It’s no surprise at all that many independent developers on Nintendo’s eShop have had their creative juices flowing since it opened last year. One company in particular is Renegade Kid, bringing awesome games like Mutant Mudds and Bomb Monkey to Nintendo’s 3D handheld. Their latest game is one of the first turn based RPGs to ever hit the eShop: Planet Crashers.
In Planet Crashers, you play as a recent graduate of Planet Crashers academy who looks to defeat an evil force trying to destroy the sun. You can customize your avatar’s appearance by changing hair style, skin color, and clothes. More clothes and hair styles are unlocked as you come across characters wearing things you don’t already have. You start off on the planet Lushie Grennie and must complete quests to level up, travel to new planets, and get strong enough to defeat the evil force.
As you walk around each planet, you notice that the game’s art style takes a lot of inspiration from the Animal Crossing games. They look pretty much identical. Each planet looks relatively the same except for the theme of each planet. All of the buildings you enter are the same on each planet so there is barely anything unique about each one. There’s your house where you can save your game, a shop for purchasing potions among other items that boost stats, and three dungeons where you complete your quests. You can obtain quests by talking to people or by looking at the quest board on each planet.
Quests are really simple and can last anywhere from less to a minute to 10 or 20 minutes. In each quest, you either have to find an item, return an item (find the item and then escape the dungeon), or battle someone. Quests are all done in one of the three dungeons. There’s a red dungeon, a blue dungeon, and a green dungeon. There is one on each planet and they all have slightly different layouts. The green dungeon is usually the easiest, followed by the blue dungeon, and the red one usually has the hardest enemies. Blank spaces in your map on the bottom screen will turn into a usable map right before your eyes. Eventually, as you play through quests, you might slowly realize just how repetitive the game feels. Essentially, you get a quest, complete a quest, and then repeat. That is pretty much how the entire game goes. Quests have different goals, but all have the same principles. Finding a football is the same as finding a coin. Completing quests though is beneficial as you gain experience, new skills, and weapons to use.
The battle system in Planet Crashers is very simplistic. This is a very good thing. Each character has a weapon and four skills which you can customize to your liking. Unlike other turned based RPGs like Pokemon, you can use each move as many times as you want and you can swap out your moves on the fly while you are not battling. There is no way to dodge attacks, but like games such as Super Mario RPG, if you press the A button at the right time during an attack, you can do extra damage. Pulling this off is absolutely necessary.
Even though Planet Crashers is extremely repetitive, I found myself getting addicted to the game. One thing to realize is that this is a portable game. This makes it great to pop it open on the train or during your lunch break to quickly complete a couple of quests and put it away. The variety of weapons and skills you get keep the game interesting. It looks great in 3D and the music in the game is very catchy. There are so many quests in the game that it will easily take over 20 hours to complete them all. Top it off with online multiplayer and for ten dollars, this is one great deal.
For those looking for a fun RPG to play in small doses, Planet Crashers is one game to look at. For the hardcore RPG fan looking to spend hours at a time playing, this game might not be for you as the game feels repetitive after only playing for a couple of hours. If Planet Crashers were not a portable game, I would have a very different opinion about it. Play a few quests a day and you’ll have plenty to do on the planets of Planet Crashers.