25 Years 25 Games 23: Robotrek

I hate to do this again, but I’ve got to tap out on Robotrek.  I’ve tried to play through, but I am getting nothing out of forcing my way through it.  Robotrek – its Japanese title of Slapstick is much more fitting – is interesting in theory, but I didn’t find it so to actually play.

Robotrek was developed by prolific SNES developer Quintet, which alone makes it worth remembering.  They are responsible for classics, or near classics, like Actraiser, Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia. (Many people would list Terranigma with those, I’ll find out as soon as I finish with Lufia 2.)  Despite some novel ideas, this one doesn’t stand with those. But while I didn’t have much patience for it after a year glutting myself on 16-bit games, I do think it worthwhile.

It feels something like a proto-Pokemon.  It is a jrpg where the player character doesn’t actually do the fighting.  You build robots that do your fighting for you.  Much of the game is based around the protagonist finding junk and inventing new weapons and armors for the robots.  This either requires some trial and error, which I don’t currently have the time or patience for, or use a guide, which saps all the fun out of playing.

My problem with the game is really that it is toothless.  It is clearly designed for a slightly younger set than some other classic SNES games; more for the 10 year old rather than 12. That isn’t a problem when it comes to the clean, pleasant but not particularly detailed graphics or the jaunty music, but it turns the gameplay into something tedious. There is little difficulty, so it all starts to feel like wasting your time.

I am sounding more negative about this game than I feel.  It is interesting, but playing it it just hasn’t grabbed me.  And the more I force myself to keep playing it, the less like it and the less I want to play.  That is why I am abandoning it and getting on with the last couple of entries in this project.  I don’t want to hate this game.  Maybe if I come back in a year or two it will grab me, but it just isn’t grabbing me now.

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