July 09, 2020

Stardom Warriors - Ranking

Story & World

I'm always going to award a few points for any setting that deviates from the classical formula, just like I'll always take a few points away for a setting being right shit.  At the beginning of SW, I was a little worried that the ladies would do nothing more than get on stage every so often and require the occasional watering.  By end game, however, more of their backstory and personalities were fleshed out, even if all three of them had the same spoiled little princess attitude.  NPCs took their standard role dispensing mostly useless one-liners, except for that crazy old grandma and her gross piss story.  Exploration was also quite standard, mostly linear until getting the coracles which opened up the final stretch of the game.  Exploring the "dungeons", which are supposedly buildings, had wave after wave of multiple branches which resulted in a dead end.  No chests, no NPCs, no nothing, just dead ends as far as the eye can see.  Just another lazy move by the devs, which is about par for the course in Stardom Warriors.  3/20

Character Development

No surprises here, not a lot going on in this department.  As experience (popularity) goes up, so does the group's charm as well as levels for the manager.  All the equipment bought for the band just increases charm and there is no equipment available for the manager.  Oh, the game certainly makes it seem like there is EQ for the main character, as is evident by the small box in the lower left corner of the status screen that start with a "cheap suit" in it.  There are other suits hidden in the overworld, but they can never be picked up or utilized in any way.  One more troll point for you, SW.  I found the fire suit (too hot!), the ice suit (too cold!), and the silk suit (too slippery!).  I'd like to able to give the game some non-troll points here but it's making it pretty tough (too shitty!).

The managic system is as bare-bones as the rest of the game, really only functioning as a convenient replacement for items.  Did I say convenient?  Because I meant necessary, since the inventory only has six bloody slots.  Thankfully, most spells are fairly cheap, especially the all-important warp.  3/20

Combat & Monsters

The potential for something other than button mashing through the battles is ruined by not significantly changing the reward for defending until the enemy befriends the group.  Combat gets a little better when the enemies start damaging the ladies, but the atrociously boring "mini-game" of hide 'n seek ensures that a manager will always keep the hoes well fed.  The only status ailment is when the manager gets hexed and can't cast spells, but this only happened frequently near the beginning of the game and mellowed considerably by the end.

For a game that's based on J-Pop and set in modern times, all the "monsters" should realistically be human meatsacks and there is a good number of variants, but over half of the entries are non-homo sapien.  This includes such classics as coils of poo, underwear men, and piles of puke.  And yes, they all can indeed become fans of the Stardom Warriors.  And yes, the puke does get palette-swapped (into the superior pile of vomit!).  Another interesting set of human creatures dwelt on some island where they spoke a different language and so no damage could be done to either combatant.  The "battles" just went on and on until someone got bored and fled.  These were the only kinds of encounters on the entire island, just another case of SW thinking it's funny when it's totally not.  2/20

Graphics & Sound

Stardom Warriors is a pretty good example of a low budget game that obviously couldn't afford a graphical artist and just had one of the programmers do it.  All the graphics are universally shitty, especially the solid coloured ground tiles in the towns.  I mean, come on, all it takes is some black dots in there to help break up the contiguous eye-raping and make it resemble grass a little bit more.  I've got just as much imagination as the next retro-gamer, but let's see a little effort here, people!  The same guy who did the graphics probably did the music as well, because it fucking blows.  I don't even remember at all what any of the tunes were, I just remember that they generically sucked.  And I hope that's what my experience with Stardom Warriors eventually becomes, no memories of it other than it teh sux.  1/20

Gameplay

Holding concerts and selling records for the Stardom Warriors was only worth the exposure it brought them, as we made far more money just talking to people on the street and converting them into fans.  While we'd be lucky to clear two grand for a concert, peeps were consistently giving us multiple thousands of dollars money for just a brief meet 'n greet.  That makes more sense for encounters with the salaryman or the elderly gentlemen, when it'd be closer to a brief rub 'n tug, but not so much for a pile of vomit.  Regardless, money was never an issue by mid-game, not that there were a whole lot of items to buy outside of performance equipment for the skags.

The best thing about these low-effort games that are crapped out as soon as possible is that there isn't much depth either, so they're always over quickly.  Still, one probably won't have too much fun during that brief time, so it's really only suited for masochistic completionist bloggers like myself, who at least can ease the pain a bit by engaging in a multi-post bitch-fest.  2/20

Final Ranking:   11/100