Sony

Saturday Morning RPG (PS4)

Saturday Morning RPG_20160221133527

This sloppy indie charmer from Mighty Rabbit Studios hits on tiring 1980s nostalgia, split into episodes for the sake of the Saturday morning aesthetic. Each episode bloats with references to ’80s era properties. There’s hardly an original idea in the mix. Back to the Future, GI Joe, Tron, The Wizard, Power Glove; those are from the introduction level – all of an hour.

Saturday Morning RPG is rife with “guy” properties. Surely 30-something women share admiration for their childhoods, although this would wipe out the kitschy “boy saves girl” routine evident here. It’s for satire purposes, but that satire is outmoded.

Clearly exhaled from independent sources, clashing aesthetics (low res pixels, lower res pixels, high-res polygons) and stumpy attack mini-games (Mario & Luigi, minus the personality) dot each chapter/episode. Attack screens are busy and post-fight backgrounds appear culled from the earliest days of CD-ROM. Outside of the visible pixels, little of Saturday Morning RPG reads as the ’80s. The outward appearance isn’t luxurious. By comparison, Mighty Rabbit’s Breach & Clear was cleanly rendered. They can do great work.

With only a few hours to pursue, there are some tantalizing moments and smart callbacks, even if they reach into, “references are funny because they’re references” humor. Saturday Morning RPG may still induce a smile. That’s arguably worth the time.

3/5

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