I’ve played some crazy video games in my day. Some I did understand, some I didn’t. Then, all of a sudden, a turn-based indie PC RPG comes out called Mark Leung: Revenge of the Bitch and redefines crazy video games-in a good way.
You play as Mark Leung, a ginseng harvester/adventurer that breaks up with his ugly, annoying girlfriend who has the ability to turn into a dog. He lives in Hong Kong, which happens to be located on the entire continent of Australia. He gets caught up in a bunch of crazy adventures that involve owing the king of Hong Kong money, rival religions based around vegetarianism and noobism, and a glove that allows users to move furniture. Yeah, it’s that crazy.
The game play is that of a classic turn-based JRPG very reminiscent of Final Fantasy III, where all your party members can have a main class and a sub-class that can be changed out. Learning new sub-classes will grant your characters new abilities and attacks. Using special attacks and abilities requires Action Points (AP).
When walking around the overworld, the character you have selected can use one of their class skills to help get away from monsters, or help to ambush them. Mark has the ability to attack enemies in the field when they come into contact with him. That way, when the battle starts the enemies will already be damaged. Mark’s cousin, Dick, has the ability to feign death. When this happens, enemies in the field will leave you alone and you won’t go into battle. Those are just two examples of field abilities. Each party member you get has a unique one to utilize. You’ll need to learn to use these properly because if an enemy comes into contact with you, it’s a first strike for them. You can also attack on the field and gain first strike, much like Persona 3 or 4, but sometimes that can be tricky.
One of the most entertaining parts of the game is the cut scenes. Certain scenes are full motion video with Mark and his party members acting out the scenes. They are as funny as they are ridiculous. There are actually a ton of video cut scenes and you’re always waiting for the next one to pop up. They filmed the scenes in English, and went back and re-recorded the voices to make it look like a foreign film. Most of the game is voice acted and rather well done.
The art style is that of a cel-shaded game. It almost reminds me of Blue Dragon a little. It’s nice and has that Japanese anime feel. The music is your typical JRPG score – nothing too fancy. The presentation is well done especially for an indie game.
The game is rather long in play time. You can easily sink in 20 hours, maybe more, if you do all the side quests. It’s not overly difficult, but a little level grinding is required to take on some of the bosses.
The only problem I had with the game were the fact that it takes a while to travel from one place to the next. The walking speed a little on the slow side, and it takes a little time to get where you are wanting to go. There were a few glitches here and there. I got stuck in the floor once and the hit detection when trying to get a first strike is a little off at times. Other than that, everything works fairly well.
For an indie game that was created by Mark and a handful of other people, this is actually really impressive. The production value may not be very high, but it makes up for it with wit and comedy. The story may make no sense whatsoever, but it keeps you coming back for more just to see what will happen next. The video cut scenes are brilliant and make the game just that much more awesome. The combat is great and it’s always good to see an RPG go back to the basics. The game is only $12.99 and it’s worth every penny. If you like turn-based RPG’s and you like to laugh, you need to pick this gem up.
Review copy provided by publisher.