Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Dec 262020

Merry Christmas!

There was no blog post yesterday because of the holiday, so here’s a special post today to discuss a game made for the season, Cthulhu Saves Christmas.

Set as a prequel to Cthulhu Saves the World, a parody RPG I found very funny, Cthulhu Saves Christmas once again puts Cthulhu himself in an unexpectedly heroic role when his powers are stolen and he’s told he can get them back if he rescues Santa Claus from the League of Christmas Evil.

While the original was all about playing around with Lovecraft tropes, this one draws on Christmas themes instead.

I felt the humor tried a little too hard compared to the first game, with a few too many things handwaved as “it’s this way because JRPGs, haha” but there were still a lot of funny lines and situations throughout.

It once again features turn-based combat, this time with an “insanity” feature that means four of your abilities are randomly drawn from the ones you don’t have set as fixed commands. This level of randomness makes things interesting, and overall the combat feels snappy and fun, although battles in later parts of the game end up feeling tedious and drawn out.

Now, the rest of the game doesn’t play like a traditional RPG. You won’t be exploring dungeons and visiting towns this time around.

Instead it features a life sim system where you choose an activity each day to build “R’lyehtionships” with other characters or work part-time jobs. You do this until your party learns the location of the next villain, and then you go through the dungeon.

This is a fun inclusion, but the structure ends up feeling very straightforward. Go through dungeon, fight boss, watch a R’lyehtionship scene each day until it’s time for the next dungeon.

The early parts of the game go by much faster than the later parts, but not because there’s more to do – just because dungeons are bigger and battles take longer. Overall, Cthulhu Saves Christmas just felt a little less magical than Cthulhu Saves the World.

But it was still a fun Christmas parody and a good choice to play on Christmas. What are your favorite Christmas-themed video games?

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