Cthulhu Saves The World Review
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Oh no, Cthulhu has awoken, risen from the depths of R’yleh to enslave mankind! But alas, he has lost his powers to a mysterious curse! However will he get them back so he can summon R’yleh to the surface and destroy the realm of man? By becoming a true hero. How does Cthulhu figure this out? Why, he overheard the narrator saying it, of course.
Welcome to Cthulhu Saves The World, a loving tribute and parody of everything turn-based 16-bit RPGs are. This is a port of the Xbox Live Indie Games title, redone in Unity for mobile platforms. Players take control of the ultimate Lovecraftian horror himself, Cthulhu. Along the way, he gains party members like the plucky and somewhat crazy Umi, and Sharpe, who is a sword.
The game just has so much fun with its concept, with silly enemies, and self-aware dialogue from the unlikely protagonist. It’s absolutely hilarious, and the parts that mock classic RPGs will amuse anyone that was playing games in the 90’s. However, it’s also a fairly brutal RPG itself, with plenty of dungeon crawling and enemy encounters to go through, an overworld to explore, and towns to visit. It’s an entertaining RPG at its core, it’s just deep-fried in parody, and wrapped in bacon.
The port job to mobile systems is a bit rough around the edges, deciding to just use swipe controls to move Cthulhu around the map, and virtual buttons around the screen corners to perform actions. The swipe controls are okay, and some of the graphics show occasional scaling and tearing, but none of it is enough to hinder enjoyment of the game.
The game does mock 16-bit RPG tropes, but it also revels in them, meaning that players should prepare to grind levels to make sure they’re not getting killed on a regular basis. The problem with the combat system is that regular enemies become far more fearsome than boss battles do, because MP restoration happens in small increments after battles. So, while using spells might be the easy way to victory, they can’t be used all that regularly against regular enemies because there needs to be some MP in reserve for the next set of enemies. Boss fights were actually easier than normal encounters because I could just unleash the pain of all my awesome abilities with no restrictions.
Cthulhu Saves The World is a must-play for any RPG fans and fans of 16-bit games, who will get a kick out of its crazy story, humorous writing, loving parody of the genre, and even its challenge. I never got around to playing this when it was released on the Xbox 360, and I’m glad I got the opportunity now.