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Backlog Review | Video Game Fables

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Just follow the script. That’s all they had to do! If they had just done that one simple thing then everything would be perfect like always. Heroes would be heroes, villains would be villains, and NPCs would know their place as filler characters used to pad out the game. But no, that second-rate “would-be” princess had to go and mess it all up! Now it’s up to moi, the one true princess, and this ragtag party of nobodies (I guess), to take matters into our own hands and set things straight!

In the lighthearted RPG Video Game Fables from Momiji Studios we follow the World’s Princess Aru through thick, thin, and the outrageous as she and her team of unlikely heroes hunt down the Forsaken Princess, repair the World’s Script, and redo what has been undone – or rewrite it for the better. Here’s how our adventure played out:

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There was a surprising amount of interesting features packed into Video Game Fables, but the one that really stood out to me while playing the extended demo we were given access to was its battle system. In a lot of ways it reminded me of the battle systems you’d find in games like Paper Mario, and the Mario and Luigi series. Like those games, Video Game Fables is packed full of goofy abilities that really spice up the battles. Plus, it features some more unique mechanics that’ll keep you engaged fight after fight. For instance, the CRIT system, which works a bit differently than just your standard “critical attack”. It allows you to collect “CRIT Tokens” from enemies and use them to modify your attacks or abilities, instead of just simply multiplying your damage. This offbeat take is even extended into the game’s leveling system, which has you leveling your party as a single unit and uses your XP to “purchase” skill slots and equip armaments for each character. A unique spin on a tired formula that I really appreciated!

Unfortunately, my least favorite part of playing Video Game Fables was its dialogue. Like its visual style, the dialogue and its humor just didn’t land for me. That’s not to say I didn’t appreciate what the writing was going for, but ultimately it wasn’t to my taste, and more often than not I found myself skipping through the text so I could get to the more clever parts of the game like its unique gameplay.

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What I played of Video Game Fables did a great job of showcasing exactly what you can (hopefully) expect from the final version of the game. I was able to explore the entire map (spread across a few different regions), two of the available dungeons, and even grind for experience so I could unlock each and every ability/weapon I had access to. And all through that not once did it feel incomplete, nor did it feel like any of its core features were missing. Outside of the rest of the story, of course. There’s even a beastiary called the Monstrocomicon that’ll give you tips about each of the enemies you encounter. Something I always enjoy. That said, there’s still a lot of work and polish to be done before we see the final version, but that’s to be expected for a game that’s still deep in development.

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Going into Video Game Fables, I didn’t know what to expect. From the outside looking in, it seemed like a game I’d typically avoid, purely due to its aesthetics. But this game is a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover because there’s a ton of depth to its gameplay, and its unique take on traditional RPGs is refreshing and fun! So, without a doubt this game will be going on our wishlist and you can be sure we’ll be diving back in when the full game drops!

If you’re interested in checking out Video Game Fables you can play the demo on Steam right now, and keep an eye out for its release on July 15th, 2022.