Review: Get ready to kill some heroes.
Editor's Note: What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? was originally released on the PlayStation Store as Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This?
This review was written in the days before NIS America was forced to change the title due to an intellectual property conflict, and thus, refers to the game with its "Badman" title.
Imagine a JRPG where instead of playing as the heroes, you play as the villains. Instead of killing monsters, you get to breed them. And instead of crawling through dungeons, you get to build them, weaving a brilliant ecological tapestry of hero-killing doom.
Imagine no further, because your dreams are now a reality, thanks to a PSP game bizarrely entitled ?Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This?? This download-only game from Nippon Ichi Studios (NIS) is peculiar, humorous, and downright addictive. I played the demo over and over again before caving in and buying it on sale for $9.99 from the PSN?just scant days before it was announced that the sequel would be released, with the first game included as bonus content. I was still pleased, because the first game, despite the efforts of NIS America, was never released on UMD, and while I understand the PSP Go's shift towards a world of download-only games, I still love flipping through a game manual, and taking in that delightful new game smell.
In Japanese, the game is called ?Yuusha no Kuse Ni Namaikida,? which translates roughly to ?For a hero, you are quite impudent!? This quirky title is a perfect ? nay, magical
? description of the game. You are training to be a bad guy, and walking you through the steps is Badman himself. He guides you through several training levels in which you learn how to dig your dungeon and use your pickaxe, recognize the right blocks to break to create monsters, and utilize the life cycles of the monsters in order to create a more powerful army. You begin with ?Slimemosses? and move from there to more complicated monsters, populating your dungeon and creating a dangerous den for trespassers. Mana is also dispersed in the blocks, and can be stored up to create more powerful creatures, even creating doors and summoning demons from beyond. Once your time is up, heroes appear, and you must sequester Badman away in some far corner of your dungeon. The heroes then fight their way to him and try to drag him out into the daylight, at which point the game ends.
Addictiveness and quirkiness do not mean easy, and this game definitely has its share of difficulty. This is not a bad thing, per se, but in my opinion, it is one of the reasons why the game never caught on with non-Japanese audiences. It is a game with eccentric humor and a complex ecological system in which you have a very limited amount of time to strategically plan. It is hard to balance the sediments and mana, and one must be deliberate and careful in the placement of enemies. The training sessions can be quite unforgiving, and even after hours of playing, I occasionally find myself feeling like I've finished them more on luck than learned skill.
Having played the demo for the sequel ? set to hit shelves March 2010, according to the Badman website
? I would advise on waiting and getting them both together for the low retail price of $29.99. The second game seems to be more user-friendly, with a friendlier training mode, a pop-up message to let you know when your dungeon-making time is running out, and a new and improved picture-in-picture feature that lets you see when the hero has been killed. These are definite improvements on the cult classic, and I hope they draw in more fans.