Spotlight: Saturday Morning RPG (Nintendo Switch)

Spotlight: Saturday Morning RPG (Nintendo Switch)

Saturday Morning RPG is a turn based role playing game by Mighty Rabbit Studios which originally released for PC and Mobile devices all the way back in 2012 and 2013, and came to PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox One in 2016. On April 26, 2018, it received yet another release, this time on the Nintendo Switch, with another physical release by Limited Run Games

I had always been vaguely interested in Saturday Morning RPG since it was released on PlayStation 4, but it never piqued my interest quite enough to justify trying it out. Now that it’s on Nintendo Switch, I decided that it was about time I finally gave it a try.

Saturday Morning RPG  starts out in a dream where the main character, Marty, has to save his girlfriend, Samantha, from the clutches of the evil Commander Hood. In this dream, a power glove wielding wizard gives Marty a magical notebook which affects everything touched by its magic. After Commander Hood is defeated, Marty wakes up with the notebook by his side, with parts of his dream making their way to reality.  Marty’s later adventures then consist of saving the world from Commander Hood and other villains with the help of various 80’s parodies and references.

When first engaging in combat, a timed screen with scratch and sniff stickers will pop up. These stickers will grant various stat boosts to aid you in battle. Even though it happens every time, I’m still caught by surprise occasionally since the battle starts for a split second before the prompt pops up. It’s strange to adjust to at first, but eventually you’re able to get around five or six stickers per battle. The Nintendo Switch version also gives you the choice of using either the touchscreen or buttons as a control method, which is great for players who would prefer not to smudge up their screen.

Marty’s attacks consists of regular punches or magic attacks which use MP. The regular punch attack and  some magic attacks use timed button presses, similar to the Paper Mario series. And of course, most of these attacks are references to something, from Transformers, to Care Bears, to He-Man. My personal favorite is the Moon Walk attack, as it can damage enemies but also has a chance to paralyze them. Each magic attack also has a limited amount per battle, so switching between attacks is a much better method than trying to use the same one repeatedly.

Power can be charged up through one of three methods: rapid press,  non-interactive quick charge, and gauge based charge, all of which increase the attack multiplier by using up MP. I usually use the rapid press first, requiring some button mashing,  then attack, to cause a higher amount of damage. Well timed blocks can also help increase the attack multiplier and restore MP, while perfectly timed blocks can actually deflect attacks back at the enemy. Additionally, coming up to an enemy from behind will allow a sneak attack which greatly increases the attack multiplier. A combination of sneak attacks and charging is suggested for any enemies you might be having trouble with, as their defeat will then only require a few hits.

New attacks can be obtained from certain bosses, sidequests, and vending machines throughout the campaign. The attacks you start out with will get you through each level fine but a few useful attacks, such as those which hit multiple enemies at once, should be obtained. A problem I found was that some obtainable attacks were actually worse than what you start out with, so purchasing them doesn’t seem as beneficial as it could be.

Like in any standard RPG, experience is gained after winning a battle, which increases your level after accumulating enough and allows you to increase one of your stats. A feature I noticed that I haven’t seen in other RPGs is that health and magic is automatically restored after each battle, so you don’t have to worry about refilling those gauges when outside of battle. Although Saturday Morning RPG has five separate episodes, stats will carry over from one to the other after finishing the previous one.

For those having trouble  or not finding enough of a challenge, enemies can be scaled differently. Enemies can be scaled to adjust to the player’s level, to a recommended level, or set to a specific level, This also provides a way to give more casual players time to adjust to the timing of stat boosts and attacks.

Other than the main campaign, Saturday Morning RPG also has an Endless Mode and an Arena Mode. Endless Mode puts you up against waves of different enemies and depending on how well you do your attacks, health, and magic will be partially restored, while Arena mode has you fighting against exclusive enemies more challenging than those seen in the campaign,

Although it could still use a few more  improvements being a six year old game at this point, Saturday Morning RPG is an appreciable  experience for those who enjoy simpler RPGs and games packed with 80’s nostalgia. Now being available on all modern platforms also makes it  accessible to even more players than ever before.

Saturday Morning RPG is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, Android and iOS devices.

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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