. Each general has fixed stats; they don't level up. Square probably called it an "RPG" because of the setting (there are knights and castles and monsters, so it's an RPG!) and because at the time the strategy/simulation labels were strongly associated with hardcore number-heavy games like Koei's, whereas Hanjuku Heroes was aimed at a much more casual audience.
Yep, I just fixed it. Thanks.
OK, thanks. The fixed stats is what disqualifies it for me; it looks interesting but I have enough games to play as it is.
I believe the first Hanjuku Hero game came out on the FC, not sure if the SFC game is a remake or a sequel. It is quite good, but you're right – it's not really much of an RPG.
As to EVO – the first EVO game came out on the PC-98, and that one was a more typical RPG. It was fan-translated last year too.
I haven't heard too many good things about the Elfaria games, but we'll see how it goes for you. Hopefully they're not as bad as people claim…