Format reviewed: NES/Famicom
Submitted by: James Langstone
Released in Japan only, English speaking gamers such as myself had to wait quite some time for the emulation community to kick start in order to play this. Yet the wait was well worth it, Sweet Home is a classic example of old school JRPGs and also the precursor to one of gaming’s longest running franchises! Based around the Japanese horror film of the same name, Sweet Home also holds the coveted title of being a movie based game that does not suck.
The player controls a team of five treasure seekers whom all have individual roles and abilities. The idea being to control them one at a time in order to progress safely through the game, adding a layer of strategy to gameplay. Yet this is at the time kind of annoying due to them fighting alone as well unless you call upon another character for help. Outside of battle though the system works quite well, as you cannot depend on one or two characters alone to make it to the end. Be it the use of Emi’s key to open some locked doors or Ryo’s camera to expose hidden messages or blind foes.
Sweet Home as mentioned before is also the precursor to a much more well known game. Due to the setting and themes dealt with in the game, it was classed as a horror game and contains elements that later became staple heads of the genre. So much so that the great Shinji Mikami in his humble beginnings was charged to create a sequel to the game. This sequel later became known as one of the most beloved titles in the PS1’s history, Resident Evil! From its slow opening doors to haunting music and mansion setting, it is easy to see where the inspiration for the game came from.
Splicing horror with RPG, Sweet Home was a pretty great game for its time. Yet without it, would we have ever been blessed with Resident Evil? I think we owe this one much more thanks than it currently gets!