Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Breath of Death VII - 2 hours

Breath of Death VII is interesting because it's completely conventional, yet also deeply weird. The setting is a post-apocalyptic world where all the humans have died and a society of undead has risen to take their place. So far, my party consists of a skeleton warrior, some kind of chipper demon lady, and a nerdy vampire. It's pretty silly, and yet . . .

The plot relies utterly on the language of rpgs to make any sense. Your main character, Dem, is a "silent protagonist." You advance through the world map, going from town to town, not for any great in-character reason (I think you are looking to uncover "the secrets of the past"), but because that's just how the game is structured - the next thing to do is always in the one direction you have not yet explored. Your adventuring party just sort of falls together when you happen to run into each other.  It would be sloppy if it weren't so knowing about its evocation of genre cliches.

I'm starting to think that Breath of Death VII is going to be one of those games where I just sort of drift through it. The turn based combat is fun enough, and the dialogue is witty enough that I am charmed by the game, even if I'm not impressed by it. I expect that, barring any unforeseen difficulty spike, that I will stay entertained and engaged until the very end, but also, unless the plot gets a lot more complex and nuanced, that it will remain nothing more than a trifle to while away the hours . . . provided I don't get distracted and keep playing Magic: the Gathering (and I can't promise that I won't).

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