Probably the best damned action RPG
for the Nintendo 64
, mayhaps of all time
. It makes fun of just about every genre of game, especially RPGs and platformers, while being very anime
styled, with catchy j-pop
tunes (I've had "Metal Robot Impact" stuck in my head ever since I beat it last night, and I don't mind).
It takes place in feudal Japan. It has all sorts of blatant anachronisms (unlike RPGs which don't make them blatant). People talk about muscle cars, airplanes, the European Union, and America quite regularly. It also vaguely teaches you about Japanese geography, and uses this fact so that after you've finished your first battle using a 200-foot-tall rollerskating battle mech with a laser booger cannon to defeat an equally-tall mechanized kabuki warrior, it has the gall to call itself educational.
It has three very Anime-styled songs complete with sung lyrics and bad subtitles, pretty good graphics, incredible (and very varied) in-game music (with multiple variations on themes within different areas of single levels to prevent boredom), a dragon that you can fly around the Japanese countryside, and a plot which is somewhere between insane and incomprehensible (to sum up, a pair of giant peach-flying Broadway-loving aliens and their four gay henchmen are trying to convert all of Japan into a euro-trash Renaissance Faire-style theatre - and only the four characters you control seem to have a problem with this). It makes fun of the party system of most RPGs. It has a laugh track.
The only real downsides to this game are that its camera control really sucks (i.e. is nonexistent) and that its weapon upgrades are more of a plot point than anything useful. However, it's got some cool magic you can learn (including one which blatantly points out how Goemon, the main character, is very similar to a Saiyan in many regards). Also, it's a bit too short, and after you beat it if you want to explore the world some more, you have to start over from scratch, though that does nicely add a challenge in trying to make it through and get all 45 fortune dolls in a single run (unlike how in games like Zelda and Sonic Adventure it's too easy to get bored just hunting for little bonus points around a now-boring world).
If you don't like anime, at least rent this game. If you like anime, and have played enough RPGs and ARPGs to understand their various cliches, buy it. It's hard to find new, but cost me only $20 at half.com.