I know I am a little late to the party with this game as well, but I really wanted to give this title the time that it needs and deserves. Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons and Donuts is the direct sequel to the very tongue and cheek Grotesque Tactics. As the game suggests, it is a tactical turn based RPG within the same vein as a Final Fantasty Tactics and just like the game before it, it tries to be very tongue and cheek.
I say tries to be tongue in cheek only because I felt some of the humor was forced. Don’t get me wrong, some of the humor is great but there are those moments that just felt awkward to me. One moment specifically when you meet up with an NPC by the name of Hope. You can tell it was a blatent rip off of the same Final Fantasy 13 character, but it just felt forced and slammed into the game.
The game pokes fun at most of the modern RPGs, and MMORPGs that are crurrently on the market. You are doing the usual things that happen in those games, just not as serious. You’ll find yourself in the main city of the game, having to grind out quests, just so you can start your guild. This is so you can take on some of the harder dungeons and places to explore. Just like some MMORPGs we have all had the pleasure to play, you have to do some absolutely rediculous fetch and grab quests including frying a chicken for the queen of the city.
The graphics are on par with most of the other RPGs in this vein. The isomertric view gives you the nice retro feel to the game, but the inability to change the camera angle gets annoying during some of the battles. I found myself wanting to spin the view around and not being able to do it. Honestly, that should be something that is possible in all games.
The simplicity of the game though is the saving grace for those that want to try it out. There are a lot of tactical RPG games out there and some of them can be confusing and hard to grasp. Grotesque makes the game simple to figure out and lowers the barrier compared to some other tactics based RPGs. It’s easy to pick up and very straight forward game play wise.
I did have my problems with the game sadly. One of the biggest annoyances was the game crashed on me three times. The first crash happened when I was switching the game into my desktops native resolution. After that things ended up getting very, very weird. The game went into update mode and then switched over into German. The second crash happened after I ended up starting eight different quests, I went to the dungeon and it crashed to desktop. The last crash just happened randomly and I can’t figure out what caused it.
Other than the forced humor, I also had a problem with the voice acting. I understand the game is funny, and that they are going to push stereotypes. Some of them are just a bit over the top and made things feel awkward. The voice actors themselves did a great job, it’s just the direction they wanted the characters and the voices to go.
I also felt the the tactics side of games was a bit lacking. While the gameplay is very simple, I do want something more from the game. I like being able to change characters classes or having team based moves based on the location of the characters a la the Disgaea series. For the amount of the game that I played, I tried getting something like this to happen, and it just never did, which is upsetting to me.
Overall I would say that this isn’t a game for the casual RPG player. This is something that people that are heavy into RPGs would get a kick out of. It rips on the likes of Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, and many other RPGs and MMORPGs. It’s fun and full of many tongue and cheek moments. Sadly it doesn’t have very much replay value to it. It’s only worth the price of admission if you are truly hardcore into RPGs. For the casual passerby, I would wait for it to go on sale.