Off-the-wall funny, insane, and well worth playing, but not without its issues
- 02/04/2014 09:06 PM
- 423 views
Length: 15-20 hours
Most of his dialogue is equally as ridiculous, honestly.
My, my, my, what in the world is this?
For starters, let's just get this out of the way; this game is plain fucking nuts. It's unlike anything I've played before, and will ever play again, in a mostly good way. Despite a handful of serious undertones (the game obviously deals with war, so it's to be expected, but there's also loss, love, death, and other things to note), the game is mostly light-hearted and goofy with a very noticeable sense of humor. Much of it, however, is quite dark and vulgar, so if that's not your cup of tea, then this game isn't for you. If you can handle it, though, then it's right up your alley. Also, many of your enemies are just completely surreal in both concept and appearance, but more on that later. Let's delve into what makes this game so unique.
From the moment I finished the opening cut-scene, I could tell this game was not ordinary by any means.
The basic gist is that the Greenpeace Empire want to preserve the Whaling Spirit, along with the main party, but major disagreements take place, so now you're pretty much fighting to prevent them from doing anything stupid.
What makes this so weird, though?
The fact that your opponents, more often than not, are random sailors/sea supporters/creatures with battle sprites ripped straight from Google Images. The fact that people are fighting over the sea-related beliefs of someone named Ben fucking Dowler, which is an incredibly outlandish name for someone of his caliber. The fact that your heroes are profane, dysfunctional and prone to bickering constantly, and you always wonder why they're entrusted to stop a major empire with such ridiculous legation matters. The fact that a war has erupted over something so ridiculous, and the eventual circumstances are just the left-side of mind-fuckingly unbelievable. There's a whole bunch of reasons why. But you gotta love it; I know I did from the very start.
Once you get past how indescribable the entire thing is, however, and beneath the parody layers, there's a very deep, interesting tale of war, peace and character depth you would never expect. The game becomes progressively serious and dark, and occasionally even outright ditches the light-hearted tone.
Many of the betrayals/deaths, such as Vorman's early on, are quite shocking, and some of them are impossible to see coming, especially if you don't pay attention.
By the end of the second act and throughout most of the latter two acts, the game proves to not be for the faint of heart; it becomes less of an off-the-wall comedy and more of a dramedy thriller. Overall, all things considered, it's very well done despite the hilariously ridiculous premise.
"I just can't catch a break..."
For much of the game, however, there's an obviously high amount of humor. You'll often laugh yourself silly at the ridiculous antics of just about everyone between the serious plot developments. Hell, depending on how you view it, there'll always be some silly detail somewhere in a scene that'll make it so the game never truly loses its light-hearted tone, even during its darkest moments. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Also, Alfie and Manfred, two of the male party members, are two of the biggest goobers you'll find in any RPG game. One is a perverted, otherworldly daft, grossly ignorant hick, and the other is an even MORE perverted womanizer that tries to get tail in the most serious situations. They're both the butt of dozens of jokes due to their idiocy, and it's always a hoot to watch.
You're not seeing things, either; you're LEGITIMATELY fighting these guys. I was as shocked as you are when I first fought 'em.
Beneath that coat of goofiness lies relatively well-done gameplay. Pro Whaling 2012 is basically a classic Final Fantasy-style RPG with some strategy elements. The battles themselves are fare fairly standard for side-view RPGs; ATB system, Limit/Charge/normal skills, many boss encounters, the works. By itself, it's nothing special.
However, that's where the strategy comes in.
At several points in the game, you engage in large-scale fights against Greenpeace, and must manage your support forces. Initially, however, you must gain the trust of several islands so you can GET the support you need, then that's when you level 'em up. The enemies frequently give up tons of money, which you'll definitely need for your revolution bank. You'll need to level up each of your forces so they'll properly defend the area you're protecting. You can also buy more soldiers if need be.
It's nothing overly complex, but you'll need to plan carefully regardless; once a fight starts, you'll have little points to rest. It's well done for what it is, but I wish there were more options other than just leveling up your forces and paying for more.
Look at ALLLLLL dem blue people iconz!
Probably my biggest complaint about this game is the mission/quest system. Modern algebra's very well done Quest Log script is used for this game, but the kicker? Proto used a very early version of it! There are no rewards for any of the missions, and they, more often than not, just feel slapped on; the fact that almost every mission uses the same icon, as shown in the screenshot (granted, it does not show every mission, but once you beat the game, there's no real difference) exemplifies this. The game only vaguely lets you know when a task, let alone a mission, is completed as well, so most of the time you'll never know the log's even there. In future updates, the creator could have upgraded the script to the newest version, with the reward feature and whatnot, to better let the player know that the log's there, and maybe make some optional missions. But oh well.
Overall, the gameplay is far from bad, but leaves something to be desired. There are some mini-games here and there and interesting puzzles to spice things up, but not enough.
All-purpose store. In both senses of the word.
Haha, Alfe finally got some poon!
The game's visuals are a mixed bag. While the art style looks nice, the mapping is often empty-looking and basic. Some of it looks downright odd, with some tiles being used wrong and being in places that don't look right. Nothing terribly offensive, but nonetheless, it usually looks rather rushed.
As stated before, however, the art style of the official art looks good, and the in-game graphics, such as the NPCs, player sprites and battle sprites, are very well-picked. The hand-drawn battle sprites are especially easy on the eyes and will undoubtedly appeal to anime fans.
Probably the best part of the game next to the story/humor. Many of the tunes are borrowed from other games, though it usually fits quite well, and some of the area themes, particularly the Spirit Realm theme, will stay in your head for a long time. No complaints here at all, really.
This is the game's worst point, bar none, and why I had to lower the score. The game generally functions properly, though there are several points where I became stuck and had to go into the data files to fix the events (for example, in Pacem Viridis, you have to enter the Military Center at some point, and the game has you go left instead of right, with no Skip check to remedy this; another example is when you're in the Ray Jungle and you complete a puzzle. A bridge appears, but the tiles are not properly configured, so I was unable to cross through normal means). This gave me the impression that the game was not play-tested all the way.
Not only that, but there is a Nyan Cat gag at some point that goes on WAAAAAYY too long for my taste. It's more a matter of personal preference, but I would prefer it if the gag were sped up (as in, you were sent back to the town sooner). I also felt that some gags were thrown in or forced.
The grammar is also an issue, along with the timing. There are many instances of run-on and improperly punctuated messages, and many events seem to happen all at once. The pace is generally good, but it occasionally just doesn't seem believable.
At a point or two, I also had no idea what to do. The game usually hints at it or makes it obvious, but when you're doing a task like getting access to controls in Greenpeace Central, you'll need a clearance card, and it's very hard to find. I also recall there being another point in the game like that.
Although the game is overall not without its flaws, it's still very good, and well worth playing if you're willing to deal with its shortcomings. Grab a copy and save the Whaling World today!
NOTE: I played 1.00 as opposed to 1.01 because I could not find a working link for the latter. If there are any working links or any things to point out as far as bugs/shortcomings go that 1.01 remedies or something to that effect, let me know and I'll make corrections.