The Sunday Gaming Club #3:

Welcome back for another scintillating listing of games you’ve never played, and may well never play in your lives! These games are hand packed by migrant laborers from Canada, and are approved for your consumption by the Secretary of Defense.

The Marquee: Give Up, Robot

Give Up Robot follows in the grand history of Adult Swim games, which have been quite nice over the past few months. Unicorn Robot Attack, we’re looking at you, even if you were kind of derivative of Canabalt.

Anyway, Give Up Robot keeps in that history of vaguely derivative games gussied up with a shiny coat of paint. In this case, we have a game that takes the disembodied disencouragement of Portal and sticks it onto a game featuring a robotic protagonist with a bionic arm. Oh, and they threw on a coat of psychadelic paint.

This has been astoundingly negative so far, but Give Up Robot is surprisingly playable. It’s a sharp game that controls wonderfully, and while it’s a little short on challenge (at least to my battle hardened palate) it’s a fun diversion. And all the kids are playing it. That’s got to count for something.

The Appetizer: Hero Core

Okay, I’m going to be a little shy on description because I haven’t played this game yet. This may seem kind of like bankrupt journalism, but it looks like a lot of fun, and it’s one of them exploration based platformers I love so much, so I’d have played it if not for the landslide of random crap I’ve been doing.

I’ll direct you to this post on the blog, which is where I heard about it from, and where I developed the desire to play it.

The Main Course: Exit Fate

Exit Fate is an odd bird. You might notice, by this point, I have a soft spot for the independent RPG. Especially ones made with RPG Maker. Yes, most of them are hopelessly old fashion and derivative, but sometimes, underneath the unmistakeable RPG Maker veneer, you find something truly fantastic.

And Exit Fate is an incredible game. Don’t let the borrowed music fool you. It is, at its heart, a homage to two of the greatest games ever made: Suikoden and Suikoden 2. If you’ve played either of those games, you’ll be at home here. The battle mode, admittedly, is changed from those two games, but it is for the better, and the battle system is smooth and tactical. It’s playable, and both simpler and more complicated than most RPGs being released today.

And the story. The less said about the story, the better, but it shows that one can take a JRPG structure and tell an interesting, compelling story through it. There’s a little bit too much Suikoden worship in the plot at times, but other than that it’s compelling and surprisingly lacking in cliches.

Exit Fate comes with my highest recommendation, especially if you long for JRPGs to be JRPGs and not walk in a straight line angst simulations.