For the entire time that I've been playing My World, My Way, I've been trying to figure out exactly what it is. Is it a traditional RPG? A little bit. Is it a dungeon crawler? Kind of. Is it a god game? In a way. Coming to the Nintendo DS on February 3, 2009 from the fine folks at Atlus, My World, My Way draws from many different game genres and mixes them all together to create something that is definitely unique.
"My World, My Way draws from many different game genres and mixes them all together to create something that is definitely unique."
I love that Atlus is localizing games with different and original premises like My World, My Way. The game stars Princess Elise, a girl that has gotten everything she has ever wanted in life except for a handsome boyfriend. Her father invites every prince in the land to the castle for Elise to choose from, though the one she chooses for her boyfriend happens to be an adventurer instead of a prince. This adventurer tells Elise that if she wants to be with him, she must become an adventurer herself. Elise, to everyone's surprise, sets out to do just that.
With her stock of Pout Points in tow, Elise travels across the land from town to town, completing quests and defeating monsters. Pout Points are what make My World, My Way similar to a god game. They are used to transform terrain, weaken or strengthen monsters, make more items appear, freeze enemies during battle, open locked chests, and much more. They also tie into the game's humorous storyline that focuses on how Elise believes that the world is there entirely for her. Elise will have conversations with her enemies where she tells them that they only exist to give her experience points. She isn't interested in listening to NPC dialogue, she would rather just take their items, quests, or spells and move on. While Elise may sound arrogant, she's still a likable character because she isn't hateful or mean in any way. Her world view is primarily a source of humor, and also a vehicle for the game to make fun of the RPG genre in general.
Outside of each town are multiple squares of different terrain types, one square always housing the area gate. To unlock this gate and move on to the next area, Elise must fulfill quest objectives given to her at the area's town. Each different terrain type contains different enemies. Battles are sometimes randomly entered when moving across terrain squares, but Elise will mostly enter combat on her own by pressing the A button. The turn-based battle system is what makes My World, My Way similar to a traditional RPG, it being as traditional as battle systems get. Though Pout Points throw a small wrench into the works, the battle system is incredibly simple. There is an unnecessary amount of short camera panning and zooming during combat that can be skipped by pressing A, but I got sick of pressing A throughout nearly every battle pretty quickly.
Elise eventually meets a Mimic Slime that becomes more powerful by randomly mimicking the abilities of encountered enemies. The Mimic Slime can take on the attributes of enemies' heads, arms, torsos, and legs, but can only have one enemy attribute in each area at a time. I wish there were some way to control when or what the Slime mimicks, but it is still fun to upgrade the creature, teaching it new spells or causing it to be able to equip different kinds of items.
The item system is what makes My World, My Way similar to a dungeon crawler. New equipment drops off of enemies constantly, especially when using Pout Points to increase item drops. Enemies also drop items whose descriptions imply that they have some type of use, but so far these items are only good for selling. Elise will eventually begin to explore dungeons, which make the game feel even more similar to a dungeon crawler, but without the random elements. Enemies in these dungeons are mostly located in the exact same spots each visit, are stationary, and only attack Elise if she moves within one square of them. The bosses of these dungeons can be tough as nails, bucking any impression that this is an RPG for those new to the genre, though saving enough Pout Points can make any enemy easy as pie.
My World, My Way puts the elements of multiple genres together, but it doesn't necessarily excel at any of them so far. The game's silly premise and sense of humor is the major driving force keeping me into it. By my estimation, I am about halfway through, and in the game's defense it is picking up somewhat in each aspect of the gameplay. Hopefully, the game will give me a bit more to be interested in through the last half, but, despite the game's flaws, My World, My Way is at least something different and humorous.