April 10th, 2012 | By Nate Hubler
Power Pets tried so hard to be a good old-fashioned RPG’s of yesteryear, but at some point in development the developer must have forgotten what it truly meant. The game looks fantastic and just like a 16-bit game. It made me nostalgic for games from years ago. Although in reality, that is not what makes a great RPG, but what does make a great one though begins with the story. Power Pets has a story, however ludicrous it might be, the premise is that an evil menace has turned everyone’s pets into monsters and it is the player’s problem to stop them all. What this leads to is a disjointed story that makes no sense, in the long run. I mean, why not just get new pets or even, what was the thing that caused the change in the first place? There is also a professor, somewhere in the story, that the player will receive texts from periodically. The texts tend to deal with glowing rocks and are filled with miscellaneous information.
There are 3 locales but they all really feel the same. There is the woods, cave, and abandoned mines. The only real difference slight appearance changes. They all play the same way, meaning that they are similar to short corridor experiences with branching paths.
Granted the levels get comprehensive, twisting and dangerous, but all this does is lead to the Power Pet‘s biggest problem, combat. Rather than a fulfilling combat system, the game provides a system that makes it feel as though the developer completely forgot what was fun about classic RPG’s.
The players simply waits for a bar to fill and the longer the player waits the more powerful the attack will become. Attacks are unlocked at a seemingly random pace, I mean, I got them when I found a certain rock but then again I am not really sure. The player starts out with a simple fireball attack and there really is not a reason to ever expand past that attack. The next best one was a lighting strike, but some of the others attacks were fireballs spinning around the player or a type of shield. The problem with those attacks is while they are helpful, but for them to be effective, the player must wait for the shield to get as powerful as possible and then switch to an actual attack which usually lead to the shield being drained by the time the attack was ready to be unleashed.
Another problem is the lack of an upgrade system. The attacks do in fact get more powerful throughout the game as noted by a little number next to the power but these upgrades also seem to come without rhythm or reason. Whenever an attack’s number increased, I would try to figure out what I did so I could repeat, but could find nothing I would not have normally done. It would have been nice to have experience points which could then be invested into attacks the player thought were worthwhile. There are also the problems of upon a player’s death, all the monsters will respawn. That lead to be a grind, just to get back to where a player was when they died. It is also quite difficult to tell in the beginning whether or not a game was actually saved. (Hint: The game can be left at anytime and it will remember where the player was.) All that being said, the game is fun and a great time waster as the campaign is actually quite long.