A few days ago, I treated myself to $10.00 of spending e-bucks for the Nintendo 3DS eshop. Y’know, my favorite place to buy digital videogames. I kid, I kid. Actually, it’s gotten a whole lot better since I last perused the shop with a purpose, and I saw a whole bunch of strong contenders, but sadly, most of those titles costed $7.00 or $8.00, and I’m always trying to get the most for the very least. Yes, I shop at The Dollar Tree quite frequently, and yes, I’m proud of it.
Anyways, here’s what I actually ended up getting, leaving my account with just $0.40 left over:
- 3,2,1…Words Up!
- Kirby’s Pinball Land
- The Sword of Hope II
The first two listed above are perfect for quick gaming on the side. 3,2,1…Words Up! is quite similar to a Facebook game I used to play with family members called Wordtwist, wherein you are given a bunch of letters and a time limit, and have to create as many different words from those letters as you can. Less stressful and more fun than Quarrel, that’s for sure. And pinball is pinball, no matter what character or theme or brand name you slap in front of it.
Most surprising of these purchases has been The Sword of Hope II. It’s a game I’ve never heard of before, and the sequel to another game I never heard of. Both were released long, long ago in the early 1990s for the Nintendo Game Boy, and I was only interested in Mario and Tetris back then, so it’s not shocking that I missed these releases. Chances are, you did too, and so it’s a little strange to see the second game in the franchise get a re-release for 3DSWare, but I’m guessing that, of the two, it is the superior adventure.
Now, I can admit that it is not a superior adventure in the grand scheme of adventures, but it is a lot of fun. It’s old-school RPGness in the style of games like Wizardry and Bard’s Tale, with single-screen rooms and text-based actions like “look,” “hit,” and “open.” You control Prince Theo, who is sent out into the wild to recover the Sword of Hope yet again (um, see the previous game, I guess) to stop some evil wizard guy. Yeah, it’s generic story-stuff and not entirely examined any deeper than that. Since claiming the game’s wiki page on Giant Bomb as my own, I’ve scoured the Internet for more details, but there isn’t much out there. So I’m updating the page as I play in hopes of nailing down who did what to whom and why.
Battles are turn-based. You can attack, use magic, or opt for an item. Some characters learn spells, others attack with melee weapons, like rapiers, swords, and knives. I only have three characters in my company so far, and here’s how they break down: Theo is strong with sword, Mute is magical, and Nina is a waste of space. Winning battles earns money and experience, with the occasional special coin, which you can sell for a smooth 150 gold. It’s been pretty clear when I am supposed to be grinding, too. Y’know, RPG stuff.
The most entertaining part of The Sword of Hope II stems from the character limit problem on the Nintendo Game Boy had. It starts pretty innocently enough, with CAVE BHD WTRFALL:
I get that. Not enough room for all the descriptive text. I can still quickly read that as CAVE BEHIND WATERFALL and move on with the game. But then Prince Theo and company arrive here, and I’m stopped dead in my tracks, mouth agape, completely befuddled:
The…what? Fort TNT? IT’S GONNA BLOOOOW!
Oh, oh. All right.
There’s even more brain-bending names that don’t fit throughout the game, including some humorous items and weapons in shop menus. Like the WDN BMRNG. But I won’t spoil ‘em all. I highly recommend you check the game out if you have a 3DS; The Sword of Hope II is only $2.99, and it’s a solid price for some straightforward RPGing that is more addicting than first impressions imply.