[PlayStation 5] Cthulhu Saves Christmas Review
JRPG Cthulhu Saves Christmas from Zeboyd Games is a great retro-looking RPG with very fun gameplay. Check our Cthulhu Saves Christmas review!
Eldritch horror saves Christmas for fun & profit in this fast-paced turn-based JRPG comedy.
We first met our friend Cthulhu in Cthulhu Saves the World, which was released in 2011. Zeboyd Games have released many JRPG for the PC, beginning with Breath of Death VII, Cthulhu Saves the World, many Penny Arcade games – which did make it to PlayStation 3, and the great Cosmic Star Heroine. I’ve been a fan of their work for a while, and I was eagerly waiting for this game to release in the PlayStation ecosystem. I was surprised when I saw it was coming exclusively to the PlayStation 5 and not the PS4, but this isn’t a big deal since hopefully, by Christmas, more gamers will have gotten their hands on a PS5.
In this new release, Cthulhu was sleeping and relaxed when he’s awakened by a sound, so he goes to investigate the source. As he reaches what seems to be a gift from Santa himself, he realizes that it was all a trap, and he’s now been stripped out of all of his power. Angry, he goes on a campaign to recover his power and ruin Christmas while he’s at it!
Being a JRPG, you’re looking at a turn-based battle system with random encounters. A neat feature is that there’s a set number of battles per location, and once they’re all taken care of, the random encounters are turned off so you can freely explore the dungeons. You can, of course, force a new encounter if you want to grind, but at Normal, the game is very manageable, and on the Easy setting, it is really easy – which is great for trophy hunters – more on this later.
If you’ve already played Cosmic Star Heroine, then you’ll have a good idea of the battle system for this one since it works very similarly. You have eight attacks/skills per character, and this list can be customized outside of battle. Once an attack or skill is used once, it will be unavailable for the remainder of the fight until your character rests a turn to recharge them. As your characters level up, they’ll acquire new abilities, which can then be added to the list. The battles are also very fast-paced and are a blast to play!
Releases from Zeboyd Games have a few signature elements that make them different from the other games. Their games are accessible and are really easy to pick up and play. They also have a lot of humor in their work, down to how they describe everything in a game: from every item, ability, and enemy, you’ll surely have a smile on your face. They are very creative, and the game dialogue also ends up breaking the fourth wall every now and then to keep things interesting.
Between each dungeon, there are Persona-esque segments that allow you to choose what you’ll do in your free time, which will reward you with new equipment for your team members. I enjoy these short segments since they develop the characters, although they are ultimately of no consequence to the game’s main story. One trophy is tied to those segments, so be on the lookout for this particular trophy so that you can get your Platinum!
I was amazed by how the DualSense controller was expertly used, with vibration patterns that are immersive and tied to each of the different attacks and sound effects sent to the controller speaker. The sprite art and the map design are great and colorful and perfectly represent what a Christmas game should look like. I had a blast exploring the different locations, and this is why I can tell you that most of the treasure chests are often hidden, and out of the main path, so they might require some backtracking.
The soundtrack is rich, but I didn’t feel it reached the level of the battle theme of Cthulhu Saves the World or the music in Cosmic Star Heroine. I did, however, liked how many themes are Christmas-related with a bit of a rock twist.
Achieving the Platinum for this game is really easy, and it took me less than 4 hours to get it! You can play on the Easy setting, and none of the trophies are missable. Most trophies are awarded for beating the main bosses, for achieving better relationships with the other team members (in the Persona-esque segments I mentioned earlier), and there’s one trophy that requires you to use a skill at full power, which can be achieved by Guarding with each character for ten turns, to then use a Unite attack.
Cthulhu Saves Christmas is a great JRPG that is easy to recommend. It features great pixel art, a good soundtrack, accessible combat mechanics, and a Platinum trophy that can be achieved in 4 to 6 hours, depending on the difficulty the game is set to. I’ve been a fan of Zeboyd Games since I played Breath of Death VII, and I would very much like them to re-release their games on the PlayStation ecosystem, so be sure to check out Cthulhu Saves Christmas on PlayStation 5 to get the ball rolling!
This Cthulhu Saves Christmas review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Mighty Rabbit Studios, Inc.