Seeing NIS America with a localized version of Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaikida was quite a surprise. So, how does the English release, Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman, hold up? I played part of it and Badman is a faithful conversion.
Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman is a unique game. It sports 8-bit style RPG graphics, but it’s a dungeon simulator. You control… a pickaxe and defend the sessile Overlord from invading heroes by maintaining the dungeon’s ecosystem.
The first level starts out slow with a little path leading from a town cave to the Overlord. You can expand his lair by chipping brown soil blocks away. Each time you use the pickaxe you lose one unit of dig energy. Some soil has a mossy green look and if you hit these patches you release a slimemoss, the lowest member on the Badman food chain. Slimemosses wander on their own and transfer nutrients to other soil patches when they blossom into flowers. They can also defend the Overlord from a hero invasion, but not particularly well. When slimes spread nutrients some soil turns white. Hit one of these and you release a bony omnom, a much better attacker, but you need to satiate them with slimes. Further up the food chain are lizardmen. These guys are tough and self replicate by laying eggs, but they feast on your omnom. It’s your job to balance the food chain and keep your monsters happy.
After a few minutes of lair digging a chime plays and Shota, who looks like he stepped out of Dragon Quest, invades your home. Before he barges in you put the Overlord in position. The Overlord doesn’t attack. He just stands there and prays that you created enough slimes and demon bugs to defeat the hero. Kill the hero and you win, but if Shota grabs the Overlord and drags him out into town a new era of peace reigns and you lose. The trick to Badman is designing a dungeon with loops and paths so the heroes have to wander through waves of monsters to find him.
When you beat a level you can use your remaining dig energy to level up your units. Change slimemosses to more nutrient rich American slimemosses and upgrade omnoms to red omnomnoms.
In the next level your opponent is Chimli who looks like a certain Lord of the Rings dwarf. His weapon is a replica from a video game and he learned how to fight from manga and anime. Just like the original game, Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman has a sense of humor and makes fun of RPG cliches. The localization, well the sample of it in the demo, has a mix of translated humor and adapted references. NIS America directly translated the names of some of the heroes like Shota, which has a description that some people will get immediately. However, the joke is Japanese and I wonder if it’s going to be lost on most people. Sure, fans of NIS’ games will get it, but will the average gamer understand it and the other jokes?
If you’re even a little curious about Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman you’ll have a chance to play it today. A three stage demo will be on the PlayStation Network in a few hours.