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A surprisingly funny adventure!

Why this game had no reviews? Hmmm it was suspicious, since I've already heard of it I decided to try... well at first this looked like a boring and plain game, but I was wrong. REALLY wrong. Anyway just to do something different from the usual I'll start from the things I did NOT like!

Ok, the game graphiclly is... decent! I've nothing against the use of the stock character facesets, charsets and chipsets but I've seen them a thousand times (Harold, the wannabe hero unsurprisingly is... none other than Alex, the main hero of Rmk2000 RTP) and I usually like seeing custom characters at least for the main cast. Here only a couple of the aren't the usual database characters. Same goes for the chipsets used: mapping goes from bad to ok (with some exceptions, for example I liked a lot the castle in Zambooka in which you have to take the longest way to avoid the blocked path) and the use of the base chipsets does not help, some places look like a little mess. Most places seems just simple and basic stages with scattered items of the scenry put around, and few point of interest. I must admit that the game is long and I cannot expect lot of details since there is a lot of content, but others game do that so, it's not an excuse.
Unfortunately monsters and combat suffer of the same problem, look basic and uninspired, nothing new or special (there are some exceptions of course, like when you travel to the future and fight robots)... also be prepared for random encounters, lots of them! (luckily the last update lowered the encounter rate and reduced some of the normal encounters' health points, so before it was even worse!)

Difficulty is medium, so you won't have trouble progressing, even if this means that you'll have often need to rest and restock supplies, given the nature of the frequent random encounters.
As I said before, combat is standard, at least every character has a different combat style that usually consists of magic that is geared towards a specific elemental property or it's a skill related to his or her weapon of choice, nothing fancy or new but serviceable (but I admit some ideas, like how Edge used his guitar to produce sound effects that always attack all the opponents). In some sense there is nothing new or strange in this game, don't expect to find developed minigames or innovative rules. Anyway what you will find is well done.
Then there is the humor, this game is a parody of the typical Jrpg, and here you may or may not like it so... it depends from your taste, but I'll talk about it in next part.

Ok, so far this did not looked good at all, isn't it? Well that's exactly my first impression of the game, but I tried to play it and... well I had fun, I had a LOT of fun! The games looks apparently bland or banal from an external view, but playing it I found it to be an interesting experience: first the story is... interesting! It's clearly a parody of the Jrpg (and rpg) tropes with some pop culture references added, humor and weird situations. I've played many parody Rpgmaker games but all of them were quite short and they lacked polish and details as they were done just for fun. Here, while I complained about the graphics and the mapping, I must admit that instead the music, story and writing are really good and entertaining, and the characters are all interesting and weird, for example we have:

A princess... that fights headbutting enemies!
A dark elf... who is also a drummer!
A robot... who can become a tank!

Ok, so this is clearly a wacky fantasy world, I know that most Jrpgs have castles and airships (well you will find an airship, it's a jrpg after all!), knights and guns, but here you'll find eskimos with oversized swords, concerts, a shoes factory and even time travel!
I forgot to say that our hero... well, anti-hero, this time is the snarky Clifford, a rockstar wannabee that will face a lot of dangers and weird situations (I loved especially the martial arts training with the old master). But this is just one of the twelve party members (I love especially Zaknafien, that seems really to get dumber as the game goes on) that you will know during this long and bizarre comedic adventure, of which I won't tell much, except that in the end you have to save the world from ineffectual villains and evil beings(fighting demons, wild animals, drugged out groupies, diseased orphans, rabid old men, and so on).
The game is mainly linear, except for the final chapter, anyway it's lots and lots of fun due to the memorable parts and funny dialogues.

The Sword and the Fish plays better than he looks, it's funny and probably one of the longest and best comedic/parody Rpgmaker games. I had fun and I wasted a lot of my time in this game, and, most importantly, I played it to the end! This is because the game entertained me from the beginning to the end, and while I find that there are some parts that could have been improved, I saw a lot of care for what regards the musical choice, the storyline and the character progression (at mid point most party members take an upgrade that is also reflected in their appearance!). In the end this is not a bad game, it's a nice game with some frustrating dungeons with random encounters (but they are short), so in the end on the surface we have a normal jrpg with comedy, parody and weird (but great) dialogues. But this made it fun since it's entertaining, balanced and well designed, but this will be noticed only if you play it!


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Hey! Scumdrop here, game designer.

THANKS! For the great review. It made me smile all the way through and I'd say is bang on on all fronts. I learned as I went making this, so yeah, the starting and early maps 'go from bad to okay' is super accurate. By the end there's the face lift up to what I expect some others games already do off the start. We focused on the characters and jokes (and later discovered my brother had already written an amazing soundtrack by accident )

Incidentally, I'm now an author and English teacher - while when I started I was a... teenager. So glad to see something come of the forte :P

Anyway, this review made my day 1.5 years later. A kid-friendly version of the game is going out IF I didn't delete the key files (as I appeared to have yesterday)
Heya!! Happy to hear you! I remember getting the game a looong time ago form the StF site (where there was also a comic, I think). I also have another version of the game but I do not know if there are differences with the one on this site!
It was fun,entertaining and yeah the soundtrack was amazing!
Anyway yes, recent games used more resources and less rtp graphics, the added battlers, buuut the game despite the "basic appearance" has a lot of style. I don't remember if I wrote that I loved the part in which you have to take a large detour in the (Zambooka?) Castle just to avoid one guardpost (with a small stop for some fun dialogues after the first half). Also the "trainings" that Clifford has to perform are among the funniest and most inspired parts. Oh and the game is long, that's rather uncommon for a comedy game.

Author and english teacher? Whoa great, I wish I can say the same but my english is crappy and I am bad at teaching, despite that I am happy you appreciated this old (and bad) review I made so much time ago. I reconfirm the 4/5 score! Jot perfect but pretty great!
Haha, thanks. If we went over the game and tightened it up it could be 100x better but we still love it as is. Zambooka and the Zen Hut were high points. Our favourite part has always been when Clifford has to find the clone of himself and then it talks to him about romance while he brings it to die vs. a laser eye :P

Yeah, we just made it with no expectations. Had 4,000+ downloads off Ultima Island before the site died and now it's up here. A year later I made the comic for fun to a limited release. I pitched it as a TV show once or twice, too.

Lately my nephews are growing up and I teach younger kids so I spent the last year patching the game to be 'kid-friendly'. Just finished a few days ago and can't figure out where it went as it has disappeared. Worried some key data files got deleted. So I'm back about on the forum looking for help. Gotta give the Sword and the Fish to the kiddies!

Anyway, cheers mate.
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