Acid Rounds: Attack of the Friday Monsters (Nintendo 3DS)

Acid rounds is a semiregular, irregular spot on TGAM for games we have beasted from start to finish.

Cunzy1 1: So, this one's a blast from the arse. Back in the heady days of 2013 when you still saw white dog turds in the street, earwigs were still a thing laying eggs in peoples ears and casual everythingisms was the norm, developer Level 5 released seven games in the Guild Series for the Nintendo 3DS (R.I.P. In Peace, you died before your time). Cheap and cheerful games often twists on a fun theme. Between us we played a number of them and this one has a special place in Richie's heart. So, Attack of the Friday Monsters, what's the skinny?

Richie: I genuinely have no idea what made me pick this one up! I usually hate this type of game, throwaway indie title. I have absolutely no idea what even drew me to it 5-6 years ago. My guess is there was some sort of EV training burnout, and I caught this game on a sale... As I mentioned in my previous post the beauty of this game is it's ability to capture a time, to make you nostalgic: "It genuinely makes me pine for a time when I lived as a kid in 1970s Japan". A feeling that is captured in many of those slice-of-life Ghibli films (you know the ones that don't involve flying cats and walking castles etc) or can be paralleled when you lived as a kid in middle America such as in Calvin and Hobbes comic strip or the old favourite "A Christmas story"

Cunzy1 1: How long did it take to beat and is there any replayability?

Richie: about 4-5 hours. and No, this is pop-art throwaway indie title. I didn't dislike it, but I think 1 play through is enough. The game is a visual novel, the story does suffer from that "Japanese bullshit" but despite no chance of a satisfying ending, I was happy to be on the journey.

Cunzy1 1: What's your favourite Friday-attacking monster?

Richie: I guess maybe the giant monster penguin, you don't have enough giant monster penguins in games:
Top 3 Giant Monster Penguins:
1. The Mother Penguin in Mario 64 (who has had her child repeatedly punted off a cliff)
2. Empoleon (Pokémon)
3. Penguinidon (AOTFM)

Cunzy1 1: I really think smaller projects like this to both make and play have an important role to play in gaming when it feels like every larger game is trying to GAAS you into logging in every day. Where are the Attack of the Friday Monsters and The Starship Damray today?

Richie: Little indie projects like this are passion projects, they don't have production machine or an advertising budget behind them, however they exist in strong numbers behind all of the monoliths. A reasonable analogy would be walking into Waterstones fiction, you can probably compare these titles to novellas, where as your Mario/Halo/Final Fantasies could be compared to multi-book series's that have all the shelf space and recognition. Where I tend to agree with your point above, its um... The throwaway nature of them causes something not to sit right with me, probably a hokey time/investment brain wiring issue on my part,

Cunzy1 1: Embarrassingly, we've got this far and not talked about the content of the game. What do you do? Do you go along? Is there no scoping? What is 'playing' this game?

Richie: Ah yes! So as I mentioned this is a glorified Visual Novel, except you can move around, much of what you do involves wandering round the beautiful/peaceful 1970's Japanese town town speaking to NPCs.  Occasionally, you wont be able to progress unless you play the "card game". The cards are collected by finding "Glims" little shiny things in the static background which when you get 7 turn into a card.

I'm not going to go into to the mechanics of the card game too deeply, as it barely constitutes a "game".

Its a glorified top trumps with 1 stat yet you blindly set the order of 5 cards at the same time.

Yet somehow all is forgiven for the lack of "gameplay" because it's all pretty and nostalgic and summery. And I think that pretty much sums it up, the beautiful imagery and music are the ingredients to a wholey fake-nostalgic atmosphere, which makes you forgive any semblance of a game.

Cunzy1 1: Score out of Level-5?

Richie: I dunno? Level 4-2, the one with the warp zone? Honestly its fine, it cost £2.69, it was a warm fuzzy story on my DS, an interactive novel which instilled the warm and fuzzies. Don't go in there with a Min Max attitude.


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