Nostalgia is something that can awaken a feeling in you, something you thought that you had lost long ago. A feel of joy, comfort, fear, rage, anger, or a combination of these emotions. Nostalgia is a powerful thing indeed, it shapes how we view things today or look back on old classics. A child born nowadays would probably watch something like Back To The Future or Ghostbusters and think that both of the films were lame.
It’s partially because they didn’t grow up with it, children today grow up with MineCraft and My Little Pony. It’s not that they don’t have refined tastes, it’s just something they didn’t experience fully. Even though I didn’t grow up in the 80s, I still did watch a fair lot of 80s movies and cartoons. I watched the likes of Ghostbusters, G.I. Joe, Care Bears, Back To The Future, Star Wars Episodes 4-6, and many others.
I honestly loved all these nostalgic properties back in the day and was surprised to find a game that perfectly encapsulated all of the stuff that I used to enjoy in one affordable and very fun package. I’m talking about Saturday Morning RPG, a game that takes you back to the 80s to relive the goofy cartoon and movie culture of the day. It features so many parodies and homages to the 80s, that one might even call it an 80s classic itself! It features a soundtrack by classic rocker Vince Dicola, a retro pixelated look, and an awesome combat system inspired by Super Mario RPG. Without further adieu, allow me to discuss an Indie game that I thoroughly enjoy, the game known as Saturday Morning RPG.
The game takes place in a fictional universe heavily inspired by 80s cartoons. The game starts in the dreams of Marty Hall, a pastiche of Marty McFly from Back To The Future. Marty recieves a magical trapper keeper in his dreams that gives him untold power. Marty wakes up and soon finds that he has the book in real-life! He uses these powers to fight bullies, defeat evil organizations, and even do battle against a parody of the Decepticons. The game has an episodic nature with about 4 episodes out so far. There’s a 5th episode on the way, hopefully sometime soon as I love these little mini-adventures.
The story itself is nothing to write home about, but it does bring a healthy dose of nostalgia. It’s nothing too hard to follow and has the occasional branching path here or there. Certain decisions you make in one episode may also transfer into another, which is pretty cool! Don’t expect a super in-depth story from this game, it’s just a simple lot that gets the job done.
The game plays very similarly to Super Mario RPG, almost exactly like it in fact. The game is played in a turn-based format, in which if you time your button presses you can dish out additional damage. Likewise, you can block incoming attacks and lesson the damage you receive in return. It’s a pretty good system and it’s fun to use. You also have access to a magic Trapper Keeper, that lets you use scratch-and-sniff stickers to gain bonuses in battle. You have a limited amount of time to scratch the stickers before battle, it’s kind of a mini-game in itself.
Now, the game itself is split up into 5 episodes and your progress between each episode transfers over. Certain actions you take in one episode transfers over to another. The 5th episode just came out after being in development hell for a bit, but it’s good to finally get to play it. Keep in mind, episode 5 is very bulky when compared to the other episodes but it’s still great.
Probably the best part of the game is it’s art and music. The game boasts an 8-bit art-style yet blends it with 3D backgrounds creating a style similar to Super Mario RPG (This game is a lot like it, isn’t it?) The 8-bit graphics change to a 16-bit-ish style when you enter into the combat proper. The music is probably the best part of this game, in all honesty. The soundtrack was composed by legendary 80s musician Vince Dicola and it sounds great. Vince captures the 80s and old-school JRPGs immensely well and the entire track-listing is fantastic. Heck, some episodes even use entirely different soundtracks than the other episodes. The Christmas episode uses an entirely new soundtrack and it sounds great.
If you’re looking for some classic 80s cheese, look no further than this game! It takes that 80s style and runs with it, providing a lot of laughs and fun battles along the way. It’s a bit on the short side but definitely worth buying. Episode 5 definitely packs more content into the game, which is much appreciated. Honestly, this game is worth getting. I also need to point out that there are physical releases for the game, but unfortunately only about 1980 copies were made. And of course, limited release hoarders snatched ’em up before anyone else could. The best way to go with this game is digital. I reccomend the PC version, but most versions are probably the same. The game usually goes on sale for a couple of bucks to one dollar, so I reccomend nabbing it when it hits that price.
I won’t give this game a rating, because I feel like a rating system kind of demeans the point of enjoying something. Because let’s face it, you can’t put a number on how much enjoyment you got out of using the swing-set as a kid, can you? While I am abandoning the traditional rating system, I can definitely say that this game is as sweet as syrup!