Cthulhu Saves the World Review. OLE!
Developer: Zeboyd Games
Platforms: PC, Steam, Xbox 360
Genre: Turn-based RPG
With videogames nowadays going for a more serious story and overall tone, it is refreshing to come across a game which does not take itself in the least bit serious. Cthulhu Saves the World, developed by Zeboyd Games, does just that.
The story, as the title suggests, revolves around Cthulhu's quest to save the world. It starts with the cosmic horror known as Cthulhu awakening from his slumber, ready to bring destruction upon the world. However, a mysterious stranger appears and magically strips Cthulhu of his powers, leaving him to wash up on a beach, no longer the horror of the deep whose very image drives men insane. He soon awakens, feeling less than happy and wondering how he is supposed to regain his powers. The narrator soon chimes in and lets the player know that for Cthulhu to regain his powers he must do the unthinkable... He must become a hero! Cthulhu hears this narration and, breaking the fourth wall, begins taunting the narrator for revealing what must be done. Upon Cthulhu vowing to become a true hero, he sets out on his journey to regain his powers and bring a proper plague of death and horror upon humanity. This opening cut scene does a wonderful job of setting the tone for the rest of the story.
Cthulhu Saves the World takes direct inspiration from the turn-based RPGs of our childhood and adds its own flare to it all. One of the first things players will notice upon entering the main menu is that the game looks like something from the SNES, and this translates right into the game itself. The graphic style of the game is far from unique, being most comparable to Dragon Quest V, but is nonetheless well done and conveys the intended feel perfectly.
The music is done equally well, almost always fitting the current events or locations perfectly, whether it be the calm, almost enchanting, chords present in towns or the epic high-paced battle theme. It is also worth noting that the sounds of combat, the actual attacks, are very 'meaty' sounding, which in turn gives a feeling of weight behind them. Different elemental attacks and weapon types also have their own attack sprites-- a small but special attention to detail.
The gameplay is very much what anyone would expect from a retro style RPG. The player, along with 3 select party members, traverse a world map filled with towns, dungeons and towers, acquiring gold and experience along the way through random encounters. Combat is handled by a turn-based system. Players have the choice of a normal attack, magic, techniques, using a potion, fortifying themselves and unity attacks. With unity attacks, the player can combine the power of two party members to unleash a devastating attack. An example being the unity which requires Cthulhu and Umi, one of the healers that is acquired, summoning a Kraken to fight by their side. There is also a 'combo' system. The more attacks that one can land on enemies, the higher the combo. With each number added to the combo, the 'combo finisher' grows increasingly powerful. The combo finisher is a devastating attack which certainly comes in handy during boss battles. After the finisher is used the combo resets and it must be built back up.
It is also worth noting that there is no shortage of enemy variety. Enemies are often silly, yet interesting, such as the Dolphin, which carries a harpoon, a librarian who throws books, and a cow which looks like a member of the Borg, toting a laser rifle.
Once you fight your way through the trials and troubles which Cthulhu and family face a long the way, the game is not yet over. Upon completing the game, multiple bonus modes are unlocked which allow players to play the game in a varying number of ways.
- Overkill Mode allows one to play through the game again, but this time instantly reaching the level cap upon winning one battle. This mode is designed specifically to allow people to play through the game and experience the story without worrying about anything else.
- In Score Attack mode, players fight the bosses of the game while under-leveled.
- Highlander Mode brings one back into the core game, but each round of combat is dedicated to only one member of the party rather than all four.
- The most interesting of the four modes, Cthulhu's Angels, gives the story a new main protagonist as well as new characters, dialogue, and a variety of other changes. It essentially gives a whole other game.
Cthulhu Save the World is a damn fine game. For a mere three dollars people can pick up a top quality retro RPG with a story that will span anywhere from 5 to 10 hours, depending on how far one is willing to go with it. If the gameplay itself doesn't reel a person in, then the hilarious dialogue and ridiculous storyline will keep one going.
There could be more, but what they did do was done just about as good as it could be. I heartily recommend that you pick it up and give it a go, especially when you take into account the fact that you get Breath of Death VII as well, an RPG in the same vein as Cthulhu Saves the World.