Developer: Mighty Rabbit Studios
Release Date: April 5th, 2012
Available on: Mobile, Ouya, PC
Reviewer’s note: I played the PC version of this game. There may be differences between versions.
Many people who grew up during the 80’s probably remembers the cartoons that played then. Shows like He-Man, Transformers, and G.I. Joe were all insanely popular. Saturday Morning RPG chooses to capitalize on these memories and features an 80’s cartoon inspired world in a simple jRPG game. While the game has nostalgia going for it, it really needed something else to hold up.
Saturday Morning RPG has you playing as Marty, a nerd who receives a special binder in his dreams. Using this binder he’s able to take normal items and turn them into various superhuman abilities. Naturally he decides to use this to save the world or some nonsense. The game is split up into four episodes. Each episode has its own self contained story arc, though there is a few overarching threads between them. You could, technically, jump into any episode you want without knowledge of what happens in the past episodes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s also plans to add more episodes at a later date, but we’ll have to see how that pans out. Of what I did play there wasn’t really much in the way of story, just a ton of 80’s references following more 80’s references. It’s funny sometimes, but the lack of much of a real structure hurts.
Saturday Morning RPG plays closet to the Paper Mario series of RPGs. Combat features Marty against up to three enemies. You can equip up to five special abilities at once, along with your normal attack. Some of the special abilities are just too useful. One, for example, always did a medium amount of damage with high accuracy and no minigame required. It’s one of the first abilities you start with and I pretty much never unequipped it during the entire game. Each ability is noticeably extremely weak and if you want to do any real damage you need to charge up your multiplier. To do this you need to use one of three batteries. Two of them have you play minigames to see how much you can raise, but the third always raises a set amount with no minigame involved. With that option available I never really saw much point in using the other ones.
Using a battery costs MP, and to get more MP you need to either block against enemy attacks or use your physical attacks. Luckily, every fight in Saturday Morning RPG was on the short and easy side. It was quick to just build up a multiplier then use one of my skills (often that Care Bear reference one, since it’s so hilariously OP) that would instantly kill enemies. I was even able to one hit kill bosses like this. It started to make the game extremely boring as every fight would just go the same. The game at least gives you the option to adjust the difficulty in various ways, something I greatly appreciate. The only other element there really is to fighting is stickers. At the beginning of each fight you can scratch and sniff some stickers on your binders that give you small buffs/debuff the enemies. It’s funny, but overall doesn’t have a large effect on the fighting.
Once you’re done with the four episodes, which should take about 8-10 hours depending on how side quest heavy you feel like getting, you have a few extra options to extend the life of the game. You can take on specific challenge fights against tougher enemies, or enter an endless arena that keeps going until you die. You can also do side quests in each area, but the rewards are often miniscule enough that they’re not really important enough to do.
Saturday Morning RPG sure does have a ton of 80’s references. The problem is that 80’s references don’t make a game. Everything going on besides the references is okay, but it’s not really something worth the asking price. Unless you need a huge huge nostalgic trip right now, I’m having difficulty recommending Saturday Morning RPG.