XBLIG Fridays: Breath of Death VII: The Beginning

Hello, and welcome to the first XBLIG Friday of 2011!  You’d think, with such a momentous occasion, I’d pick a game that came out during this year and show it off… but I didn’t.  Yeah, I’m boring, so this’ll just be a good pick in general.  I didn’t want to throw up a game I wasn’t somewhat sure about, and really, most of the new year’s games don’t look too hot right now…

…Oh, but I did see a New Year’s Countdown game that maybe I should have featured last week!  Although, I’d think no one would appreciate that very much… and now that it’s the New Year, I wonder how it works?  Oh whatever, onto the pick of the week…

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Push the questionable art aside for a moment; Breath of Death VII: The Beginning is a good RPG for a platform that has few and far of them inbetween.  The indie game art states that it’s a ‘retro parody role playing game’, and for the most part, that sums the game up very nicely.  It’s certainly a parody of not only role-playing games, but gaming in general.  It parodies old 8-bit RPGs like Dragon Quest in its overall presentation, though the battles and traveling are set at an intentionally fast pace.  This makes Breath of Death an unusually quick RPG to play; it’s a nice breath of fresh air from the genre.  And yea, I meant that pun.

Oh, and while Breath of Death VII rips off of retro RPGs, it does incorporate a few different mechanics.  First off, every time a character levels up, you can choose between two level up options; for example, our skeletal silent protagonist Dem’s first level up had you choosing between two versions of a technique.  You get to choose one or the other, and you can’t ever get the other version.  There’s also choices between what options of stats to level up as well, so you can somewhat customize your heroes.

 

It's either that, or something that focuses solely on Sara's magic. It's a tough choice.

In addition, random battles work a bit differently.  After fighting a certain amount of battles (as indicated in the menu), you wont’ have to fight any other creatures on the area, which is nice is you get lost/want to explore a dungeon fully. Of course, you can call enemies to you if you want, but it helps in the favor of it being a ‘fast-paced’ RPG.

I do have a few problems with the game, mainly with the overall graphic design (they could have tried a bit harder for a better looking 8-bit aesthetic) and the sometimes uneven difficulty.  But the good far outweighs the bad, and is only 240 MS points, or $3.  I know, more pricey than my previous entries, but I think it’s the extra two bucks for most people.  If you’re a fan of RPGs, it’s well worth wasting a Sunday afternoon with.