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Rise From Your Grave With $1 Xbox Live Indie RPG

| 25 Apr 2010 00:35

Your breath smells fine, so forget about purchasing that pack of mints and buy an old-school RPG instead.

Where can you get good value for your dollar these days? On the Xbox Live Indie Games store, as of this week. Recently made available was Zeboyd Games' Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, an 8-bit old-school RPG that will only set you back a buck. That's correct, $1 U.S. currency (80 Microsoft Points) for a classic-style RPG. If you haven't already rushed to your Xbox 360 to download the game, here's why you might want to.

Developed by the two man team of Robert Boyd and William Stiernberg, Breath of Death VII is packaged as a parody of RPGs, meaning it has silly dialog and humorous main characters to experience the story with. Upon checking my stats when loading the game, it said I was the master of "not beating the game," which made me chuckle. The game tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world that was taken over by the undead, who are now its normal inhabitants. The main character is a skeleton that cannot talk, for he has no tongue, but he can think, even though he has no brain.

In my first hours playing the game, it felt very much like Retro Game Challenge's included RPG Guadia Quest, which wasn't a full fledged product, but worthy of around 6 hours of classic, grindy RPG play. Breath of Death VII should also take around 4-6 hours to complete, though it has both normal and hard difficulties, and a score attack mode.

The game's visuals are simple and not unlike what you might find in a high-quality NES RPG. The battle system is about the same, but leveling up does allow players to make meaningful decisions about each character's progression. Will you upgrade your character's strength or raise it just a little along with defense? Will you choose a new ability that attacks all enemies or one that builds up the combo meter? These are decisions you'll be making often as leveling up happens quickly in the early game, as do the random battles which makes the game leisurely to play through.

Breath of Death VII is a pretty simple product, but it's fun, and it only costs a buck. There isn't any animation in the battles, and everything is expressed with text, but it only costs a buck. I couldn't figure out how to sell items, and therefore it must be impossible, but the game only costs a buck. A chocobo doesn't live in any of the characters' hair, and the game doesn't involve a blond main character and start out in a train, but it only costs a buck. No, I didn't say a sawbuck, I said a regular buck. Go check it out if you like RPGs, and also own a buck.

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