Every so often a game comes along that kind of makes you blink and wonder just what the hell is going on. Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God is exactly that type of game. Genre-wise its kind of dificult to pigeon-hole, some will label it a JRPG, others a Dungeon Crawler and lastly there will be those who will tell you its a “Roguelike”, when actually its kind of all three, and kind of its own thing at the same time. The closest thing to this that I’ve experience is possibly FROM Software’s Dark Souls, however the games plot and appearance make this a completely different beast.
You see, whilst Sorcery Saga loves to punish you, its also incredibly and ridiculously cute to look at, kind of a “kawaii” Dark Souls if you will, even if the core gameplay is fairly different. The gist of the game is to grind your way through each floor and room of various dungeons, working your way to face off against each locations boss. The crux is that if you die, you lose everything you’ve picked up and every level your character has increased by, you also lose the latter upon completion of a dungeon. The object of the game then is to increase the effectiveness of your equipment by locating and grinding better swords and shields so that earlier, low-level enemies are dispatched quicker each time you visit a location.
As mentioned though, if you die, and you will, you’ll drop everything you’re carryign so its wise to keep back ups in your Item Box just in case, because whilst the game doesn’t rub your death in your face like Dark Souls with its “You Died” text, theres no way you’re getting anything back that you had on you before, its that evil!
Which is why Sorcery Saga absolutely baffles you, because the games Manga appearance, bright colours, absolutely bonkers plot, crazy characters and sometimes odd translation are in complete contrast to the rest of the game. A quick word on that translation before we continue with the plot, there are occassions where whats going on, i.e. the interactions between the characters, is a little bit cringeworthy, now obviously I’m not sure what the tone and text of the original Japanese version was, but many of the characters, especially the female ones, like to call male members of the cast perverts and allude to their involvement with whats happening in their world to being more about a sexual interest in the lead character instead of them having similar motivations for being where they are as the games protagonist.
Now we’re onto that, Sorcery Saga’s plot, given away in its subtitle “The Curse of the Great Curry God” is, as mentioned before, absolutely bonkers. The basic premise is that Pupuru is out to save her friends curry restaurant from being forced to close by the Curry Industries equivalent of McDonalds. To do this she sets out on a quest to make a legendary curry, the key ingredients to which are hidden in the game worlds various dungeons. However, the owner of the rival restaurant overhears Pupuru’s plans and sends out a group of adventurers that he has hired to scupper your plans. Throw in some other odd characters, including one who believes that Pupuru is his future wife and is convinced your Pokemon like companion, Kuu, is his father rather thank the walking dustbin that the game encourages you to use him as.
The two elements, the crazy plot and characters added to the punishing gameplay, combined with the game being released on the Vita is a match made in heaven largely thanks to the devices Sleep Mode. This allows the game to be tackled in as small or large a play session as you feel you can cope with and the games structure makes it perfect for picking up and putting down.
As a package it would be hard to reccomend Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God is one of those games that doesn’t look like much on its surface, but once you get playing it really does sink its claws in. There are things that could be explained a little better, like what items are the ones you really need to look out for and often times I died through not really understanding a particular items purpose, used it incorrectly and suffered instant death, but thats all part of the titles experimental nature and whilst it can be incredibly frustrating to lose an hour or twos grinding through one silly mistake the game’s ridiculous plot will help give you a reason to go back, just to find out what crazy thing it can come up with next.