Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God Looks Sweet, But Its Challenge Is Spicy

By Spencer . December 10, 2013 . 9:52pm

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Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God has a wacky plot for a RPG. Instead of an epic battle of good vs. evil, you play as Pupuru, a magic academy student, who goes on a quest to collect items to create a Legendary Magic Curry. Pupuru loves Japanese curry (which is kind of like a stew with rice) and she wants to save her favorite shop from going out of business. In the first dungeon she runs into Kuu, a little creature that levels up by eating stuff, and is guided by Puni, a devout follower of the Great Curry God. Sorcery Saga doesn’t take itself serious and plays up cuteness at every opportunity even with its theme song.

 

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If you glanced at Sorcery Saga you might think it was designed for casual gamers, but it’s actually a cutesy roguelike. Roguelikes are RPGs with randomly generated levels and can be incredibly punishing since you lose all of your loot if you die in a dungeon. What makes roguelkes interesting is the constant challenge and how each step you take or swing of the sword makes the entire world react. Sorcery Saga sticks to the tenets of the genre, but adds Kuu as a persistent ally. You can’t control Kuu, but Pupuru’s friend loyally follows her around and will attack monsters too. That means you always get two attacks instead of one. You can also use Kuu as a shield when you’re running low on HP. Kuu has a fullness meter that absorbs damage and also slowly depletes when you walk around. If it falls to zero you won’t be able to move on to the next floor.

 

That already makes Sorcery Saga more forgiving than say Shiren the Wanderer which kicks Shiren back to town if he has an empty stomach. Reviving Kuu is easy too, you can feed Kuu any item in your inventory. Most of items like plates of rice, potions, and even weapons restore some of Kuu’s fullness. Feeding Kuu also levels your companion up and grants Kuu more abilities. Pupuru can learn skills from books too and you start the game with a fire skill which reaches enemies two squares in front of Pupuru. Even if you get wiped out, you still keep your skills. Since your level resets to zero every time you enter a dungeon, the key to Sorcery Saga or any roguelike is to create and (arguably more importantly) retain strong gear. At home, you can squirrel items away in Pupuru’s item box, but while you’re inside a dungeon your inventory is pretty tiny. I found myself feeding Kuu most of the stuff I found on the ground so I had space unidentified weapons. Pupuru can also cook curry in dungeons which grants her buffs.

 

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Some items unlock scenes which you can watch in the library’s Character Theater. These little diversions don’t add to the overall story, but are similar to the skits from the Tales series. The library also has important game data like lists of seals, items, and monsters. Pupuru will run into Replicorn, a giant walking corn cob, and Juicy Eggplant, which is an eggplant with a mustache and feathered hat. Remember when I said Sorcery Saga doesn’t take itself seriously? That’s what makes Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God charming.

 

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I can’t remember the last traditional roguelike I played, so it was nice to see Aksys bring this over. Also, something else to note is even though this game is from Compile Heart it doesn’t have the kind of stuff you would see in say Record of Agarest War or Neptunia. Sorcery Saga eschews unnecessary pandering for the most part. The only thing a little creepy is how Gigadis, this demon lord dude, keeps proposing to Pupuru. While Sorcery Saga won’t satiate players craving for a colossal quest, the blend of cute and cerebral gameplay is refreshing. 


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  • Ladius

    Zerodiv roguelike action and curry make for an appealing dish :) I have already preordered my LE, and I hope Aksys keeps supporting this kind of quirky jrpgs.

    Between this and The Guided Fate Paradox it’s a good time for Japanese roguelikes.

  • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

    Seriously am aiming to get this soon enough, but it won’t be until after Christmas, sadly. Just don’t have the money right now, and once I do have the money, I won’t be able to order anything off of Amazon until after Christmas, anyway.

    If only I had realized this was coming out, I would’ve asked for it!

    • icecoffemix

      Yeah, kinda bad time to release this. Gonna wait a bit before dipping, love me some rogue like dungeon crawler on Vita, even if I don’t dig the art direction.

      • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

        They probably figure they can get Christmas sales out of it– which isn’t bad thinking at all, just the problem is, a good number of people will have gotten their Christmas shopping done already, and those who were gonna get it for themselves anyway won’t have the funds to spare.

        It’s one of those odd things, really, in terms of timing. It’s why consoles like to come out in November, right before Thanksgiving.

  • InfectedAI

    This looks awesome. If I had a Vita I would definitely purchase this. I’d like to see more creative things like this rather than the typical settings and plots.

  • KuroNathan

    I find that this game so far is a nice middle ground between Shiren and ZHP/GFP. Its not nearly as brutal as shiren since (so far) there hasn’t been any rage moments with random traps and you can’t just grind away forever like in ZHP and GFP

  • Dominic Hunter

    Picked this up the moment I saw it appear on PSN~! I’m a sucker for these types of games, and being able to play them mobile is a godsend. Basically, since Z.H.P’s spiritual sequel, The Guided Fate Paradox, only got a console release, This has become my new moble addiction, right alongside Ys: Memories of Celceta.

    BONUS FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

    1. It would seem Japanese game companies are beginning to realize there’s no intergalactic space law requiring them to do English dubs for localized games! This game appears to be fully voiced, and ALL OF THE SPOKEN DIALOGUE IS STILL IN JAPANESE. I’m sure this won’t really bother anyone here though~!

    2. DISC-LOCKED CONTENT, or rather, “data-locked” or “cartridge-locked”. I bought a few DLC costume packs right off the bat, and pursed my lips the moment I saw them not appear in my Vita’s download list. Purchased DLC becomes unlocked when you start up the game, and you can access it as long as you have an internet connection, lest it be locked back up until you do. Naturally, it had me rolling my eyes, BUT THE INCLUSION OF FREE DLC VOICE PACKS offset my grumping.

    3. This game has got the Compile Heart Moe Gene in full effect. I’m sure you guys are anticipating as much, but like… There’s a cute little animal mascot character the main heroine names “Kuu-chan”, who has his own little theme song (the lyrics to which are all “Kuu”) that plays whenever he’s in the spotlight. It’s otakutastic.

    4. WARNING: This game will have you crawling like a true rogue, dude. I’m not that far in (I got the game when it came out here in the USA yesterday), but I’m already getting into that “roguelike groove”. Y’know, where you look at the time 5 minutes later, and SUPRISE! It hasn’t been 5 minutes! It’s been AN HOUR! Just do ONE MORE RUN and go to bed, right?! Pfft! You’re gonna be hooked on this all night.

    • Xerain

      Actually Sony did in fact have such rules about voice acting previously, depending on the weather.

      I would say these days the bigger issue is money. If a game uses well known Japanese voice actors (or even if not) someone needs to be compensated for the voices appearing in a region outside the scope of the original contract.

      Any profit focused company is going to be considering what kind of English voices they could record for a price similar to licensing the original voice acting. Especially if they’re replacing well known voice actors with unknown and or union evading voice actors, reading down a list of lines in one take.

      • Dominic Hunter

        Seriously?! I didn’t know Sony did that!

        About the compensation/recording, I’m sure this is the better option for a game like this. The JP voice-acting in these smaller niche games isn’t exactly A-list work (nor does it need to be), and finding, hiring, and recording with a new batch people would almost always cost more than throwing some extra yen at the voice actors you’ve already got. Don’t forget, the rest of the localization team has to do even more work when dubs are involved, and that’s even more money down the drain.

        • Xerain

          Exactly.

          With regards to Sony’s policies, I am only certain they existed during the PS1 era. That being said, I don’t think they were necessarily rules about voice acting alone, but localization in general. A game had to be deemed “localized enough” whatever that means, and seemingly it varied by the game.

          I’m not sure what they were during PS2 era, but weird stuff like Disgaea 1 not having Japanese voices during battles did occasionally happen, so I think these guidelines still existed in some lesser form.

