Googass is the story of um… Tens, Leira, Ross, and Eirika who need to go check on Rose, but before that they have to get permission from the chief to go outside. Sound overly simple? Vaguely generic? Well that’s what you get when you drop the narrative structure from this equation. Googass likes to drop you instantly into a conversation. As soon as the game starts just wham! Text box! Oh right here.
Yeah that was from my phone, yes you can see it was recording. I quickly, very quickly, decided to give up trying to put effort into screen capping this game for the review. Don’t worry the best picture you’ll see was online. I’ll post it in time. Now it would be easy to rip this game apart. For the sake of journalistic integrity here are the few good parts of this game.
It tries it’s best to bring something more than most generic RPGs.
Okay that’s it. It’s an RPG Maker game. So the bulk of the mechanics are likely prebuilt. If not even the most amateurish developer could add these to their own games with some YouTube tutorials. Now some amazing games have been made in RPG Maker. This isn’t one of them. So let’s see what the devs said about it on the store page.
Well as far as I can tell the Die Hard influence is only in it’s potty mouth. Ethers, MP refilling item in most games, are called “piss water” here. The first big boss called my party “fuckers” that’s where I stopped. Not because of the language, but because as the previous camera shot showed the game is already full of bad grammar with typos. So not looking forward to that with all the humor and charm of a Newgrounds flash game rubbed over it. Is more than I could stomach. Which as the store front says the game should be about 4 hours. I can only assume I’m a third of the way through it. Which is enough for me. The battle system is frustrating and charming. Definitely not Final Fantasy VII, but made me think it would work as a Sega CD game.
Your melee fighters will have to use a skill to advance towards the enemy in order to use physical attacks. Something I found novel until I found out the auto battle option just ignores that and skips their turn. Though some attacks can push your party back. Requiring you to step back up to attack range. That is pretty interesting honestly. So we have one example of “well it tried” for it’s good points. The other is defending also is a minor heal ability. Temporary defense boost as well as a small amount of HP and MP? That’s a good idea. Was it their idea or stock options in RPG Maker though I don’t know.
Aside from just trying to avoid world building naturally with flavor text and town NPCs Googass goes with exposition dumping out the gate. When you start off talking about your friends and your past as the introduction to the world it better be interesting. This time it was just, okay ever go back to an RPG after a few weeks away and just felt lost? It’s that from the start. The second thing you notice is your game pad only opens the menus. So you try every button and analog stick to move. Nothing happens in the game, but your mouse pointer starts flying all over the place. Then it starts to settle on you. It’s full point and click. It controls like a mobile phone game and that’s not a good thing. You could control it with a controller if you want to struggle with moving the mouse using a game pad. Yeah I thought not. Don’t believe me here buy it yourself.
The music is also another blemish on this game. I won’t bother to explain it just listen to this. Oh and wait for the lyrics to get the full effect.
So okay been putting this off. The battles are boring and suffer from a massively bloated combat system. With random encounters that don’t prove a threat if you are paying attention, but in a game that makes you want to just zone out. My boredom caused more game overs than the challenge. Unless that is the challenge. If that’s the case, it’s has a very sharp difficulty curve. The point and click makes you dread backtracking to town for items and the free heal at your base. So you will be in for a decent struggle. Just a struggle though. The game is completely doable. Every enemy and boss has a winning strategy to blast past them once you figure it out. The boss fights specifically pull their punches to give you time to plan around the attacks. Sadly that lends itself to making each boss and midboss a damn bullet sponge. Get used to chip damage and heal management as your go to strategy. There is definitely a game here. Just as I keep saying it’s an RPG Maker game. So there would be a polished gameplay experience regardless. So the real thing brought to these titles are typically the humor and story telling that might not have been given a voice otherwise. I might seem like I am waxing poetic here, but let me set the scene for you.
You are half asleep and thinking seriously how much you hate your fellow Couch Crew buddies for tossing you this mess. You transition the screen to find an abandoned old fort. Walking through what is likely somebody’s $2 sprite pack art assets just enjoying the creativity because there is nothing else to focus on. Another text box pops up saying they heard something. No sounds were played mind you. When a few dialogue boxes in a sound is played if an explosion. Which just makes the abrupt silent warning earlier stand out even more. Your mind races about how lazy this whole game really is. You start to wonder if they only just learned how to set sound effects to play during dialogue when the battle starts. Then you see it.
A godamned tactical monkey! Absolutely nothing prepared me for that. This is when the game goes from bad to so bad it’s good. I doubt the monkey was meant to be hilarious. They probably thought it was awesome. This was the moment they sat back and thought to themselves how badass this game will be. The earnestness and belief that they are crafting a masterpiece of counter culture gaming just laid bare before you. The monkey is the key to all of this. It’s when you realize there is a market for this title afterall. If the internet taught me anything it showed me that if you like something, you can probably find people willing to give you money for it. If the devs liked it enough to make it, someone else will enjoy it for the same reasons. Others will enjoy it for the exact opposite reasoning. Just like The Room shows bad movies can be good with friends, or at the least be fun enough to talk about later. Googass will give you some in jokes. It will easily pay for itself in explaining the absolute mess you just sat through. I however don’t like The Room. So I’m getting nothing from this for myself. What I did get was a fun little excuse to tell you about the darker side of the Steam Store. A chance to show what a $3 game is like without a need to over react. An honest review of the type of games I tend to completely ignore. Even on my drunkest game buying binges I don’t click anything that is “inspired by Final Fantasy VII and Die Hard” with a sub five dollar price tag. Then again I hope this proves that here at Action Couch Life we will spend our Patreon funds on any game the Discord chat suggests. Even when we know better. So hop on over and tell us what you want to see.