Ska Drummer Man RPG
A Retrospective by Red Maverick Zero
Believe it or not, this was actually the first game I ever played using
the OHR. Back in 2001, my buddy Ben drew a comic book and I
thought it was the coolest thing. Next thing I know, he's like, yeah,
it's a video game. This was the game that introduced me to the OHR and
it's thanks to this guy that I was able to pick it up and go from there.
Before I talk about the game, I'll tell you a bit about the comic it's based on. Ska-Drummer Man
was a comic strip that Ben would draw in class about his friends and
him going on wacky adventures using their musical talents to fight
crime. He had dozens of comics that he'd carry around in a notebook.
Every character was based around his friends in some way shape or form.
The bad guys however, were just jokes at various stereotypes, like the
Nazi Hate guy, and the Pokeman.
But yeah, there's enough backstory! On to the main event.
When I first joined Castle Paradox in 2003, I had been playing this
game for a couple years and had learned enough from it to make the
crappy Mr.Triangle games and Axle RPG.
If not for finding a floppy disc at my buddy Kevan's house, I wouldn't
have been able to upload this version of the game to the net.
The game takes place with Ska-Drummer Man, our hero, getting a strange
feeling from his "Drummer Sense" (the game's full of cliches like
this). So he sets out about town, beating up bad guys and so
forth. Granted, you all can't see the original artwork, but the game's
in-battle graphics matched Ben's drawing pretty much to a T. The
attacks were drawn well. The only gripe about the battles was that they
started out very very slow.
The majority of the demo will take place in a battle, where the ATB
gauge will fill... as slowly as humanly possible. Then, depending on
what over-priced accessories you have equipped, you may or may not do a
reasonable amount of damage.
Most of the characters you get don't have very good stats. I
entered the Battle of the Bands contest after I got Guitar Dude and SDM
did 15 damage, GD did 6. It was pretty unfair when the bad guys could
heal for 20 HP when I was only doing 21. Aside from the lack of balance
and useful skills (some of them are actually useful later on, so I take
that back a little), the game has a lot of personality. Later on, there
are even a couple of summoning spells you can get, one involves
summoning the Trix rabbit even.
It's purposelly linear. Hell, you even go from Point A to Point B,
literally. Each town is named after a city, and a lot of the buildings
are there just for effect. Which hey, it's a comic book game, why do
you need to explore all of these houses anyways. It's all about meeting
your allies and beating your enemies. There's a few side quests along
the way and fun items to pick up, but it's mostly, like I said, about
pounding your arch enemies into the ground, fisticuffs style!
It's a shame that the creator isn't interested in OHR anymore, because
simply updating the music and even throwing in a few sound effects
would spruce up the game quite a bit. It's a ska-punk based game, so
naturally all of the music is taken from popular bands of those genres
such as Reel Big Fish, Rancid, Green Day, and a few more. It also uses
some classic themes from Final Fantasy and even one of the underground themes from Super Mario Land 2 : 6 Golden Coins.
For a demo, it's got a lot to offer. And it does all of it without the
aid of plotscripting. I don't think many people can appreciate this
game as much as I can, just because, hey, this is the game that started
it all for me. Sometime in the next year or so, I plan to actually
rebuild this game from the ground up as a special tribute to that guy
for getting me into the OHR.
Give this game a quick look if you've got 30-40 minutes to spare, it's an older game, but hey, everybody had to start somewhere.