Let me preface this review with the fact that I don’t usually care very much for rogue-like games. I had hoped that Sorcery Saga was different. Is it? Well, yes. Did it convert me into a rogue-like devotee? Not really. Starting this game is extremely long-winded. Tutorial screens are abundant in the first couple hours of this game. As Pupuru, a carefree sorceress who comes upon a magic cookbook and a strange cat…bunny…thing named Kuu.
It’s a good thing she found that book because a major curry house has just moved into town and is threatening her favorite curry shop. Maybe with the special ingredients from the book, she can find a special recipe to save the shop. Quite refreshingly, it doesn’t follow the whole ‘Save the world’ plot that most RPGs seem hellbent on telling over and over. The story is pleasantly lighthearted and the characters are as quirky as they come. The cast covers almost every anime trope from the extremely arrogant and powerful but pervy admirer to the sheepish and awkward boy who’s never really comfortable around girls to an obnoxiously annoying girl. The only difference from most anime shows is that you ARE that obnoxiously annoying girl. These characters seriously say some of the most fucked up shit. I laughed quite a bit, but mostly because the scenarios are bat shit insane. I really enjoyed that. The story lasted me about 16 hours, but there’s a good amount of things to do after the main story is done.
At it’s heart, Sorcery Saga is a rogue-like. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a game that is like Rogue. I know that doesn’t help much, so I’ll explain. In a rogue-like you will die a lot as the genre is notoriously hard. Another characteristic of the genre is that when you die, you lose all of your gear, levels, and sometimes progress. Thankfully, this game is kind of a rogue-lite. Story progress is saved, and you retain your equipped items whenever you die. You can also hold your unused items at town so that if you die, you’ll have some backups for later. The final characteristic is that whenever you move or attack, so do the enemies. Although it is easier than many rogue-likes, you will undoubtedly die a lot to what could easily be considered cheap shots. Sometimes a monster that you’ve fought multiple times will just get the jump on you and it’s infuriating. I was not a big fan of the grid-based controls, but there are a few mechanics in place that allow you to easily align yourself at a diagonal to attack or run that way.
Speaking of running, the way they added that is just dumb. When you run or dash, you will not stop until you either hit a wall or enter a new area. It’s the equivalent of walking onto an ice patch and sliding until you hit a rock. The only difference is that there is no puzzle involved to warrant such a thing. Ultimately, I was not converted as I said above, but I did enjoy the story element of the game. It helped greatly reduce my aggravation when I would continuously die cheap deaths. If you’re a person who uses the term ‘weeaboo’, I would highly advise staying away from this game. If you love quirky Japanese stuff and games that challenge you, jump on this one. It’s not too bad…for a rogue-like.