Cur­ry­ing favour

Curse­oftheGreatCur­ryGod is as ridicu­lous as its name im­plies, yet it serves a big por­tion of fun, ac­ces­si­ble rogue­like game­play.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY - By SHAUN A. NO­ORDIN bytz@thes­tar.com.my

To­day we’re do­ing a re­view on a Ja­panese rogue­like game called Sor­cery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God. Why?

Be­cause look at that ti­tle! Tell us you read it and weren’t cu­ri­ous what it’s all about. Is this a game about mag­i­cal cook­ing girls in a mag­i­cal cook­ing academy? Will there be plenty of food-re­lated sor­cery and foodthemed mon­sters? and most im­por­tantly, how on earth does curry fac­tor into a fan­tasy ad­ven­ture story?

We had a burn­ing de­sire (100,000 units on the Scov­ille scale, to be ex­act) to find out more about this PlayS­ta­tion Vita game, so now we can share all the crazy things we’ve learnt about it.

Mag­i­curry

Sor­cery Saga be­gins with our hero­ine, Pupuru, tak­ing her fi­nal exam at the Magic academy. While this sounds like a setup for a Harry Pot­ter-es­que “mag­i­cal school shenani­gans” sce­nario, things quickly go off the rails.

It goes some­thing like this: Pupuru promptly fails her exam then gets sus­pended, be­friends a cute yet glut­tonous mag­i­cal crea­ture called Kuu, ac­ci­den­tally dis­cov­ers the recipe for The Ul­ti­mate Curry, be­friends a ditzy wor­ship­per of the God of Curry and ac­ci­den­tally sparks a war be­tween two curry shops, forc­ing her on an epic quest to make the most de­li­cious curry any­body has ever tasted.

ob­vi­ously, she does this by delv­ing into dan­ger­ous (but tasty) dun­geons and beat­ing up sev­eral food-themed mon­sters (in­clud­ing homi­ci­dal meat buns) us­ing mag­i­cal forks and en­chanted spoons.

Game­play spice

If you’re fa­mil­iar with anime and manga, then we’d com­pare the story and tone of Sor­cery Saga to Shin­ryaku Ika Musume, ex­cept this game’s firmly set in an ex­tremely un­ortho­dox (yet de­li­cious) fan­tasy set­ting.

Like Shin­ryaku Ika Musume, the story starts off with a “big story” con­cept (magic academy for Sor­cery Saga, plan­e­tary in­va­sion for Ika Musume) be­fore set­tling into a very hap­pygo-lucky com­edy fo­cus­ing on the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween zany/colourful/ut­terly in­sane char­ac­ters. ( rogue­like game for PS Vita

www.aksys­games.com/ sor­cery-saga

uS$39.99 (rM130)

The hu­mour is very much char­ac­ter-driven here, since most of the hi­lar­i­ous ex­changes/ comic love tri­an­gles/crazy mis­un­der­tand­ings are done via the magic of di­a­logue-boxwith-char­ac­ter-por­traits com­mon to many Ja­panese games.

How­ever, if you’re not fa­mil­iar with anime and manga, we’re not sure we can rec­om­mend that you play this game. one of the big­gest ap­peals of Sor­cery Saga is its hi­lar­i­ous Ja­panese anime-flavoured story, so if this is your first taste of the genre, it’ll feel like be­ing thrown into the deep end of the pool. and the pool is filled with eye-sting­ing curry.

Flavour­ful story

on the flip­side, Sor­cery Saga is a re­ally good in­tro­duc­tion to the usu­ally mer­ci­less rogue­like genre. (or “mys­tery dun­geons,” if you pre­fer the equiv­a­lent Ja­panese term.)

It uses the same ba­sic tem­plate as most rogue­likes: you’re sent to ex­plore ran­dom­ly­cre­ated dun­geons, and ev­ery time you play your char­ac­ter level is re­set to one. Thus, your suc­cess is de­ter­mined partly by luck and partly by your skills in util­is­ing what­ever ran­dom re­sources you can scrounge up.

The ac­tion is turn-based, so you’re given plenty of time to plan your next move on the grid-based map. Which is im­por­tant, be­cause if you die, you lose ev­ery­thing — money, items, pre­cious up­graded equip­ment, all gone. Bet­ter luck next life!

That said, what dif­fer­en­ti­ates Sor­cery Saga is its ac­ces­si­bil­ity. Un­like the early Shiren the Wan­derer se­ries (which we played on the Nin­tendo dS), Sor­cery Saga isn’t ex­ceed­ingly cruel, and un­like the re­cent Poke­mon Mys­tery Dun­geon se­ries, the game isn’t too easy. It’s medium-flavoured curry, if you will.

al­low us to elab­o­rate. In games like Shiren the Wan­derer, there’s a “hunger me­ter” that’s

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