Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God (PS Vita) Review

By SirLink 02.08.2014 1

Review for Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God on PS Vita

Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God is exclusive to the PlayStation Vita and was developed by Compile Heart and published by Aksys Games and Rising Star Games in North America and Europe, respectively, receiving a digital and physical release in both regions. The game is a roguelike, a sub-genre of RPGs that's less popular due to a more limited appeal compared to the regular variety. Those who aren't very familiar with the name may have heard of the spin-off series called Pokémon Mystery Dungeon instead, which features similar gameplay. In comparison, Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God is a much more traditional roguelike, which can be either a good or a bad thing, as there is plenty of potential frustration hidden behind its charming aesthetics…

The story of the game is certainly strange, revolving all around the protagonist Pupuru who embarks on a quest to gather ultimate ingredients required to cook a special magical curry in order to save her favourite curry restaurant from going out of business. On her journey, she meets a fair few eccentric individuals, such as an evil lord that's madly in love with her or a wizard that seeks ultimate magical power, but sounds like a pervert due to his inability to form sentences that don't sound highly questionable. Things can get quite crazy; sometimes making it look like Pupuru is the only sane individual around. The cut-scenes are certainly amusing in their own way, but what about the gameplay?

Before going into the meat of the game, it has to be mentioned that it can randomly crash, and those crashes appear to be linked to the online settings of the system itself. Although the wireless functionality is disabled upon booting up the title, there were still several instances of crashes that didn't stop appearing until the wireless was completely turned off in the system settings. It's not a game breaking issue as it can easily be prevented, but for those who don't know what's causing it, it can be a fatal drawback, as a sudden crash can easily obliterate a big amount of progress inside a dungeon due to a lack of true save points.

Speaking of dungeons, the goal of the game is to conquer a lot of randomly generated floors inside several of them to obtain the ultimate ingredients. Pupuru is accompanied by Kuu, an animal that loves to eat all kinds of things. Feeding Kuu items found in dungeons is necessary to keep him alive, as his fullness bar is also his health bar. He will also occasionally level up from eating things and learn a random skill, of which he can possess four at a time. As there's no way to control his rather bad AI, his usefulness is largely dependent on the skills he learns, and it's unfortunately not the only aspect of the game that's ruled by luck rather than skill. Even a neat little feature like being able to cook curry inside dungeons for temporary stat and experience boosts is entirely random. Cooking the exact same curry can have very different results, but with no player input at all. Something like a mini game to at least partly determine the quality of the curry would have been much better and given the feature some much needed control.

Screenshot for Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God on PS Vita

Both Pupuru and Kuu are reset to Level 1 after completing or failing a dungeon, so the only way to gain a permanent advantage is by crafting a good weapon and shield to equip. Equipment becomes slightly stronger and gains more slots for skills, making it crucial to stick with the same ones for a long time while slowly upgrading their level and adding new useful skills through equipment fusion. There are also a variety of skills with limited usage that Pupuru can learn by reading tomes, ranging from offensive magic to utility skills that enable her to appraise found items, among other things. Kuu's skills, on the other hand, are reset after each dungeon just like his level, making it impossible to prepare a good and reliable setup for him in advance.

Even with a very good set of equipment and skills, there's only so much one can do to counter the random events that can happen inside dungeons. Chests can be trapped, for example, and while traps are perfectly fine, a few of them - such as a permanent equipment downgrade - are just downright mean. Floors can also have nasty random effects, which can be deadly no matter how careful the player is. For example, upon entering a new floor, it can have an effect that drastically slows down Pupuru and Kuu, making enemies hit them twice in a row before an action can be performed. It's possible to spawn on a special floor like that surrounded by enemies that are capable of killing her in one turn with little hope to escape.

These random occurrences wouldn't be such a problem if there wasn't a lot of progress on the line. Going into a dungeon only to be killed after well over half an hour by a sequence of unlucky events can get very frustrating, as there is only a temporary quick save option that can be used inside of dungeons. These things likely won't happen to everyone, but the possibility of it all makes it hard to recommend to gamers that aren't already fans of the roguelike genre. Dying inside a dungeon also causes Pupuru to lose all her items and money and if Kuu is somehow not alive during her death, she will even lose both of her equipped items! Items and money can be stored at home, but that doesn't make deaths much less painful, because in addition to losing those things, the gained levels are also reset. In most cases, it really feels like no progress was made whatsoever, which will likely deter many players from finishing the game.

Screenshot for Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God has a strange story with some very quirky characters - even for Japanese standards - and could have been a good game overall, but the gameplay can make for a rather frustrating experience that most players simply won't be motivated enough to continue on until the credits roll. Even patient gamers who love a good challenge likely won't be pleased by what this game offers, as it rewards luck rather than skill. There's some fun to be had here, but it can quickly turn into misery after a few deaths caused by bad luck with random events and losing progress worth anywhere from 30 minutes to one or even two hours.

Developer

Zerodiv

Publisher

Rising Star

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

It's a real shame that RSG seems to have lost some of its oomph in recent years. After success with No More Heroes and Harvest Moon DS, most other games seem to get little or no push, and I think that's why they even lost the chance to release Harvest Moon games in the end...and I even think Rune Factory 4 wasn't going to be an RSG release (before it got canned for EU anyway).

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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