Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jikandia: The Timeless Land (2011)

Genre: Action RPG | Players: 1-2 | Developer: Idea Factory

A group of classmates are on a train when they are suddenly thrown into a portal that takes them to the land of Jikandia. A little blue cat thingy tells them he brought them there to stop Time from restarting in Jikandia which will apparently start a bunch of bad shit.The story is actually kind of blah, but the game is at least partly aware of it and is sometimes passive aggressive toward itself. Those moments are chuckle-worthy, but are few and far between. Annoyingly the story is delivered through the smallest test box I have ever seen. It comes half a sentence at a time and often during the action which means players will most likely miss it. There is some time distinguishing between the different characters, but it is sparse and not engaging. The only difference that matters is each classmate uses a different attack. Switching between them adds some strategy to the randomly generated levels.

The game seems to advertise those dungeons as a selling point as well as the "feature" that lets you decide how long you want to be in them; ranging from 3 to 30 minutes. This is a catch 22 as spending too little time will not gain players enough strength to defeat the progressively stronger enemies, but the randomly generated levels aren't interesting enough to warrant a longer time. Longer times will net you more loot and cash, but the cash is useless as the store in the one town is woefully inadequate with a seemingly also randomly generated selection that pales with what players gain fighting enemies and opening treasure chests. I finished the game with over 500,000 bucks and having bought nothing. Each floor only takes a few seconds to run through with varying bonus directives that range from killing all enemies to getting to the next floor in a certain time limit. Completing the directive gains players a star that gives bonuses when five are maintained. Failing to complete them takes a star away, but they are not necessary for advancement.

The RPG part of the game is the most interesting with various weapons with widely varying attack styles and stats to try as well as equippable crystals that enhance stats and give new abilities. Even that variety isn't enough to make the longer time an attractive option though. There is an ad hoc option to go dungeon crawling with a friend and the retro pixel art style is kind of cute, but the game is a barely average button masher that only the most OCD of players would want to keep playing for 100% completion.

Buyer's Guide:
Available on PSP and downloadable on PSN.

2 Dead Like Me name-drops out of 5

No comments: