Saturday Morning RPG
We love video games, but don't consider ourselves groupies. Don't get us wrong. No one deserves the shame of publishing a bad game, but at the same time, you won't see us waving foam fingers at Sony press conferences, or chasing after Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto for an autograph.
You know what, we can't help but root for Mighty Rabbit Studios and its upcoming iOS and Android title, Saturday Morning RPG. In a world where retro is king, these developers have done what few have as of late, dig into our collective childhood to create an experience inspired by the glorious 1980s, back when Saturday morning cartoons dominated network channels with popular shows like Transformers, He-Man, The Real Ghostbusters and G.I. Joe. We would literally sit on the family room floor surrounded by action figures, cereal bowl in hand, watching these shows from 8:00AM to noon, when we'd transition to WWE Superstars. It's this magic Mighty Rabbit hopes to capture, and if you woke up like us to see your animated heroes in action, you absolutely need to pay attention to this video game.
With that, let's show you what to expect.
Saturday Morning RPG stars Martin (don't call him Anthony) Michael Hall, a student at Shadow Valley High School that somehow runs into a mysterious wizard that imbues him with the power to channel magic from everyday objects. For example, grabbing one of his Botchangers (the game's version of Transformers), transforms Marty into a semi-truck that barrels through enemies.
While on the subject of bad guys, our hero somehow draws the ire of one Commander Hood, an obvious spin-off of G.I. Joe's raspy voiced Cobra Commander, along with the diabolical Skeleboar, who desperately wants to conquer Fort Stoneskull; if you're an 80s fan, you already put two and two together on that one.
What ensues should be a thoroughly entertaining and episodic adventure, as players locate various items (a joystick lets Marty play video tennis), including the awesome sounding Sword of Unicorns, and fight evildoers via a battle system inspired by RPGs past, such as Paper Mario, Pokemon, Final Fantasy X, Costume Quest and the ultra rare Panzer Dragoon Saga. The Active Defense System, for instance, seems pulled from Paper Mario, as players use precise movements to block enemy attacks; this replenishes Marty's magic. You'll need all this and more to combat all manner of lowlifes, including Benjamin & Nimajneb, symbiotic twins that feel each other's pain; Commander Hood's top dudes, FYI.
On top of that, you'll be able to store objects in Marty's Trapper Keeper style notebook that's more than just a virtual inventory. Decorate it with scratch and sniff stickers that, when activated, yield power-ups and enemy handicaps; stickers range from ultra to rare. You can also swap out different notebook covers for necessary stat enhancements.
Finally, the game has two composers working on the soundtrack. The first, Vince DiCola, blessed the world with Rocky IV and Transformers: The Movie tunes, while the second, Kenny Meriedeth, has over 200 shows to his credit, longtime classics like Duck Tales, X-Men, Full House and Power Rangers.
In fact, one of DiCola's songs (below) will appear in the game.
That said, the developers will release the first episode free of charge, alongside episode 2. Future episodes will follow, all of which you can play out of sequence; don't worry, all power-ups and items transfer.
And, similar to Double Fine's Kickstarter program, the developers have politely asked the community to donate so they can finish their creation. Six thousand is needed (they have $2,150 with 38 days to go), and you can pledge as much as you want; spend more, and you could become immortalized in the game. Donate here.
If you followed us this far, and fondly recall time well spent watching cartoons, then you know why we'd love Mighty Rabbit Studios to succeed. Saturday Morning RPG appears to be a wonderful homage to the decade of excess, when animated warriors were larger than life. Now that's a project we can get behind.