This will come as a supprise to some but I don't play that many JRPGs. Not because I don't like them, I do, but I just can't ever find any. Now I know what you're all thinking, "There are plenty of JRPGs out there", and yes there are. The problem is that most of the major gameing consoles past me by, either because I was too young or too poor to afford them. I'm probably the only one in the world who grew up in the 90s and never owned a Nintendo64, Gamecube or a Dreamcast. I know, heracy, right? The first games console I ever owned was a Playstation 1 and even THEN most of the games passed me by, I heard of Final Fantasy 7 of course, most people did, but I didn't care about it or play it. Not to say I don't play any of course, I've played a few if they can be called JRPGs such as Star Ocean Last Hope, Infinate Undiscovery and the new Final Fantasy, but this was the first anime style JRPG that I've been able to play. But you don't wanna know all of that, all you want to know is: Is it any good?
Well, yes...and no. It's pretty obvious to anyone with eyes and at least one braincell that this game is an aquired taste. It's much more animeesque than most games people will be familiar with and this is only bolstered by the fact there is no English voice acting. All of the voices are in Japanese, and they do very well I might add. Considering my huge raveing Otakudom this didn't bother me but for those of you alergic to anything anime you might find it grinds you after a while. The game itself is sort of like a mix of the Sims and and Zelda, you run an item shop so you can make money. How do you do that? Well you gotta buy stock from the market or the guild which you sell so you can make money so you can buy stock which you sell. So on and so forth. That's not the only way you can get stock though, you can go adventureing through large dungeons by hireing people to go down there and collect stuff. This is one of the hardest but most rewarding way to get stuff to sell. True odds are you'll fail spectacularly the first few times but you go get some of the 'phat lewts' more quickly. If you die in the dungeon, however, you'll only be allowed to take one item back. You don't go out empty handed sure, but considering it will most likely take you from morning till night to do all that it's not worth the excursion most of the time. Note I say MOST of the time, if you're doing pretty well with your profits it might be worth the effort to go in there and kill some dudes. Gameplay in this game is simplistic but that's pretty much what makes it fun. It's not over complicated and you won't find yourself getting confused any time soon. You buy, you sell, you buy, you sell. The fun is trying to work out what to sell and who to. Adventureing is where things get strange, you won't control the main character but the person doing all the fighting. You swing your sword, hit the enemy, collect EXP and slice chests to get moar lewt. Some of the chests have enemies in them so keep an eye out for that though. By now you're probably wondering why you have decided to open up such a venture, well, let's start from the begining...
You play as the young, adorable and slightly airheaded Recette (who bears a strikeing resemblence to Ink from Moetan).
Ink, the Socialist Recette
Her father disappeared three months ago shouting something about being a hero and Recette hasn't heard from him since. One day, a loan shark....sorry, 'debt collector', knocks on her door and explains that her father owes a very large sum of money and bassicaly demands that it be handed over or they lose the house. Recette quickly goes into panic mode as she barely has enough money to keep herself going let alone pay off a substantial debt, all it not lost however! The 'debt collector', a fairy named Tear, offers to help her open up an item shop as the house is in the perfect spot for one and the town gets alot of adventurers. Haveing little choice Recette goes with the idea. And thus, in the name of the partnership, the item shop Recettear is born!
Recettear: NOT Racettear
But is it ever that simple? Hehehehe NO! For a start, Tear refuses to tell Recette just how much her father owes since 'you would faint' but she does suggest paying in weekly installments to chip away at it since paying it off in full would be close to impossible. That, coupled with the fact the first weekly installment is 10,000 pix the debt must be massive. There is...one small catch though, if you miss a single payment it's game over and getting to the amount owed with enough to spare is pretty tricky. The only real way to do it is to pick a way of makeing money and stick to it. But then! Incase you thought you had it down, a rival appears! The 'oh ho ho ho ho'ing form of Ado...Alou...'rival #1' appears. She is the heiress the big item shop chain known as Big Bash. In short, they make more money than you, they are better than you, prepare to fail. We can only assume she will plague you and your efforts to do business for the rest of the game. Oh, and she's related to Solid Snake apparently.
Take my word for it, she's trying to sneak in using a cardboard box
When it comes down to the wire, Reccettear is a good game. It's hard to fault that. But it just comes down to personal taste really. If you like JRPGs you'll like Reccettear most likely, if you don't then..this won't change your mind. The art style is nice and there's always something going on in the background, even in your shop you'll see people walking around outside and the art design is amazing. The graphics are a little pixely but that's not too much of a bother unless you're a graphics pureist, which I am not by the way. The voice acting is pretty good and actualy very natural sounding and Recette does say some pretty cute stuff occasionaly like "Yayification", I have no idea what it means but it's going into my dictionary! The only small problem really is the difficulty. You'll most likely fail again...and again...and again. Haveing 7 days to make huge ammounts of cash is difficult but not impossible, which is good and it should provide a challenge without alienating anyone. As for me? I remain pleasently supprised at how good the game is. And I am happy to give it:
Final Score: 4.5/5