Planet Crashers Review (eShop)
I always love when I go into a game not knowing at all what to expect. I heard the name Planet Crashers, but had little idea what the game actually was. I had a basic idea, the game was some sort of dungeon crawler designed by Renegade Kid and was originally planned as a retail release; I only knew that because I had actually talked to a member of the development team a few weeks ago. I’m also playing another 3DS dungeon crawler so I was in the right mood for this style of game. Is this going to be something that RPG fans will want to play?
What You Need To Know
Planet Crashers is a dungeon crawler style RPG. You’ll receive quests from different places around the game’s five main worlds and various sub-planets. There are a small number of dungeons on each planet, usually three, based on different colors. Green will usually be the easiest dungeon to get through and red the hardest. Completing the quests will earn you experience points and gold that can be used to build up your character. The turn-based battles are all played out using quirky weapons like giant pencils, frying pans or umbrellas.
From the moment you turn on the game you’ll learn you’re in for something a little silly. There are tons of outfit options for your character such as football uniforms, elf outfits or Santa’s red coat and hat. The various weapons also give you the sense you’re just supposed to have fun in the world and not take it too seriously. How many other games allow you to fight with frying pans filled with eggs, brooms or bananas?
When you level up you’re given two random choices for how you want to build your characters. This means you’ll never be able to fully take them in a specific direction, but it does help keep everything balanced as no one stat will ever get too far ahead of another. It’s nice to have the random choices, but a little more freedom would have been nice.
Plenty of Quests
There’s no denying this game is all about the quest. As soon as you step out of your house for the first time, you’re greeted by someone with a quest and there is a job-filled board next to your house. It’s like your parents telling you to get a job the moment you turn sixteen and not letting you come home until you’ve earned something from it.
That’s pretty much the crux of what this game is all about. You’ll finish a quest and head back home to rest only to start over again the very next day with another quest. There is a story to be told, but you really have to seek it out in between everybody needing you to fetch this item or go rescue this friend.
All you need to remember is get a quest, complete the quest, earn your reward (many times a new skill or weapon), go to bed and repeat over and over again until you’ve finished all the jobs on the different planets.
With the entire game being built around the quest system, and so many quests being completed in the same dungeon, it would have been nice to take on multiple quests at a time. You can fill your quest log with a number of different jobs, but you can only complete one at a time. So, even if you know there are three things in the Green Dungeon on Funky Cheese you need to complete, you’ll have to go back into the dungeon three different times rather than doing them all at once. So you can tell your mom you got a job, but its the most inefficient job on the planet.
There is also the inconsistency with what happens after you complete a quest. Sometimes you’ll automatically be warped back to the board or person you took the quest from and other times you won’t. It’s a bit frustrating that it just doesn’t warp you back all the time and many times this will require you to run back through a dungeon you’ve just completed. If you happen to be on a lower floor, all of the floors above you will be repopulated with the enemies you just beat.
Lack of Information
For me, the most frustrating thing about the game was the lack of progressing feedback. I eventually found out that early on you level up every 300 XP, but that wasn’t really conveyed to me and I had to figure it out by grinding a dungeon until it happened. Then after a few levels this threshold goes up to 450 XP. Again, this was never explained and I was confused when I didn’t level up when I thought I should. RPGs are all about giving the player tons of information to use, but Planet Crashers gives only the most basic of information and even then it’s not always easily understood. You will eventually figure out everything you need to know, but only after a few minutes (or hours) of guess work.
Not knowing what to expect when I booted the game up, I was pleasantly surprised with the experience. The setting is very cute. The different worlds are very diverse with environments and music to match. Planet Crashers reminds me a bit like the world of Animal Crossing if it were a secret, fight club that only the chosen few knew about. It’s a bit of a simple game. Once you begin leveling up and earning gold, you should be able to keep yourself alive with little trouble by stocking up on potions and buffs. It’s a bit like my first RPG, but if you know you’re not getting Diablo III going in, you might enjoy it. Just be aware that you’re going to do A LOT of questing and your rewards are the same half dozen or so items. Younger players will probably really enjoy it and it would be a great introduction to the genre. Older, more experienced RPG players might find it a bit repetitive.
Review copy of the game provided by UTV Ignition.
Played through all five planets.
Total Play Time: 13 hours