Am I nothing but Experience Points to you?
Spoiler Warning: This is a game review.
A RPG from Atlus, for the Nintendo DS (Lite)…
I write this, to you, the readers, even as exhaustion and a little bit of hunger threatens to take me. My hands and elbows hurt, for I am a handheld newbie, and thus, I’m not down with the ergonomics. Here’s a hint for how this review will turn out: According to the game save clock, I’ve been playing My World, My Way for about 5+ hours straight.
The premise of the game is simple. You play the role of Elise, the immensely spoiled princess whose led an extremely sheltered life. On Elise’ 15th birthday, she decided to get a boyfriend, so she called for a ball to be held in her honor. During this ball, she came across a “Level 99 in Handsomeness” wandering hero/prince and instantly falls for him. But he rejects her as being a childish, spoiled little brat. Blah blah blah, she decides to be an adventuring hero. Her dad doesn’t want to see her hurt, but he can’t refuse her when she starts pouting at him, so he hires the legendary hero, Nero.
Nero’s job is to keep an eye out on Elise and give her the adventure she wants. He hires an entire population of actors to act as distressed townspeople to give Elise quests, contractors to rebuild dungeons (complete with bosses) for her to clear out, send none too subtle tips and generally act as Mr. Exposition. Nero’s great. This is due to the great chemistry between Nero and the unknowing Elise. His snarking and befuddlement and the fun he’s having at her expense is great. Their dialogue “together” drives the game, and is what drives the game. It’s always fun when Nero appears, and he appears quite often.
There’s just too many Nero moments to list out, although two stand out for me. One is when Elise finds a Pink Slime on the road and takes it in as her traveling companion. Nero comments on how hard it was to find a suitable Slime for Elise. It had to be cute or else she’d have ignored it, and Pink Slimes are extremely rare. Only 1 out of 50000 Slimes are pink. The other is when he spots a couple of vultures spotting eye-patches, and surmised that although Elise’ romp has all been orchestrated, some monster somewhere must have her about her anyway, and those vultures are his spies. And of course, Nero does NOTHING, allowing the vultures to continue spying on Elise and implying it’d be pretty fun to see her get tangled with a real monster. There are other scenes of course, far too many to list out. Basically every time Nero comes out, there’ll be great “interaction” between he and Elise.
Elise for her part is also awesome, simply because of how spoiled and arrogant she is. And the fact that she realizes that not only will her pouting get her anything she wants, but it’ll get her anything she wants. She can literally change the very landscape through her whims. For instance, she was asked by the “mayor” of a port town to help catch pirates on the Southern Island. Not wanting to bother going all the way down there, she literally pouts and whines a piece of land into a “Southern Island”.
Mayor: But Southern Islands should be… y’know, south!
I for one, put the Soutern Island to the west of the town.
Another thing cool about Elise is how completely sheltered she’s been. She has no idea what an island is, and until she saw it off in the horizon, she thought it was a kind of boat (since it is surrounded by water). Or the time she saw a farming village and wondered why the veggies didn’t just didn’t run off, since they aren’t fenced in. It took her pet parrot to inform her that veggies don’t move.
Nero: Good grief, the parrot knows more about the world than she does.
Finally, I love how she talks down to all the bosses. The Stray Goblin and Lone Witch were totally put down, as Elise admits that they are nothing to her beyond Experience Points.
Witch: If I’m in your way, why don’t you ask me to step aside?
Elise: But then I wouldn’t get your Experience Points!
Fire War Dog: I’m the Fire War Dog!
Elise: Cool, does that mean you’re vulnerable to Ice and Water attacks?
Fire War Dog: No, I’m common in that respect.
Elise: Then why are you called Fire War Dog? You’re not even covered in flames.
Fire War Dog: I told you, I have a fiery disposition.
So to sum up, the story isn’t especially deep, but got loads of cool characters and it’s a fun deconstruction at your traditional RPGs.
Gameplay-wise, it’s very traditional RPG. It’s got a really cool Pout system which makes things easier for Elise. At higher levels, you can even use the “Quests are annoying!” Pout to instantly complete a quest. There are pouts to make the enemies stronger or weaker, to drop items more often or even to drop more cash or give more experience.
Then there’s Pinky, your pet Slime, who has the power to mimic other monsters. By himself he’s pretty weak, and he can’t even build up levels or learn new spells, but he can mimic powerful monsters to gain their stats and spells. For instance, he can mimic the legs of one type of monster, which will increase his speed but later on, may mimic another monster’s legs that has lower speed but will allow him to wear shoes. Pinky’s pretty powerful once you get some good parts onto him.
That said, the game can be pretty tedious. Most quests boil down to you pretty much just having random encounters until you kill X amount of certain enemies. It basically force grinds you. Thankfully, the requirements aren’t too high. You only have to kill 5 of a common enemy or something most of the time, but the numbers are starting to increase at the point I’m at. And while it’s been fun so far, I predict that the quests are going to bog the enjoyment down. Even Elise is starting to note the increase in quests, and she’s pondering just pretending to have completed her tasks and telling everyone she did.
Nero: You’re not even going to bother now? That’s a new low.
Overall, My World, My Way is pretty good so far. It’s solid in terms of old school RPGing, but it’s got a really fun story to go along with it. I’d recommend this game to old school 16-bit style gamers. It’s done up all modern like, but I feel like I’m playing a SNES RPG. And I love that feelin’.