Review by genocidekarma
"The last R'lyehian is in captivity... The world is at peace."
If any game could revive the dying breed that is the "traditional" console RPG, Cthulhu Saves the World is that game.
Cthulhu Saves the World is the pseudo-sequel to the acclaimed Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, and it was developed and published by Zeboyd Games for Xbox Live Indie Games. It is graphically reminiscent of such classic NES RPGs as Dragon Warrior/Quest, and Earthbound Zero. Which, is to say, it does a very good job of capturing that "retro" look and feel.
Musically, this game is a masterwork. Each piece of the original soundtrack is beautiful. Much respect to the composer, as this game is the first since Final Fantasy VI to find me humming along, long after the game was over. Each tune captured the correct mood of each dungeon and town. Never a moment passed when I decided to play the music on my hard drive over this game's soundtrack, and I do that quite often with most of the games I own. But in all honesty, music is a passion of mine, and if the soundtrack can't hold my interest, then neither does the game.
The story in Cthulhu Saves the World is a work of genius. Robert Boyd seems to know his audience, and the inside jokes are a real treat. I laughed out loud on many an occasion when I caught the many references to TV and other games. I love the whole "breaking the fourth wall" concept. Most games beat this into the ground, but CStW only goes as far as is necessary. I wish the big name developers would put this kind of effort into their games.
In short, CStW is like a love letter to gamers who grew up playing the Dragon Warriors and Final Fantasies of the NES-SNES eras. With the exclusion of one tiny glitch I encountered, this game was perfect. I wish more developers took this kind of attitude towards the games they put out. It's amazing at just how much you can do with a three-man development team. My hat is off to the Zeboyd Games team.
We as gamers need to show these Indie developers our support. Because without them, we wouldn't have awesome games like Cthulhu Saves the World. And that, my friends, is a world I would not want to live in. And besides, with enough support from their fans, indie developers like Zeboyd Games can continue their tradition of excellent games. I for one would gladly pay 80, 240, 400, or even 800 MS points to play a game with all the traits that CStW displays. It's an eye-opening experience, when you realize you've spent $3.00, and had a more enjoyable experience than with the game you just spent $60.00 on. If this trend continues, major league developers will have to step up their game, so to speak, and that is a win-win for the gaming community as a whole.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/02/11
Game Release: Cthulhu Saves the World (US, 12/30/10)
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