Capitalism, ho! Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale opinions.

By: Zevri posted at Sep 22, 2010 9:57 am

Category: Default, Game: Default, 5332 Views

Tags: rpg   indie   game   shop   dungeon   funny  


                Ever wonder what happened as you meaninglessly slaughtered monsters over and over. Drinking your hp pots like they were soda as you try to get some rare loot and level yourself up? Well the shopkeepers were busy at work making sure you had something to waste your hard earned cash on so they can get richer and you get stuck doing the same thing over and over.  But what heroes do in their time doesn’t matter. Why? Well because in this game, you’re the shopkeeper getting items ready to rip off heroes of their hard earned money.

  What is this game in question and why should you care? Well that’s simple, the game itself is Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. The game itself is an indie game from Japan that was ported in English to be sold on steam and a few other mediums.  One interesting note for those of you who prefer Japanese dubs over English(Sorry, I’m not one of you) they kept the Japanese voices in game instead of doing a dub for it. From what I read by the group who released it, they mostly did this due to money concerns and that there wasn’t that much voice acting in the game. I know what you are thinking before reading further. It’s an indie game and it may not be “up to par” with the big company games, right? Why are you so quick to judge? Wait till you read the rest of this article before you make up your mind, jeeze.

Capitalism, ho indeed.

In the beginning of the game you play as Recette, a seemingly clueless and lazy girl who is charged with the task of repaying her father’s debt. Tear, who you will meet in the beginning, is the fairy who is here to make sure you pay off that debt. How you may ask? Well you shouldn’t need to ask if you read the first paragraph, but I will say it anyway. You will be replaying the debt by running and managing an item shop. You will either buy or find items while trying to haggle with customers over prices and make your shop look appealing to the customers as well. How will you know how to do all these things in an effective manner? Well your personal loan shark/helper is here for you and she will walk you through what you need to do in the game. This is a rather nice thing about the game. There are a lot of tutorials which cover many of the aspects you need to know, such as haggling, buying, selling, adventuring, taking orders, helping the customer, ect.  These tutorials will cover near all questions you have and can be re-accessible through Tear if you need her to repeat them. I should also mention this, the tutorials aren’t all in the beginning, no, actually they are throughout the game as you unlock more features due your merchant level, which grows as you buy and sell in your item shop. I highly suggest anyone who plays this to read through them at least once. It will give you a proper footing in the game and help you know what to do as you progress, while also giving you your goal of paying back the loan in weekly installments.

Dang, there goes my dream of a lambo with all the features.

 Now you may be asking how the actual buying/selling process works in the game, am I right? No? Well too bad, I am writing about it anyhow. The buying/selling is actually pretty well done and not intimidating at all. Customers will come in based on a few factors such as what is in the window counters and what stock you have in the shop itself. It you fill the shop with one item you won’t have nearly as many customers as you would have if you made the stock a variety of things. Which you have to admit, is pretty neat. But when they come in, you don’t have set prices for your items, you actually haggle the prices with the customers. When they show an interest with an item a price window will pop up. The price that is first shown is the base price, 100%. Now some factors determine if you raise or lower the price from here. Sometimes items will be high in demand and thus the prices can be inflated, other times the price will plummet and you will be stuck selling the item for half or less of the normal price. But how will you know of these occurrences? There are two ways of finding out about this. One is to watch the new tickets which show up in the beginning of some days. Sometimes it will be useless information, other times helpful. There is also an indication in your item lists. When the color of the font for the item name is red, it means the item is overpriced and can be sold overpriced, if it’s blue, then the price has dropped and people won’t pay that much for the item. You need to watch these things as you progress to make sure you can still make the sales. This adds a variety to the game and makes it a bit more interesting in the salesmanship department. You aren’t stuck with the same base prices and can watch the market to buy up when things are cheap, or take full advantage of the high demands of the market.