          I read in an interview with some of the staff that worked localizing Star ocean 3 that “Sealand” being changed to “Aquaria,” among various other changes were decisions made by Sony. Now “Sealand” is a very strange name for a country, one could argue that that’s how the characters’ communicators are choosing to render the alien language, but I doubt anyone put that much thought into it. But “Aquaria” also has it’s own implications that don’t fit at all with the game either. It conjures images of a bunch of kids going to some hippy castle instead of an aquarium. (Neither are good images.)

          In general with that game that was the pattern. Something that sounded kind of awkward if carried over literally but hard to change in the context of the game world was arbitrarily changed to something equally odd to make the game “localized enough” to get passed Sony’s localization check.

    • HerokÔÖ×

      Actually I personally prefer to have English voice acting for games since I tend to do other stuff while playing them, but I won’t say it bothers me to much to see it missing.

      • Pyrotek85

        I’d prefer it too if it’s good. It’s gotten better with some games, but in the past it wasn’t uncommon to get voice actors who really sounded like they weren’t that interested in their roles.

    • Demeanor

      Wait, this is out NOW? Ooooh, my US account, how I love thee (from EU)! :D Now excuse me, got some shopping to do… :P

  • Demeanor

    Sounds more interesting than I thought it’d be.
    And, if you haven’t played a roguelike recently it probably means you haven’t tried the Guided Fate Paradox -> awesome awesome game, I’m having a blast with it. :)

    • Dominic Hunter

      Oooooh yes~! I’m loving it, and the writing is every bit as brilliant as it was in Z.H.P, and they improved a lot of the mechanics regarding item durability and body modding and such!

  • Dominic Hunter

    Aye! It’s mostly just cute costumes and attachments. ($1 each, or $3 in sets)

    But there are a set of voice packs that are CURRENTLY FREE, and those act as a fun little diversion~!

  • brian

    Just saw the gameplay trailer for this, should’ve expected it to be quirky but it may be too much.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUStL7sk7gA
    My reaction to it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQSa2bRYxFc

  • d19xx

    Finally a roguelike to play on the Vita. I’ve been playing Torneko the Last Hope on my PSP and since gaming on the Vita won’t allow that anymore I’m glad this game can fill in.

  • Croix Zapp

    How is this game compared to atelier series?

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    This game is on my Christmas list.

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    I like how you think fan service pandering is equal to creepy

  • Aristides

    Sounds like Dragon Crystal/Fatal Labyrinth, will pick this up soon :p

  • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

    I’m really excited to get this! Another Vita game!

  • dark-kyon

    i want to play this game,but atelier totori is now a subject of honour,until what can get the true end and clear orthogalaxen not going to play another jrpg in psvita.

  • xzeldax3

    Damn you…I want curry but it is 2 am :(

    • http://Youtube.com/Dyjuan1 Rising Overlord

      lol

  • http://resettears.wordpress.com/ Reset Tears

    I haven’t played this specific type of game before (I don’t think), and to be honest videos of this game don’t look that… exciting. But I just love the premise. I’m so tired of saving the world.
    Now finding the ingredients for some god-tier curry… Now THAT is something worth fighting for!!! Curry is so good; you’re missing out if you’ve never had some true Asian curry.

  • Craig Mikucki

    My favorite game ever is Azure Dreams. So I am pretty confident I will enjoy the hell out of this game. I got the Everything Nicey Edition because I can always use a bib. I mean, who couldn’t?

  • Furu Chi

    So is it kinda like Recettear?

    • http://jesse-dylan.livejournal.com Jesse_Dylan

      don’t fink it’s really anyfing like dat
      soz

  • FlyingPony

    Sweet, add to my game to buy list

  • Mordina

    Looks really cute and fun!

  • Dominic Hunter

    This is where you get mad. Apparently, a swimsuit costume was a pre-order bonus in Japan, but currently has no presence in the west. (TT^TT)

    That said, the costumes up for download are ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE~! You can change Pupuru’s costume and headgear seperately, kind of like in the “Tales” games. The costumes I’ve seen are different-colored school uniforms (blazers), smocks, and copies of other characters’ clothing. The headgear has hair bands, crowns, silly hats, and (again) copies of other characters’ headgear.

  • Keine

    Whens it coming out in the EU/AU??

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