In role playing video games, you generally play as some valiant hero, usually a regal knight, noble thief, powerful wizard, and many times all three! But have you ever thought about some of the other characters who help you on your quest? Like the owner of the shop that sells you weapons for instance. Without them, you probably wouldn’t get very far. Well now you can play as a weapon shop owner and blacksmith with Weapon Shop de Omasse, a very creative and unusual downloadable title for the Nintendo 3DS eShop.
In the game, you always reside at the weapon shop, never venturing outside. There are two people running the shop, the blacksmith and the apprentice, which you play as. At various intervals throughout the day, customers will come in. There are two types of customers. Main characters have a continuing story and will request a weapon and come back for it later. These main characters have preferences on weapon types, so you’ll want to make the best weapon you can before they come back to claim it. Some of the weapons you can make include daggers, swords, spears, axes, clubs, katana blades, and more! The other types of characters are called NPCs and they’ll want a weapon right away. So you’ll always want to have good weapons ready regardless.
To make a new weapon, you’ll play a music/rhythm mini-game on the bottom touch screen. First, a lump of hot metal appears, and you must tap in time to the music to pound it into shape. Make sure not to tap on the same spot every time, either. Tap in different places until the weapon looks like what it’s supposed to. After time, the lump of metal will cool and you may need to tap and hold on the lower right corner of the screen to put it back into the coals for a bit. Try not to do that too much, though, as it lowers the power of the weapon. Luckily you won’t even have to worry about doing that until more than halfway through the game when the weapons you make get bigger and more complicated. When the weapon is finished cooling; tap and hold on the lower left of the screen to put the weapon in water to cool it off. The better you are at tapping to the rhythm and quickly cooling the weapon down, you’ll have a more powerful weapon for your inventory.
Once a customer picks up a weapon, you’ll be able to view how their quest is going via text, like a Twitter feed. The game actually tries to explain how this works logically by saying that every weapon you make is magically infused with something called the Grindcast, which lets you read how every person’s quest is going with that weapon. It’s not really necessary to read this text, and it can get in the way sometimes, too. If the character makes it back from their quest successfully, you’ll earn money and materials you’ll need to make future weapons, and they’ll give the weapon they used back to you. Yes, instead of selling weapons outright, you just rent them. With main characters, you might also get a special reward that you can use to decorate your weapon shop. But if they fail the quest, you won’t get anything and you’ll lose the weapon, too. Over time, you’ll be able to make more powerful weapons, too.
After a weapon is returned to you, you’ll want to polish it. To do that, you’ll play another mini-game where you must rub the stylus to scrub the weapon, and then press a button to flip it over to polish that side. Polished weapons will gain improved stats, so you’ll want to do that every time a customer returns one. The polishing game reminds me of some of the things you do in Cooking Mama titles. The time runs on an in-game clock, so you’ll have a busy time keeping up with making weapons, polishing them, talking to customers, and ordering supplies. But it’s nothing too hectic.
Not only does the game have unusual gameplay elements, but it also has an unusual sense of humor, too. For instance, when customers walk into the store, a sitcom-like audience can be heard in the background clapping and cheering and groaning after dialogue! And when you start the game, it shows an old Wizardry-like battle screen, complete with a keyboard on the bottom (the main game is in 3-D, though). Also, the game is very Japanese. While most of the dialogue is just translated text, certain voices and symbols are still in Japanese. The game is a bit repetitive, but I think it is best played in short bursts for optimal enjoyment. If you love to play quirky, Cooking Mama-style games like I do, then you may want to download this.
Weapon Shop de Omasse is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Violent References, Suggestive Themes, Partial Nudity, and Mild Language. You only read about the violence via text, and any suggestive themes and language is used even more sparingly in the script. Although one of the main characters is a giant yet very feminine man with questionable choices in clothes. Reading skill is a must because of all the text, but I’d be OK with most any kid playing this anyway.