RPG Review #93: Tenchi Muyo! Game Hen

NuMetalManiak Number eight on our countdown, well, what even am I playing these days. Here's another SNES Japan-only RPG based completely off some anime, one I've never watched or heard about, and well, there's all I know about it. Tenchi Muyo's RPG is certainly something alright.

Gameplay: The gameplay of this one is turn-based tactical, somewhat resembling Final Fantasy Tactics and using an isometric grid. Your character gets to move, you input the command. Simple. Well, there's always a bit more to it. At the beginning of each battle, you pick which four out of up to twelve characters to use in battle, and then everyone gets into positions. The characters gain what's known as kiai in battle when their turn pops up, these kiai are the ones that the characters use to utilize attacks or other major commands, so there has to be sufficient kiai to use the stronger attacks. Then again, the stronger attacks must be achieved by leveling up characters, making them kill enemies. The maximum level is 8, which is quite short, but then again, the game is short in itself. At the maximum amount of 8 kiai, some characters have the ability to transform, which makes them stronger in combat and accesses better moves.

I found most battles to be somewhat nastier than expected. Mostly because of the fact that enemies got more turns than usual and many character's utilization is limited. Also reinforcement enemies were often frequent, slowing down the pacing. The interface in this game is somewhat clunky too. The overworld navigation is very limited, you go to one place, battle, then can save and choose another one until you progress with the story. It's not too great, but it's not the worst thing ever. Grade: B-

Tenchi: Main character, this dude is fairly average at everything, has some good attacks, but that's about it. Can move three spaces.
Aeka: A princess from somewhere, I dunno. She acts as a guardian to Tenchi, and also is average. She does have a healing ability and can move three spaces.
Ryoko: Some sort of space pirate of sorts, she's an apparent love interest for Tenchi. A powerful fighter who also has teleportation abilities, so she can cover more ground despite also moving up to three spaces.
Mihoshi: She's some sort of policewoman who's sort of clumsy. She can only move two spaces, but makes up for it by having all of her attacks be ranged attacks. Unfortunately, she is also the only character who can miss attacks, and her power is small.
Ryo-Ohki: An apparent anime mascot, Ryo-Ohki is some rabbit/cat fusion of sorts that has an amazing range of movement, can go four spaces and can hop over characters and gaps. Weak attacks though. Ryo-Ohki can also morph into a huge ship for some reason.
Katsuhito: This old dude is Tenchi's fighting master and grandfather, and as you expect, he's an excellent fighter through and through. He can only move two spaces though.
Yukinojou: A weird robot thing that accompanies Mihoshi. It has some good speed and powerful attacks, but terrible HP and movement (only one space). He also cannot transform.
Azaka: Yes, you can play as a piece of wood. Azaka has decent attack power, but not good movement (one space). He cannot transform.
Kamidake: Yes, you can play as another piece of wood. Kamidake only has one attack and one space of movement, but some healing abilities. He cannot transform.
Washu: An ally that joins up, Washu can only move two spaces but can teleport, also has an attack buff which is handy.
Sasami: A little girl who mostly has healing abilities and defensive buffs. Not too good of a fighter but still decent. Can move two spaces.
S***suki: A surprisingly original character, S***suki starts out as an enemy but becomes an ally. Although starting at level 1 when you get her and unable to transform, S***suki actually has very good attacks for the endgame.

If only I knew more about these characters. Well, at least the utilizations of each are unique enough. Grade: B-

Plot: Again, if only I knew more about this anime, but I don't. Tenchi is at home with Ryoko, Aeka, Mihoshi, Sasami, and Ryo-Ohki. When Sasami gets breakfast, things happen and S***suki appears to kidnap Sasami. Ryo-Ohki and Katsuhito are under attack and are saved, joining Tenchi's group. It is also possible to recruit Yukinojou, Azaka, and Kamidake too. Upon finding the spaceship they meet Washu, who joins to find Sasami, who is locked in a prison. Then they confront S***suki, who is later betrayed by her master Kusumi, the game's main villain. Kusumi attacks and kidnaps Ryoko, fighting Tenchi's group with her machines. Swearing revenge on Washu, Kusumi flees, and S***suki gets up and decides to join Tenchi's group, in order to beat up Kusumi for calling her a failure. Eventually they reach Kusumi earlier than expected, continuing to fight her machines as well as Kusumi herself until she's defeated. True to her word, S***suki just beats up Kusumi while everyone else heads back home.

Yep that was short, and I have no idea about the full details of the plot. It's got its cliches, like with the monsters and machines always showing up everywhere, but it's still...nice, I guess. Grade: B-

Music: Not much to say here. I'm not even sure if the music in this one is in the anime itself, and there seems to be only two battle themes. Both are good enough, though, so I'll give them that. Grade: B-

Overall Grade: B-

B-'s across the board. Not much to say, it's a fairly average tactical RPG that is based off of an anime. I've got barely anything to say about that, other than it being quick and not too bad.