Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass (PC) Review

By Ofisil 02.12.2018

Review for Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass on PC

RPG maker - a fantastic, flexible, and easy to use tool? Pretty much so. Have people produced something worth your time? Sadly, apart from a couple of rare gems (Always Sometimes Monsters comes to mind), most are either a subpar imitation of the "real deal," or, most commonly, lame excuses to peek at some high fantasy Hentai - and then, a one-man (or woman) wonder comes along, and makes you happy again. Created by Kasey Ozymy, and heavily influenced both by JRPG legends, such as EarthBound, as well as obscure indies like Yume Nikki, the majestic trip to the dreamworld of an eight-year-old known as Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass is definitely such a wonder.

Jimmy is a boring-looking kiddo, who lives on his boring-looking, suburban house, along with his boring-looking family. His first (boring) chore? Get some honey for his mummy, in order for her to prepare a cake... probably a boring one - and then Jimmy goes out and boredom disappears. Amongst other titles, Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass draws its inspiration from Earthbound to paint a world that definitely feels like the dream of an eight-year-old boy, both in the way everything looks, but, more importantly, in the way everything feels - and this is definitely an RPG that, before everything else, wants you to feel, and does a pretty good job of it.

You will laugh at comments made by the many, many off-beat characters, and their reactions towards some of your actions (literally half of the fun in here), get genuinely surprised by the story's, otherwise, simple twists and turns, and, finally, be afraid. Wait a tic, though - afraid in a world with sentient musical instruments, animals with hats, and theme park-like locales? Believe it or not, this has plenty of Silent Hill's DNA in it, as going off the beaten path will lead to some dark corners, where the levels are made of flesh, teeth, and lots of staring eyes, the enemies aren't cute clouds and bipedal bees anymore, and the OST is more befitting of a nightmare.

Screenshot for Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass on PC

While this can get creepy, and surprisingly so for what is essentially a silly, colourful, easy-going escapade into childish imagination and sense of adventure, you won't really jump screaming while playing this. Here's the thing, though: this isn't exactly scary scary, but more... disturbing, if you will; something that has to do with how it manages to convincingly put you inside the darkest parts of the subconscious of a small child, and delve into its most primal fears. The main reason why the horror element at hand is very effective, however, is the masterfully crafted contrast between its wacky, hilarious side, and it's more sinister one.

It's important to note, however, that those looking for a "real" storyline won't really find it here. Sure, there's a certain 'Pulsating Mass' that is threatening this realm, but things take more than 10 hours to finally get going, and even then it mostly feels like a road trip without any rhyme or reason, since you just travel from bizarre location to location, meet with lots of weirdos, and just have fun. In other words, it's an adventure created by an eight-year old, where things… just happen. Having said that, those few bits of actual plot are very enjoyable, the world is a pretty interesting and immersive one, and the characters are very memorable - every single one of them.

Screenshot for Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass on PC

In fear of spoilers, no more will be mentioned about what the deal is in here, other than the fact that it's awesome, and, in a sea of generic fantasy RPGs, strikingly unique, which makes it hard to let go once you begin this 50-to-60-hour quest. Behind this spellbinding tapestry of weirdness and spookiness, though, lies a pretty standard RPG, and one that uses the "primitive" mechanics and look of Earthbound and the like, with battles taking place in a simple window with an LSD-fuelled backdrop, still images of your enemies, and a small UI in the bottom for your party, with members being able to do the typical attacks, special moves, guards, and so on.

Thankfully, Kasey Ozymy has made it so that the various abilities of each character are quite diverse, and enemies are designed in a way that discourages simply pushing the attack button while you are slowly drifting away into a dreamworld of your own. Instead, you have to use the right tools for the right occasions, being mindful of the many status effects, which go beyond the generic sleep, poisoned, and so on. The "class" of each character is quite nice, too, with tanks that regenerate health or draw all fire, healers that have status immunities, mages with replenishing MP, and so on. The best of the bunch, of course, is good 'ol Jimmy himself.

Screenshot for Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass on PC

Jimmy is in control of the power of 'Empathy;' an ability that enables him to take various forms after defeating certain mini-bosses, with each form making it possible to further explore a location… or just shake other people and get a funny response from them! In terms of battle prowess, these forms get EXP when used, and unlock a variety of additional skills and status boosts for Jimmy to use, something that, of course, makes him the most powerful, as well as the most flexible fighter of your party. In conclusion, great world and atmosphere, great battles, great diversity in skills, and, finally, a great, great, great amount of content.

A great game? Most certainly! It's not perfect, though, although it certainly could be, if it weren't for one big flaw, which has been following the genre from its earlier age: grinding. Similar to its main inspiration, people can simply bypass most battles with the push of a button, but you are strongly advised not to, as the difficulty can suddenly spike to immense heights. It's a shame really, because this unbalanced challenge hurts this marvellous title a lot, as its strength lies not on the battlefield, which can get pretty tedious after a while, but on character interaction. Long story short, this is something magnificent, but approach only if you can stomach the repetitive grinding required. Then again, this has Punch Tanaka in it.

Screenshot for Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass is a fantastic RPG that has every right to stand right next to the classics that inspired it, and especially the SNES gem known as Earthbound. It's funny, weirdly heart-warming and melancholic at the same time, and, believe it or not, very spooky. Apart from those who resent turn-based battles, or don't have the patience to do some heavy grinding, most are definitely advised to try this out.

Developer

Kasey Ozymy

Publisher

Kasey Ozymy

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

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   

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