Developer: Renegade Kid
Publisher: UTV Ignition Entertainment
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
I would first like to say that I wish there were many more nice things for me to say about this game, because what is to come does not necessarily put this in the best light.
Planet Crashers is a turn-based RPG in which you explore different worlds and do various quests for people on said worlds. There seems to be a story, but it doesn’t crop up a lot. You are a cadet in an academy whose first task is to find out more about an evil in the universe, then fight your way to stop it. Pretty generic, but many games have generic stories.
I’d like to talk about what I found to be pretty good about the game, the first being the amount of customization there is. There are a lot of options offered for creating a really unique character. Many of these I couldn’t access, because they were locked for some reason, but I don’t know why. I played through the game and never unlocked anything new.
Another good thing about the game is the graphic style. It is reminiscent of Animal Crossing, which has a very charming graphic style. Each world had its own theme to it, which was interesting. It made the game much more lighthearted than the story would imply. This went well with the somewhat humorous dialogue that would happen, dialogue that definitely seemed aimed at a younger audience.
So Renegade Kid created a charming little environment and mood for the game, but the gameplay surely did not help it overall. The gameplay was uninspired, basic, and made me feel as though I was playing a game that was in really early alpha to show to an investor, publisher, etc. Nothing was refined, there was no variability, and everything was static.
The quests are really basic and the system messed me up a few times. You get quests from various people or message boards that are on almost every world. They are your basic, go get this, go fight this guy, and go save this guy quests. All of these take place in the same dungeons that are on the different worlds, the Red, Blue, or Green dungeon.
What is really frustrating, and took me a little while to figure out, is that you have to select the quest you are working on, which then allows you to go do it. So, if you don’t have the quest active and you have made your way through a few floors of a dungeon, you can’t do anything. Then you have to run all the way back and set it up. Furthermore, you can only work on one quest at a time no matter how many quests you have for one specific dungeon.
Some may say that the questing can be boring as long as the combat can carry it. Honestly, it’s worse. You only fight in the various dungeons on the worlds, which are very boring to go into. They are basically made up of hallways and open rooms with walls. That’s it. There is nothing to look at in the rooms, nothing to see, no objects, nothing. Literally nothing in the rooms but enemies to fight.
Each world is themed, and the enemies are usually themed with the worlds. When you first go into a room in a dungeon, the enemies are already chasing after you. At the beginning of the game, you can avoid them really easily and just move to wherever your objective is for your quest. Initially, there is no incentive to fight anybody because they give very little experience and gold.
Eventually though, the enemies get fast enough where you can’t outrun them at all if you wanted to. They are faster than you and the game will force you to fight all of them. They do give somewhat reasonable experience at this point though.
The combat in the game is so incredibly basic as well. You get different abilities from completing quests and can have up to four abilities ready to use in a fight at any time. You don’t need four. You don’t even need two. I only used one ability throughout the whole game and it got me by just fine. There were some abilities that did more damage sure, but they required you hitting (or not hitting) “A” at the right moment to get the combo off. If you messed it up, ha too bad, you did no damage. So, I just stuck with the first ability I obtained and it worked the whole way through.
This problem is not present for the enemies though, as their AI is very good at getting those combos off. So good in fact, that they can sometimes do about 3/4 of your HP in one hit. That is quite a ridiculous punishment as nobody is going to think they need to heal when they have that much HP, but it happened and it was very frustrating.
That is really all there is to the combat. There are no status effects, various types of moves, or anything of that nature. Combat is basically one party uses a move, then the other uses a move. You don’t need to worry about the type of enemy. The little variation that is present exists in each move that tells you when to hit “A”.
When you do complete a quest or defeat an enemy, you get experience and gold. When you level up you are given two choices of what you can do that will raise some amount of your three stats: Strength, Defense, and Speed. The only one that seemed to change combat in any significant way was Speed because it dictated who attacks first. Oh, and when the fight starts before you can even choose what to do, the enemy will hit you first for no reason, no matter what your Speed is. I don’t know why, it’s just how it goes I guess.
Strength doesn’t change a whole lot of how much damage you do and Defense does not reduce damage taken much either. You get most of your damage when you get new weapons. The weapons are basically tiered and go up with your level, just increasing the damage they do. No variation. And to deal with the lack of Defense, there is no armor, your HP just increases when you level so you survive somewhat longer.
So now let’s talk about what you can do with gold. There are shops to buy stuff, but they all sell the same things. They sell potions and items that can increase your Defense and Strength for one fight. You don’t need to buy the stat-increasing items at all as they are literally everywhere in dungeons, so you can just pick them up. I had so many it was ridiculous.
Then there are three different potions to buy: small, medium, and large. The small potion restores 25% of max hp, medium 50%, and large 100%. So, the only one you should ever buy would be large. It is only 100 gold, which is very easy to obtain. Again, no variation.
There is also online play, but I could never get it to work. Either it wasn’t functional or nobody was using it. I don’t know what online does for you but perhaps that is how you unlock different items to customize with.
I finished the game in a little under 10 hours (it felt longer). The only explanation for the game being this way would be that Renegade Kid was trying to make this game for a really young audience. Even then, they would have to be incredibly young.
You can pick up the game for $9.99 on the Nintendo eShop right now, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You can also get a physical copy of the game from Amazon on August 31 for $29.99. This may be the full-fledged version of the game.
It’s almost as if this version on the eShop was a way to make some money before the “real” one comes out.