[Nintendo Switch] Cthulhu Saves Christmas Review

by EdEN, Owner

JRPG Cthulhu Saves Christmas from Zeboyd Games and Limited Run Games is ready for you on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Cthulhu Saves Christmas review!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through R’lyeh, not a creature was fighting, no one in a fray. No stockings were hung by the chimney with care, they all had been naughty, no St. Nicholas There. Cthulhu was nestled all snug in non-euclidean space, with visions of destruction lighting up his cold face. When out on the altar, there arose such a clatter, that Cthulhu toppled out of bed to see what was the matter.

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JRPG Cthulhu Saves Christmas from Zeboyd Games and Limited Run Games is an old-school infused turn-based entry in the beloved genre. The game was previously released on Steam back in 2019, and it’s now made its way to the Nintendo Switch. You probably recall Zeboyd Games thanks to the excellent Cosmic Star Heroine – which is also out on Nintendo’s console -, so you have an idea of what you’re about to get yourself into with this holiday-themed RPG adventure.

What will you be asked to do this time? Well, it seems that Cthulhu has lots its powers, and the only way to get them back is to find a way to save Santa from the League of Christmas Evil! The game is a prequel to Cthulhu Saves the World, a game that I’ve kindly asked Zeboyd Games about, and you’ll be taking on a new adventure with a group that includes Cthulhu, the Snow Maiden Crystal Claus – and Santa’s granddaughter -, Baba Yaga-chan, and Belsnickel, who will get to fight against Krampus, Mari Lwyd, Jack Frost, and other villains from the aforementioned League.

Before you take on a new journey alongside Cthulhu, you can select between the three available difficulty settings, which you can also change as you play the game if you feel that you need a smaller or bigger challenge. For Sane, you will be able to enjoy the game’s story with easier enemies to battle. Insane is the standard difficulty setting, offering a good challenge without feeling overwhelming. And then, there’s Raving, which dials up the difficulty to 11 with enemies that will destroy you if you make a mistake.

Since Cthulhu Saves Christmas is an old-school infused turn-based RPG for the 21st century, you’ll be doing a lot of reading and will take on many battles with your group. You’ll need to make good use of each of your characters’ regular attacks, abilities, and even of commands such as rest and defend, so that you can stay on top of things and live to see another day. Items are shared by all party members, and will be recharged at the start of battle, so you should most definitely use them as needed!

Each party member will be able to equip four regular abilities and one recharge ability to use in battle. You can also have three insanity abilities in your arsenal. Said three insanity abilities can’t be chosen by you, and will just pop up at random in your fight menu based on the abilities you have not equipped on your own. There are many abilities to unlock as you progress through the game, and some of them will even only be available as insanity abilities, not giving you the option to manually equip them in the first place! You can also use Unite abilities in battle, which can only be used once for each fight. Unite abilities will combine the efforts of two of your party members. As the battle starts, Unite abilities will not be as powerful, but as the turns pass, they will grow stronger and stronger until they hit their max potential.

Every turn, your party members will earn one Hyper Point. Once a character has reached its max number of Hyper Points, it will enter the aptly named Hyper Mode! When in Hyper Mode, all of that character’s abilities will be greatly enhanced, allowing them to deal more damage with their attacks, target more characters with their abilities, or gain access to other bonuses. Planning your moves so that you can be ready to take advantage of Hyper Mode will be very important, especially during boss battles.

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For every battle you win, your characters will gain experience points. Once a character has obtained enough experience points, it will get to level up. This will grant a boost to max hit points, as well as to power, healing, speed, and ailment. On top of this, characters will also learn new abilities to use in battle. Take, for example, Cthulhu himself. Once he manages to hit level 5, he’ll gain the Plague ability. Plague can be used during a fight to target all opponents with a 50% poison status ailment, which can be very useful to chip away some extra damage every turn.

Every area has a set number of random battles for you to take on, which can be seen above your characters by way of a handy gauge. This gauge will also give you a heads-up of when the next battle will trigger. You can also go into the menu and select the battle option to get right to it, so that you can earn some extra experience right way. Either by taking on fights in the old-fashioned way, or by using the option in the menu, you’ll be lowering the overall counter for the remaining battles for the area. Once it hits zero, there will be no more fights, and you’ll be able to explore as you please. And as a bonus, you’ll also earn some extra experience points for your efforts!

Cthulhu Saves Christmas also includes some life sim elements, which are presented in the R’lyehtionships system. By talking to the people of Christmas Land – the Christmasiest place on earth – and spending time with them, you’ll boost your R’lyehtionship with that character, which could lead to receiving some bonus rewards that could prove to be useful. New equipment is always a plus! Spend some time with Crystal, go to the mall, visit the post office, go see a movie, got o the soup kitchen, or go on an expedition, the choice is yours!

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Cthulhu Saves Christmas is a JRPG you should definitely check out on Nintendo Switch. It looks and feels like and old-school JRPG from ages past while also offering many quality-of-life improvements – such as being able to run instead of walk around each area – that give it the 21st century spit and shine you’d expect, while still staying true to the proven formula. While it’s a shorter RPG when compared to Cosmic Star Heroine, you’re still looking at 5-6 hours or so before you can finish this adventure. Cthulhu Saves Christmas is on the Nintendo Switch with a $9.99 asking price.

This Cthulhu Saves Christmas review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Limited Run Games.

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