It’s getting to the point where games with wry references to JRPG cliches are themselves becoming cliched, but Weapon Shop de Omasse 3DS CIA is at least fully self-aware. It’s literally set in a world called Cliche. Instead of playing the adventurer, you play the chap making the weapons, hammering out swords and maces on the anvil in a simple rhythm mini-game and then renting them to customers who come in looking for something to take on quests. Their progress is then recorded in a scrolling text feed that pastiches social media. It is, essentially, a game about staying home, checking Twitter, and polishing maces whilst other people go out on adventures. I played eight hours of this. I’m not sure why.
Weapon Shop de Omasse 3DS CIA
Weapon Shop de Omasse 3ds CIA played a kind of trick on my attention span, giving me just enough real-time feedback to keep my mind flitting around without ever really entertaining me. Between weapon forging, the mindless act of polishing weapons (rubbing the stylus on the screen to raise a bar), and reading about your clients’ adventures, there’s always something to do, even if none of it is much fun on its own. It kept me in a low-level compulsion loop. The playful tone is presumably attributable to the writer and game director, Yoshiyuki Hirai, who is a Japanese comedian. It’s part of Level-5’s Guild series of experimental downloads, along with Attack of the Friday Monsters, The Starship Damrey, and others. Chats between your customers, your character (an apprentice called Yuhan) and the master blacksmith Oyaji are soundtracked by laughter, applause, and booing, which I found irritating at first but which quickly faded into the background. (For a master blacksmith, incidentally, Oyaji doesn’t seem to do much. It’s Yuhan who makes and sells all the weapons.)