‘Recettear’ – Capitalism, ho!

The Steam Summer Sale and I have a love-hate relationship; I love it, but by the end of it my bank balance hates me. I was good this year and only picked up a few bargains I’d been waiting for (Terraria and Alpha Protocal amongst them).

I also picked up a game on a whim- Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. As the odd title suggests, it’s a game with Japanese origins; the indie game that was released in Japan in 2007 came to the West in late 2010 and has been on sale on Steam a couple of times since then. I’ve no idea what made me pick it up- maybe the simple dungeon-crawling appealed to me, or maybe the shop Sim aspect piqued my interest.

Either way, I have put 8 hours into this game within the past 5 days- and that’s only because the real world has cut into my gaming time.

Recette Lemongrass is a girl in debt- her adventurer father’s debt, to be precise- and the enterprising fairy Tear has come from the Terme Finance company to make sure she can pay it back. Recette agrees to work instead of letting Tear repossess her home, and sets up an item shop to raise money to pay her dues. And so the store ‘Recettear’ is born- one of the game’s many puns, as Tear herself points out (Recettear…Racketeer…).

The game has two distinct gameplay elements (as well as the requisite ton of cutscene events); the stocking and running of the shop, and the dungeon-crawling hack and slash that progresses the story. Tear serves as instructor and tutor as well as financial operative, and it doesn’t take long to pick up the basics of both aspects of gameplay. Soon customers will start asking for a particular type of item or placing orders for Recette to try and fill, and the dungeons boast faster enemies and more…interesting boss fights. Dodging a giant crowbar-weilding mouse called Reginald is not something I’ve had to do in a game before.

The dialogue is often witty (though not devoid of the sometimes hilarious translation edits) and delves into the realms of meta from time to time. Still not entirely sure why I’m enjoying this game…but it’s different enough to keep my saying “I’ll just play one more day. Just one more. Oh maybe just one more…”

(And I promise, the Nintendo E3 report is coming soon!)


~ by Tegan on July 14, 2011.

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