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.