That’s “heroine” with an “e” on the end, by the way. Although in this case I could understand the confusion.
I heard a lot of people comparing this to Chrono Trigger, which is what made me want to play it in the first place. You never know with these things, but it turns out that really is a good comparison.
Even on the surface you can see the similarities. Same look. Basically the same turn-based battle system. The little pixelly characters march around in single file just like Crono & Company and unite for the same sort of combo attacks. Chrono Trigger had a fantasy/time travel plot, whereas this is more sci-fi, with aliens, spaceships and all that, but in many ways it’s the same sort of story. That’s probably the most impressive part.
I can’t think of another RPG in the last 25 years that managed to nail the Chrono Trigger vibe quite so well. It’s light-hearted overall, but not so silly that it breaks the immersion and makes playing it feel meaningless. It has its dark moments, but never too much. The characters have their distinct quirks, but it’s not that cloying, forced quirkiness that some games have. They always maintain a can-do sort of attitude that keeps your spirits high. Of course you know the good guys are going to win in something like this, but you’ll still want to stick around to find out how.
It’s all wrapped in a compact (that’s a nice way of saying short), well-paced experience. In fact, they really go the extra mile with the design. You know all those things that we’ve just come to tolerate as an unalterable part of the landscape in RPGs like this?
Things like items piling up in your inventory that you don’t want to use because you never know if you’ll need them later, and then you just binge like a madman on the last boss. Or having a whole bunch of spells that you keep on the shelf in order to conserve mana. Or most of your team being useless because there are a couple of characters that are obviously the best, and so you just ride them to victory? Or battles turning into a drag because you’re forced to play extra-conservatively in order to manage your health between save points?
They’re like that stack of old junk that sits in your basement, and every time you walk past it you think you really ought to clean it up but you never do. These guys probably could have just phoned it in and got away with ignoring it too, but instead they actually sat down and took the time to rethink some of this stuff.
Generally what they do is tone down the the logistics side of things so you don’t have to manage items, health or mana like they’re resources. For example, items aren’t treated as consumables, but rather once-per-battle abilities that you can equip and use as the situation dictates. It’s really kind of nice. You get to focus completely on the battle in front of you instead of worrying more about the next one.
That sort of streamlining might not be appropriate for every game, but in an upbeat, breezy little adventure like this it really fits. The smile on your face as the credits roll will tell you everything you need to know. It’s too bad there’s not a New Game + mode like Chrono Trigger’s. This is one of the rare games where I actually might have used it.
Oh, and if you’ve read this whole thing and you still don’t know what Chrono Trigger is and you’re wondering why I’m talking about it so much, go play that, too. You’ll thank me.