You will soon find yourself needing the help of adventurers in the game. This is an important feature as this will help you net most all of your income in the game. As you can most likely figure out this entails you going into dungeons and hunting for goods. But are you the shop keeper going to dirty yourself by fighting the monsters yourself? No, that’s what adventurers are for. Starting out when you go to the adventurer’s guild you will meet your first adventurer, Louie. Louie is a poor guy down on his luck, he want to brave the trials, but can’t on his own. This is where you step in. You will start out by helping him go through the trials and become a real adventurer.  What is your role in all this? Well you supply the items to keep your adventurer alive, pay to hire him or her to go through the dungeon for you, and you get the spoils at the end. Not a bad deal is it? This isn’t your only role in this however. Once in the dungeon, you do get to control the adventurer as he rushes through getting you all your valuables to sell off for top pix. (Note: Pix= games money)

How do the dungeons play out in this game? Well, if you are expecting to see the same maps over and over as you go through and re-go through dungeons, well you have another thing coming. They made the dungeons randomize for each time you visit. So no floor should ever be the same. This offers a bit of mix and re-playability to the game. So while you may revisit the same dungeons you have seen before, you should at least feel a bit more at ease that you aren’t playing the same level so many times that you memorized the map. I do like that they did this since I am a fan of roguelike rpgs such as Azure Dreams and Shiren the Wanderer. The difference between them and this however is how battles play out. The actual battle system is more like Ys than Azure Dreams. What I mean by this is it isn’t turned based but more action based. You run around, swing or shoot your weapon, and use skills when you need to. You may not be able to jump or duck, but there is enough variety to allow you to try not to get hit by the enemies most the time.  It isn’t all positive; there is one thing I wished they added to this which does make things feel a little hindered. That’s the ability to have a hotkey for healing items, this game doesn’t have it. Instead when you want to heal the adventurer you let get beat up by a weak slime, you need to open the menu, go to items, and fish through your inventory for the healing item to use it. This is just a big inconvenience when you are in the middle of the dungeon and just want to do a quick patch up on your adventurer’s hps or sp. I should mention something before I forget. Remember the news tickets I said affect the price of items? They happen in dungeons as well. Sometimes they help you and other times they help the enemies these include damage, movement speed, defense, and even revealing all of the map you are on. 

Alright, I told you about the adventurers the dungeons but what about how you get more adventurers?  I mean you don’t want to be stuck with Louie all game do you? The guy prays at church for lunch for goodness sake! You can’t trust him not to scarf down your foot at the first chance he gets. Lucky for you and me there are plenty of chances to get more adventurers under your roster to go pay to get your goods. The events are mixed from random encounters, to fixed ones. Some you will find in the dungeon, some you need to have the event in town to meet them. But no matter how or where you meet them, most won’t join you right away. It usually tends to take awhile for them to warm up to you and give you their card so you can use them. Honestly, I really like this function of the game. The use of other adventurers makes it feel like you aren’t stuck with one play style and it offers you a host of new abilities and weapons to try out and see which character(s) are right for you in the hunt. Each of them are a bit different, from short to long range and from low attack power to high, you will have a lot of choices to choose from and a host of new battle strategies to learn. Believe me, I tried a few of my others and it took me awhile not to get my butt kicked by a weak enemy since I wasn’t used to the attack range or skills of the other characters.

Alright alright, I know you are tired of reading about the fighting in the game but what about what you do with those seemingly cheap and useless items you find in the dungeon? There is an actual use for them through the fusion system in the game.  The fusion system isn’t anything new, but it is nice to have in a single player game like this. Basically all you do for it is have the correct items for the formula and take it to the merchant’s guild to be “fused” simple, right? Well there is a perk to this as well. Based on the items you use you may get better quality versions of the item. If you use materials that have a +1, +2, +3,  ect, then you get a resulted item with that added bonus. This doesn’t increase the value, but more the usability of the item when you go back into the dungeons. Honestly I am a bit mixed on it. While I do love that you can make those better items for your adventurers, I would have liked it if those items were worth more based on the + number with them.

Last but not least, let us touch up on the graphics. I did this section last for a reason, I don’t feel graphics are everything and people who focus just on them shouldn’t be playing anything but movies on a bluray, but enough about that. So by now you saw my screenshots accompanied with the wall of text that was meant to distract you and keep you interested throughout the process of reading this. Well if you are at this point, I guess it worked so I need to keep doing that. But on a more serious note, the games graphics are not high def super spectacular, but a good mix of anime style graphics and characters.  While they do look a little rough at times, especially on a longer monitor, it does have a certain charm and appeal that doesn’t make you want to quit the game over it, but keep playing. The characters and monsters are done in a clean professional style and by all means don’t look like it was really done by an indie group. I do applaud them on this but do realize that this style may not appeal to everyone, but for me it is a plus.

Alright overall the game is a fun anime style game with a lot of light humor and fun gameplay. While it could be a bit touched up in some aspects I do highly recommend this to anyone willing to literally kill any free time they had.  So in the end, I pose you all with a question. Why the hell are you still reading this when you could be playing the game? If you're interested you can get a copy of the game on steam here store.steampowered.com/app/70400/


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