First revealed as Town in September 2018, Little Town Hero is GameFreak’s newest side project title. Similar to Tembo the Badass Elephant, which we covered previously, GameFreak does indeed make games that aren’t just Pokémon!
Little Town Hero takes place in a small country town, near the fantastic castle and long stretches of fields and trees. From the nearby caves to the actual town you live in, Little Town Hero’s world looks big but is actually quite small. You play as a spiky red haired boy (whose default name is Axe) who wants nothing more than to explore outside the quaint country town. The game even starts with Axe and his childhood friend trying to sneak into the castle. Without spoiling the result, it doesn’t go well and sets the tone for the rest of the game. After an hour in tutorial battles, the game opens up to…more tutorials.
I sure do hope you’re paying attention to those tutorials.
Little Town Hero features what quite possibly might be my least favorite battle system in any RPG ever. The battle system uses a “Izzit” and “Dazzit” system to attack turning your ideas and thoughts into attacks. Every single fight including the starting tutorial fights take an extreme amount of time, with boss battles taking anywhere from twenty minutes to upwards of forty-five minutes. Fights consist of turn-based back and forth rounds where you turn your Izzit, or when they become actions Dazzits, into attacks to counter the enemy’s moves. Most fights have three full hearts, with early fights being a bit easier. Dazzits can have different abilities that can be used to attack your enemy, defend, boost your abilities, or other small perks. Each battle will absolutely test your patience if you even looked away a moment during tutorials.
All of this said, maybe you’re a bit better with the battle system. I’ve seen others master it quickly and seem to breeze through the fights slightly faster.
Boss battles take place on a Mario Party style map as movement adds another layer to an already relatively confusing battle system. I often found myself struggling when I ran out of action points, but I’ll admit that when I finally defeated a boss it felt like I actually earned the victory instead of just stumbling through it. It’s also easy to quickly start picking the game apart when you notice just how much the game seems to stutter during battles, as actions can cause a fair bit of lag seemingly randomly. This is even worse in the open world areas, despite the nice scenery.
Little Town Hero is just okay. It has grand ambitions to be a coming-of-age story and to have an interesting battle system, but it just seems to fall short on both ends. The technical issues that bog down the game are also relatively disappointing, and a fearful look towards Game Freak’s future project makes me a bit uneasy.
Underneath the issues I had though, the game itself was fun at times and the writing did get a few chuckles out of me. I can’t help but wish that characters were a bit more unique, and I did lose my save file while working towards booting the game back up for writing this. Little Town Hero makes me long for the return of other past Game Freak standalone projects such a Drill Dozer.
Please, just give me more Drill Dozer.
||Bright, cheerful colors and art style breathe life to the world.|
||Toby Fox' amazing soundtrack.|
||The "unique" battle system falls a bit short, and often times feeling like a bad card game.|
||Characters feel a bit too much like templates for gameplay instead of actual characters.|
||Framerate issues throughout the game.|