In order to give Nusakana the best review that I possibly can I feel that I need to start with my stance on RPG Maker games. I genuinely believe that by bundling their game design tools RPGMaker have enabled games built using their software to flood the Steam catalog. Much of what I am about to say can be applied to the Unreal Development engine as well. There are both positives and negatives to this. The overriding positive is that it places people who previously were unable to make games into a position where they can create the game of their dreams. This is a very good thing and I applaud people who genuinely want to make a good video game – and have the required skills, ideologies and the work ethic to make them. Unfortunately, by making these game design tools so freely and easily available you also empower those who should never be in a position to make a video game to do so as well. This past year we’ve seen an enormous amount of utter trash added to the Steam catalog. It has reached a dangerous point. Indie bundles are littered with these types of games. It has gotten to the point where I personally wince whenever I see that a game has been made with RPGMaker. I fear that the game is going to be yet another trash title.
Thankfully, I am more than happy to report that Nusakana is a prime example of the perfect utilization of RPGMaker. Although it’s definitely not your typical RPG it’s a refreshing game that offers a lot to those who give it an opportunity. The game incorporates the traditional components of a JRPG in RPGMaker style but it also features critical components of an adventure and romance game as well. Some have already compared it to Pokemon meets Harvest Moon and in many ways I would have to agree that that, is probably the best way to describe the game. I thought that Studio Namaapa really worked hard to make a cohesive art and audio style befitting of the game. My favorite aspect of the game was the level of freedom that it offers. Too many RPGMaker games feel locked in – the game designer expects you to do certain things in a certain order and don’t offer much leeway. Instead, Nusakana allows you to explore, adventure and hunt at your leisure. Thankfully the world is of a significant size giving you a lot of areas to explore.
If there were flaws in the game it’s that the English translation isn’t the highest quality. Those of you playing from countries where English is a second language will not have an issue playing but it could have been worked on and perfected a lot more than what it is. It’s also arguable that although the developers did a great job in creating an open world in a RPGMaker game that perhaps a better level of concentration in developing the story would have been wise. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the open nature of the game immensely but it felt that the main story was missing a lot of what was perhaps initially intended.
In all, I understand the negative reviews on Steam although I myself would place myself into the significantly higher percentage of people who enjoyed the game. Nusakana can be recommended for those who enjoy rock solid RPGMaker games and JRPGs. There’s more than enough content in the game to be discovered for it to be a good purchase.