Game-A-Week: Recettear – An Item Shop’s Tale

Title: Recettear – An Item Shop’s Tale (pc)

The Gist: Many an RPG features a shop where you can buy/sell your items in between questing. But this is an RPG where you get to run that shop! Buy low, sell high or acquire your own items by questing in dungeons. Either way you’ll be stocking up the shop with items and selling them to a bunch of crazies who seem to think that walking into a dungeon with a wooden stick in one hand and a walnut loaf in the other might not result in a horrible painful death. The story goes like this: Daddy does a runner, there’s a knock on the door by a fairy who’s obligated to tell you that the loan daddy took out on the house ain’t gonna pay for itself and in order to keep up with the payments you have to open up an item shop with her. Simple eh? The Japanese game was translated by independent localization company Carpe Fulgur at the end of 2010 and sold a whopping 100, 000 copies.

Pros: The game has a unique aspect but its easy to relate to. Link from the Legend of Zelda games always ends up in a store at some point during his adventure and anyone who plays WoW will be accustomed to selling their loot of to vendors. It’s a nice change to see what goes on behind the store, whilst retaining an aspect of adventuring itself. Any anime fan will find themselves at home as the visuals look like they’ve been stripped from a Studio Ghibli film. You don’t just stay in the shop or go out adventuring; you’ll be able to visit the town in order to buy items at the merchant’s guild, hire adventurers at the adventurer’s guild or a few other places.

Cons: If you’re not fond of anime or anything Japanese (you racist!), this isn’t the game for you. The game’s concept comes off as a little silly but again keeps in tone with what basic anime I’ve seen. Whilst the ability to visit areas in town makes the game look nice and big it’s a little disappointing that half of those locations merely disclose to players that nobody is there, aside from one time where I found an old man roaming the town square at night…the less said about that the better.

Musical Note: The music itself is very repetitive but authentic, its definitely well suited to the game but I’d probably end up turning the music off if I continued playing for fear of losing my mind to it.

Hunger Level: I did enjoy this and wouldn’t mind playing a bit more to see how things pan out. The idea of building up the shop, customising it would probably appeal to me a lot more than making money and the lack of any Zelda game in my life recently makes me want to rock out in the dungeons.

Conclusion: This is one of the more bizarre games I’ve ever played…ever! Having said that it’s definitely worth playing the demo that’s been released at least to see what you make of it. I’ve enjoyed testing it out and will probably load it up every now and then for a dungeon and a bit of bartering. It’s definitely reminded me of a time I played Zelda back on the game boy and makes me want to buy a 3DS so I can return to Hyrule. Overall if you like RPG’s and anime you’re in for a treat but be warned as someone fed the little girl who owns the shop crack or something, as she wont stop making strange noises and yelling the phrase “Capitalism Ho!” The game also reminds me of a series of games called Harvest Moon (game boy’s answer to Farmville back in the day), in which you’d run a farm and sell its crops in order to make money that’d buy seeds. Those games also let you acquire crops by adventuring just like Recettear. I loved those games so playing Recettear for me is more of a trip down memory lane than a game itself.

I ended up playing till the end of the first 8 days, where upon I was informed that I did not make my payment. It may have had something to do with selling my most expensive items at a 30% loss…it was a mistake! I thought I was buying something at a low price from the merchant’s guild; no wonder the customers were so eager to accept my offer. Subsequently I had to move out of the item shop. The fairy and I are no longer on speaking terms…due to the fact im now living in a box.

One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-A-Week’ @ Black Vinculum

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