• Developer: Game Freak
  • Publisher: Game Freak
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: October 16th, 2019
  • Price: $24.99
  • Review code provided: Yes

Little Town Hero is a turn-based RPG backed by wonderful characters and a great setting. No one ever leaves the peaceful town yet monsters keep showing up mysteriously. Your character is set out to defend it from different monsters and discover how they keep breaching the town’s perimeter.

Gameplay

The gameplay has a puzzle/card game feel to it. You can hold 5 cards at a time, or ideas called “izzits” in the games case. You need to use “power” to turn them into a “dazzit”. Yet be careful, you only have a set amount of power each turn. There are 3 types of izzits that do different things. Red is primarily for attacking, Yellow is primarily defence and Blue causes different magic effects that damage or boost your own moves. Each dazzit you have has an attack and defence metre. The goal is to always defeat, or break, as the game calls it, the opponent’s dazzit in a clash. Do this enough times and you will see yourself given a chance to attack the enemies heart points. After 3 attacks you win! Sounds simple, right? Well…it does get tricky. As the battle would move on, both yours and the opponent’s moves get stronger. As well as the battle takes place on a map. With ever turn you move to a new spot where a character could support you or some type of gimmick could be used to your advantage. Yet every move you make counts. One false step and you will find yourself on the defence real fast and it can be a steep climb to get out of that hole. I had to really strategize about every move in advance to approach the battle appropriately. I lost. I lost a lot. I had to change the direction I took the fight each time until I found my way through each turn of the battle. But once those pieces clicked, it made the taste of victory priceless.

While it is true there is only one monster per chapter, there are other smaller fights that occur to help you prepare. This took away a grind that I was expecting going into the game. I had the tools to best each monster every time. When I failed, then it was my own fault as I didn’t know how to use those tools correctly. So when I tried again, I would get a little further each time based on my last experience. This made the way completing each chapter very satisfying.

Graphics

The visuals of the game for the most part were great. The simple, yet distinct style of the heavy cartoon outlines made everything pop. The use of simple tricks gave so much life to the little town I was set to defend each day.

Although, not everything was a smooth as the style. The animations for the most part is where some sloppiness comes in. When the animation hit, it hits HARD. Some of the characters gestures were fantastic and appropriate for each character that helped set them apart from one another. Though I quickly noticed that some of the facial animations were lacking. Basic attacks were also the same every single time. It got repetitive rather quickly. The same problems show face even with the “final” attacks on the heart points. They looked amazing! I just wish there was more variety.

A problem that Game freak seems to have is running animations. Their last few games all shared the same problem. Multiple times the characters don’t have any animation for turning or stopping. They would go from a standing position and snap into running while spinning on the spot to “turn around”. It was noticeable every time.

Thankfully these graphical issues are easy to overlook as the other elements of the game were so strong.

Music

The music of this charming little game is one of the best elements. Toby Fox shines like the diamond he is. Every battles tune as a rhythm that fits the flow perfectly. His taste of composition supports the game to a degree that had me on more than one occasion just listening to the tunes without playing. Choosing Toby Fox to partner with was one of the best creative decisions the team could of asked for as his style compliments the game outstandingly.

Verdict

My time with Little Town Hero was one that I have been anticipating for months, and it did not disappoint. The mechanics may be a bit different than what was expected, but it still delivered a fantastic experience. The game does have its flaws, but the good greatly outweighs them. The game was made by an incredibly small team of just 5. It stunned me to learn that such a game of quality could come out of such a small number. It may not be for everyone, but it impeessed me and kept me attention thoroughly. The team did an amazing job and Game Freak should be proud as they now have another game to add to the studios catalog that proves they can do more than just Pokemon.

8.5/10

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