Game #24 is quite similar to Game #23, and they were worth every penny of the $3 I spent on them. The full title is Cthulu Saves the World: Super Hyper Enhanced Championship Edition Alpha Diamond DX Plus Alpha FES HD - Premium Enhanced Game of the Year Collector's Edition (without Avatars!), but I'll just refer to it by those first four words.
Before I continue, I should mention that Cthulu Saves the World is a LOT like its predecessor, Breath of Death VII. It seems that Breath of Death VII was Robert Boyd's passion project, and its success has allowed him to continue designing games his way, but with the relief of a foundation and the burden of high expectations. Cthulu Saves the World shares the NES-inspired visuals, the classic JRPG conventions, and the exact same combat, levels, stats, and brand of humor. What it delivers is more content on virtually every front. Cthulu's adventure has more dungeons, more characters, and more skills and monsters than its predecessor, and is absolutely worth a buy.
Cthulu, as you probably already know, is a primordial god of unfathomable power whose very presence induces insanity and devotion in all who encounter him. In this game, Cthulu rises from his castle beneath the ocean intent to destroy the world, only to have his powers sapped away by an unknown adversary. Somehow, Cthulu can regain his lost powers by becoming a true hero, so he sets out to do just that, with his first act of heroism being rescuing a maiden from a group of attackers. She falls in love with him and becomes your party's go-to healer.
...that's kind of how it goes. Characters seem to join you at random without explanation, and Cthulu takes an anarchic, offbeat attitude to his do-gooding. By the end of the game, your party is Cthulu, the girl, a disembodied sword, a witch, a cat alien, a senile old man, and a fire-breathing dragon. All seven characters gain EXP equally, so you're encouraged to switch up your party of four to your heart's content. By the endgame, I was using every character except the old man (he has more healing and less offense than your girl), changing up as characters learned new skills and using different teams for dungeons vs. boss fights. Basically, the party's well-put-together and has good variety. Favorite character was the witch.
Cthulu's also a good deal longer than Breath of Death. The world map is much bigger, dungeons are larger and more spacious and navigable, and your characters are around level 40 at the endgame instead of 30. But honestly, I enjoyed Breath of Death VII better. Its weaker in almost every aspect, and I don't even think the storyline is as good as Cthulu's, but its truly bizarre humor and story resolution managed to resonate with me better than Cthulu's did. Don't know what to tell you, other than to hop on Steam and buy both of these. $3 double pack is where it's at.
Games Beaten: 2011 Edition
1. Mario vs. Donkey Kong
2. Primal Rage
3. Torchlight Hat Trick
4. Ghost Trick
6. Batman: Arkham Asylum
7. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
8. Sly 2: Band of Thieves
9. Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
10. Tales of Eternia
11. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
12. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
13. 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors
14. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
15. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
16. Dragon Age: Origins
17. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
18. inFamous Evil Finish
20. inFamous 2 Good Finish
21. Big Bang Mini
22. Final Fight: Double Impact
23. Breath of Death VII: The Beginning
24. Cthulu Saves the World
Up next, finishing my playthrough of Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword. Have a bunch of games waiting in the wings, but I'm pretty sure NGDS will be #25 on this list.