RPGreats now has a Discord! Come on in to talk about game music, games in general, submit reviews or just hang out!

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Arzette: the Jewel of Faramore

The long-defunct Russian-American game studio Animation Magic has become a cult favorite over the years, with a number of contributing factors - their association with high profile companies like Nintendo, Sierra and Blizzard Entertainment, the amateurish design quality of their games and, of course, their animated cutscenes.  Said cutscenes have taken on a life of their own, with their trippy animation and hammy acting making them the focus of countless parodies, edits, fan remakes and Youtube Poop remixes over the years.  Arzette: the Jewel of Faramore is possibly the first game of its kind - a full-fledged standalone title inspired by Animation Magic's games which makes every effort to recreate their design sensibilities, though thankfully with much more polished gameplay.  There's quite a bit of platforming, enemy zapping and hidden items and areas to uncover, as well as the occasional bonus stage to complete for extra money (with one such stage modeled after Hotel Mario, natch), and you'll frequently have to return to previous stages with new items in order to progress.  There are also proper boss battles implemented, as well as other useful features not present in in the games it draws from (like a button-activated force field to block enemy projectiles).  I found myself having a surprising amount of fun playing it, and of course the animated cutscenes painstakingly recreate Animation Magic's bizarre charm with plenty of subtle references to the games they're inspired by, so they were another big factor in holding my interest.  A tongue-in-cheek homage that surpasses its muses in quality.

Developer: Seedy Eye Software
Publisher: Limited Run Games
Released: 2024
Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, XBox Series