Classic RPG battles with internet tropes and memes!
Epic Battle Fantasy III is a turn-based party RPG that gladly pokes fun at the genre as well as itself. You play as the trio of epic characters introduced in earlier titles - Lance, Matt and Natalie - as they set out to recover their power and items after an encounter with an ancient demon.
From the outset, it's obvious that this title doesn't take itself too seriously. The first NPC you meet explains that the town doesn't have a name because it's the only one in the game. The jokes continue with more fourth-wall breaking moments, RPG tropes and lots of internet humor. There's even a minigame in which you play as a cat jumping around to catch food.
The game is far from being just memes and jokes, though. There's a huge selection of skills available for each character and combat is fairly strategic due to the use of a variety of damage types. The stronger skills often have prerequisites, but you're free to learn and upgrade skills as you want otherwise. Battles tend to play out as a cross between early Final Fantasy and Pokemon titles, complete with weaknesses, resistances and limit breaks. There's even four difficulty levels to choose from when starting a new game, allowing you to enjoy a more casual (or challenging) experience.
Obtaining new gear is somewhat uncommon and hardly ever an overt upgrade due to all the damage types and resistances. This makes every piece useful depending on the situation. Instead, gear can be upgraded using the Forge ability using materials found as loot or sold by vendors. A lot of these items serve multiple functions, as they're often the requirement for completing quests and can even be used as a consumable for some spell-like effect. Considering many of these items cost a fortune at a vendor, you're better off finding them through combat and exploration. That also means you need to consider how to use them effectively.
Additionally, I was impressed with the amount of detail put into battle animations. Bosses in particular have a variety of attacks, each with a unique animation. Your characters each have an array of silly idle animations - juggling, sleeping, reading and listening to an iPod just to name a few. Likewise, the game's bestiary contains sound and animation for its entries.
In all, I found Epic Battle Fantasy III to be a surprisingly polished RPG well worth checking out!