I’m sure this has happened to many people. You revisit a video game, movie, or another form of media that you liked as a kid, and it doesn’t give you the same feeling. This happened to me when I went back to play Robotrek on the SNES.
Robotrek is an RPG that Enix published. It is a quirky hybrid of a turn-based RPG and an action RPG. It isn’t a long game, but it can be cryptic. At times, I was confused about what the game expected me to do, and then I was confused about how I was supposed to know something.
I will always remember this game as one of the games I discovered when I was looking for ROMs one day. After playing it and getting very confused, I put it aside. Over the years, I would go back to it to see if I could figure it out.
The game can be fun at times. It isn’t that hard of a game as far as the battles go. Sometimes, the game is a little too cryptic for its own good, but it is fun. It also doesn’t follow through on some of its more interesting ideas.
TLDR: Robotrek is not as good as I remember it being. It does have some interesting twists.
The story is a little strange. Overall, this is a goofy game where only a few things make sense. It all plays into the less-than-serious tone of the game.
You play as an inventor who moves to the town of Roccoco. This is one of two towns in this world. You lived with your father for most of your life, and once you turn an indeterminate age, you live in the town with your father’s assistant. I’m not sure why she agreed to live with you.
This does create some interesting things for your character to do. You learn about different things you can make, and you’ll need to build items to advance in the game. You learn about these items by reading books and talking to people.
In the beginning, you’re fighting against a terrorist group called The Hackers. They’re evil because the game says so. Mostly, they’re bumbling idiots trying to come across as dangerous. Sometimes they are, but most of the time, they come across as a joke.
Your dad gets kidnaped and brainwashed at some point. This is when one of the big bad guys shows up. After you save your dad, you end up going back in time.
You get confused for your ancestor, Rask, even though you don’t look like him. He has blonde hair, and you have red hair. The people in this world are rather stupid.
By the way, there are aliens in this game. They’re the reason that all of this trouble started. Your ancestor is one of the aliens. Thankfully, the aliens look exactly like the people of this planet—kind of like how Superman looks like a human being.
Anyway, you go back in time and have to deal with the same big bad guys. Because they also went back in time with you. They also set up a new terrorist group called the Theft Ring. Sure, why not.
You then get transported back to the present day and learn that aliens have come to ask you for help. They’re being attacked by the Hackers, who are apparently alive and well. They’ve built a fortress and are threatening the only two planets in this world.
After a convoluted bit of the story, you find that Gateau is the big bad guy in this story. He wants to use the Tetron to control time. He has two forms, and neither is that hard to defeat. Once you defeat him, you get a montage of how each person you met along the way is doing.
The game is a hybrid of a tactical role-playing game (RPG) and an action RPG. It is a fun idea that doesn’t work as well as it should. It feels a little underdeveloped, especially when it comes to the combos.
In the battles, you use one of three robots. These robots are built when you get enough money, and you can only have three of them. This is one part of the game where I think things weren’t as developed as they could have been.
Each robot looks the same. The only way to create differences between them is by programming their stats, changing their color, and giving them different equipment. If they had let you make robots that looked different, it would have been a little better.
When it comes to equipment, you have a bunch of options. You can also upgrade those weapons and increase their level. This will increase their damage. You can increase your weapons level by combining them or finding items in battle.
On the battle screen, you control one of your robots and fight up to three enemies simultaneously. I didn’t find the battles that difficult. However, the boss battles can be a little annoying, depending on how you programmed your robots.
During the battles, you will typically see some item pods lying on the ground. Depending on how many enemies you’re fighting, you will have a timer. If you can defeat the enemies in time, you will get a bonus in the form of experience.
While you have the usual attack menu, you also have hotkeys for your Right, Left, and Back weapons, if you have a weapon equipped. You can also program attacks for your robots. These programs act as this game’s version of magic or techniques.
Robotrek is a great-looking game. It takes on a chibi art style with characters that are not meant to be realistic. This goes along with the absurdity of the story. The game is bright and colorful.
Everything looks good. Hidden walls are easy to see, the levels are laid out well, and it is a nice game to look at. The only times I got a bit confused weren’t due to the visuals.
The sprites are well-detailed, and the game is very colorful. While there is a wide variety of bizarre enemies, they could have let you do more with the robots that your character makes.
At times, it can be hard to see where some doors are. Especially when you’re starting and you don’t know what to look for. This only happens when the doors are on the side of the screen.
You have many options for RPGs on retro systems. Here are five for the SNES, NES, and Sega Genesis.
- Chrono Trigger
- Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen
- Secret of Evermore
- Secret of Mana
- Illusions of Gaia
- The Adventures of Link
- Final Fantasy
- Dragon Quest IV
- Destiny of an Emperor
- Shining Force
- Phantasy Star IV
- Ys III
- Phantasy Star II
7.5/10. This is a short and quirky RPG with some good ideas that don’t feel fully realized. It has an odd story that is fun to go through, but it isn’t as good as the other games available on the SNES.
- Easy game
- Unique battle system
- A nice looking art style
- Can be very cryptic
- Translation is a little rough at times
- Lack of different types of robots to build
This is one of the games that doesn’t match up with my memories of it. It is a very quirky game that doesn’t always do a good job of following through on its ideas. Time travel is the most significant example of things that weren’t fully explored in the game.
Time travel is introduced late in the game. It then becomes very important to the big bad guy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t play that big of a part in the game aside from giving you an exposition dump to explain how the end of the game will play out.
At times, Robotrek can be a fun game. It sometimes feels like it is trying too hard to be funny. I like the game, but I wish there was more of it.
This is a short RPG. You can beat it in about 10 to 15 hours, depending on how many times you get lost. I know there were restrictions for a SNES game, but this is one of the cases where I think more should have been put into the game.
The story is okay, but it isn’t something I feel I have to experience again. It isn’t like one of the more memorable RPGs on the system, and it seems to blend in with all the others.