A.Typical RPG’s humor and attitude can’t make up for basic bad implementation.
A.Typical RPG sounds like a lot of fun when you read about it. The game’s premise is very Groundhog Day, letting you control a typical college student through one day of his largely mundane life. In the course of that day you will play soccer with bullies, wander around town, attempt to woo a lovely girl, and try to pass an exam. The game promises that it will make these mundane tasks feel epic through gameplay, an ambition that’s never really realized. Instead A.Typical RPG is a funny game hampered by design flaws.
The idea of A.Typical RPG seems to be that as you take the protagonist through crucial points in his day, you get the chance to change other people’s attitudes toward him and perhaps unlock new decisions to make. In practice, the game loops you through several mandatory events that don’t seem to have any real impact on the plot. For instance, you always have to play a lengthy soccer game with a group of bullies, but whether you win or lose doesn’t seem to affect any of the other game events. It’s not clear at all why this event is required. It can’t be because the soccer-playing engine is fun, because it’s actually quite tedious.
Each event you complete triggers another mandatory event. You can wander around certain parts of the game map in the meantime, but this never seems to help you in any particular way. There’s no inventory or stat system beyond the character’s rating with given NPCs. Some of the events trigger mini-games, like combat or the note-hunting game that you play to take exams. Some of these mini-games appear to be glitched, as there is an event in the Market area that causes the screen to briefly freeze. The game text acts like you’ve had a major battle with the bullies, but the gameplay doesn’t permit you to make any decisions during the sequence.
Another glitch appears to affect the game’s basic playability. In classroom situations, you’re prompted to take a seat to initiate class, yet there does not appear to be any way to do this. Instead you simply have to stand still for a brief time in order to trigger the class sequence. When you take exams, you might think you’d find the notes by moving your onscreen character. Instead your onscreen character is totally static and you’re expected to move a square that is nothing more than a green highlight. The rules of this sequence are never explained, but failing it forces you to start the game over again.
A.Typical RPG should be a very quirky, fun RPG with an emphasis on dialog. Instead you’ll spend a lot of the game fruitlessly pursuing chances to speak with the one character who initiates the dialog system and wondering why you failed when she inevitably dislikes your conversation choices. The looping gameplay seems to punish players excessively for not being able to figure out the game’s opaque gameplay requirements. Despite attractive art, great music and a budget price tag, A.Typical RPG requires patience to fully appreciate.