Tag Archives: dungeon crawler

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale (Video Game)

By EasyGameStation & Carpe Fulgur

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Ditzy and warm-hearted Recette finds herself left with her father’s enormous debt and no way to pay it off. But in the interests of protecting their investment, the creditors contract the straitlaced fairy Tear to help Recette pull her act together and open an items shop in order to pay off her debts. A shop with Recette immediately names “Recettear,” a combination of their names, with a huge grin on her face. Excited to face this new adventure, Recette begins the process of acquiring items, building relationships with customers, and honing her haggling skills. Poor Tear’s got an uphill battle to make this thing work!

If I had to boil Recettear down to one word, “cute” would definitely be it. The anime-like art style, the character designs, the music, it’s all basically adorable. The premise draws on the concept from your typical RPG of the ubiquitous items shop. But while in most games, these shops are pretty generic, this story takes it from the shop owners’ perspective, selling to adventurers and townsfolk alike. It definitely plays like an RPG, but the majority of the focus is on resource management in the shop. Not that you can’t go dungeon crawling if you want to–and sometimes the variety is nice. While the whole buying and selling thing can be a bit repetitive, you are faced with time-management challenges and an increasingly complex market as time goes by. Plus, there are some fun character interactions mixed in, especially between Recette and Tear. I think the adorable relationship between these two–and the stark contrast in their personalities–is what truly makes this game. It’s certainly what I enjoyed the most. As for sound, the music is simple but cute. There is some minimal character voicing, mostly just set phrases, which is all in Japanese but is quite well done; the timing and quality of the actors really does add to the overall flavor of the game, although none of the actual words will make sense unless you have at least a basic understanding of Japanese. All the written text has been translated to English, though, so it’s completely playable–also, the translation is actually quite good. So yeah, it you’re looking for cute RPG that’s a bit different from the norm, I think Recettear is a fun option to try.

Note: You can find Recettear on Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/70400/Recettear_An_Item_Shops_Tale/.

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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 1

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 1

Author: Fujino Omori

Illustrator: Suzuhito Yasuda

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bell Cranel came to the big city of Orario for slightly different reasons that most people. True, he wants to be an adventurer, gaining skills, renown, riches, and all the other glittering things that come with the role. But even more, he wants to use that status to win the hearts of fair maidens–maybe even saving them from the monsters in the dungeon under the city! Not only a questionable mindset, this might prove more than a little impossible, since Bell’s just a beginner . . . although he’s growing at unprecedented rates. Of course, his quest to pick up girls might go better if he were to pay attention to the cute girls around him who are already totally in like with him instead of daydreaming. But that’s Bell for you, ever the adorable airhead.

I generally love light novels, and let’s face it, how can you not be interested in a story with a title like Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? I definitely did enjoy this light novel, although perhaps not as much as the title would suggest. In many ways, it’s a fairly typical shounen mild harem sort of story . . . unlikely boy, attractive girls (several), a little skin but not too much. What really stood out about this story in particular is its quest to make the quirks you see in video games real in Bell’s world. The gods give statuses and skills, there’s a dungeon where adventurers fight monsters with magical jewels inside, and diverse peoples (humans, gods, dwarves, elves, etc.) live together in relative harmony. I like the concept, but I think too much time was spent on the technicalities. Having said that, I think the story worked itself around the technicalities beautifully. The presence and enigmatic personality of the goddess Hestia in Bell’s life, in particular, transformed this from a text on “how Orario works” to a vibrant, exciting tale. My only other complaint is that grammatically, the book was sometimes confusing: different sections were written in different voices, sometimes there were seeming inconsistencies. I think some of that was nuance that was lost in translation, but still, it was somewhat confusing. On the whole though, if you enjoy light novels, fantasies, or books with video-game-like settings, I think Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? would be a fun choice.



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