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 Review: Adventure Bar Story (3DS eShop)

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Professor Clayton
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20150527
PostReview: Adventure Bar Story (3DS eShop)

Recipe for Success


Circle Entertainment has brought a number of titles to the 3DS eShop, the latest of which is an RPG that goes by Adventure Bar Story. And much like its title suggests, this game is made up of largely adventuring, running a bar (more like a restaurant though) and the story which surrounds the main character, Siela.

Adventure Bar Story throws you into the gameplay almost immediately, with a quick introduction from which you gather that your Bar is going to be bought out by rival restaurant, Cassel Garden. It is up to you, Siela, and your group of comrades (from a shopkeeper to a drunk, wizard and more) to ensure the Bar's financial safety.


In order to profit, you need food to sell to customers, and to make dishes you need ingredients, which are referred to in-game as Mats. Mats can either be bought in a shop or collected on the ground in forests, rivers and mountains, which we assure you is perfectly safe and sanitary. Collecting Mats comes with risk though, as hordes of monsters will randomly attack you when you're outside of a town. Thankfully upon defeat, these creatures drop even more Mats for you to use in cooking, as well as some elemental experience points.

These elemental points unlock different attacks for each character, with all of your standard RPG spells and attacks making appearances. Defeating monsters doesn't level up your characters directly though, only their attacks. In somewhat of an odd mechanic, you need to eat your cooked dishes in order to level up your characters. Each dish has a different amount of experience tied to it, as well as a set portion size. Each character can eat only 99 portion points worth of food each day, so leveling up takes time and planning. In addition, you can only visit one location per in-game day as well, which limits the variety and number of Mats you can gather at once. Each day is concluded by adding dishes to your menu, and opening the store to profit from these foods.


As you sell more dishes, your Bar will increase in Rank, allowing you to enter cooking contests. These contests are held every ten days. Cooking contests, along with sales, are the key to increasing the rank of your Bar. They also provide a fun change of pace from simply adventuring and cooking every day, and become tricky to win as you move up the tiers.

The whole game system works well together, because everything you do allows you to progress the game's story a bit further. The plot itself isn't terribly complex or detailed, but it manages to pick up further into the game. In fact, for a small eShop RPG, Adventure Bar Story has a long journey for those who see it to, or even past, the end- giving most players at least 20 hours of gametime.

While this is a lot of time for a title of this size, some of it is spent revisiting old areas to gain more Mats for cooking. Due to the nature of the game's setup, this can't be avoided unless you spend your money very wisely to avoid certain areas. Backtracking to grab more Mats isn't much of a pain though, as monsters break up the monotony and breezing through low-leveled areas takes only minutes.


Revisiting old locations also gives you a chance to notice Adventure Bar Story's eye-pleasingly soft pixel art, which might be a bit simplistic, but fits the tone of the game well. The music playing in the background is just that, accompanying background music. It does its job and doesn't ever become annoying, but no tracks really stand out in the long run as memorable.

Circle Entertainment brings another winner to the eShop with Adventure Bar Story. This title's unique combination of cooking and battling is surprisingly enjoyable, and keeps you playing until the end. For a small RPG, Adventure Bar Story offers a lot of content, enough so that most RPG fans should feel full after this delicious treat.

8/10

Review Copy provided by: CIRCLE Entertainment
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