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Little Town Hero

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 9 - 2020

Be the chosen one with a handful of ideas.

 
Most modern RPG games will give the player a massive world to explore. The player may spend some time in a given location, likely learning where all of the points of interest are, but then they will be charged with heading off to another location, never getting the chance to really settle anywhere. Game Freak’s Little Town Hero offers something slightly different, with a compact world to explore and really get to know. However, that is not the only thing that Little Town Hero does differently.

 


 
Let’s look at what Little Town Hero doesn’t do differently. There is a fairly generic story here, but it is presented with plenty of charm. The player takes on the role of a young boy who just happens to be the chosen one and is given special abilities. The boy lives in a town that is cut off from the rest of the world, allegedly due to monsters that are roaming outside of the town. As a result, nobody is allowed to leave the town. However, when monsters start appearing inside the town, our young hero, along with special abilities provided by a magical stone, will have to step up and find out what is going on. It is all inoffensive, but the set up does give the player ample opportunity to really explore their surroundings.

 
Being stuck in a small town does mean that the player will be constantly revisiting the same locations over and over again, yet there is something magical about really investing in the locations. The town is packed with little details and ample characters to get to know or help out with whatever strange request they have. The linear nature of the story also allows for certain locked areas to be gradually unlocked, giving the player even more areas to explore while still staying within the confines of the town, such as the underground mine. While the largest part of the game will be spent in the various combat situations, talking to characters and taking on their quests offers a nice variety to the gameplay. Much of the time the characters will ask the player to perform simple fetch quests, but there are some really fun little moments to be found in the side quests that stick in the mind.

 
Of course, it helps that the presentation is so charming. The visuals are really nice and the cel-shaded style is bright and cheery. Being in a smaller world, it is easier to appreciate how good the locations look. The soundtrack, from Undertale’s Toby Fox and Hitomi Sato, is equally as well done, providing enchanting tunes to stick in the head.

 


 
While everything so far has been quite lovely, the combat system is where players will possibly find some problems. The system is based primarily upon Izzits and Dazzits. Yeah, I know. Forget any ideas of RPG combat systems in other games. In some ways, the combat in Little Town Hero more resembles that of a collectible card game. On entering battle, the player is presented with a deck of ideas, known as Izzits. The player also has a number of points that can be spent on turning the ideas into actions, or Dazzits, which have different point costs, usually depending on how powerful they are. While some may be defensive or represent special actions, many will serve to face off against the opponent’s actions similar to how units would work in a CCG, with the idea being to defeat all of the opposing actions and still having an attack that can do damage to the enemy.

 
Of course, it gets far more complex than that. For starters, once the turn ends, the player is able to move around the combat map before the next turn begins, which can give access to advantages. These range from support characters that help out with their own attack, to gimmicks that may need a Dazzit to activate. Then there are the abilities that can add buffs and such, adding further strategy to master, to puzzle situations that can be quite tricky.

 
The problem with all of this comes from the random nature of the system. Randomly drawn Izzits, random amounts of movement on the board, it all leaves a lot up to chance. This can be frustrating. While there are some different types of battles, the boss battles tend to be lengthy affairs, and given the opponents random nature in when they pull out powerful abilities, it gets even more frustrating for a half hour battle to be restarted due to luck. While there is no experience to deal with through the course of progression, the player can earn points that will allow abilities to be upgraded, which can give the player more advantage in battles. But still, there is so much depending on luck, and sometimes that just isn’t fun. The same could be said of all card games, and many players will be fine with that. But those who don’t like putting their gaming fate in the hands of the god of chance will certainly get annoyed here.

 


 
Little Town Hero is an unusual game. It has a childlike charm and silliness that will appeal to many, but it feels limited in scope. The combat system offers strategic depth, but relies far too much on luck. Game Freak have tried something new here and while it may not hit the spot for everyone, there is enough fun to be had to make it worth checking Little Town Hero out.

 

 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 



 

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