Weapon Shop de Omasse is the latest arrival from the Guild series from Level-5. It's the latest in both senses of the word as it came out in Japan almost two years ago now.

As every RPG player knows, the first port of a call in a new town is the shop, where you can get all the best gear for your gold.

It's always disappointing when that gear is the same as you found in the previous town, but in Weapon Shop de Omasse the responsibility for this and other retail shortcomings lies with you.

Yes, this is a game about stocking the shop that adventurers visit before going on adventures.

'Evil Dudebro guy'

The Evil Lord has returned, and everyone needs to do their part to send him back whence he came. Your contribution is to rent out equipment.

This means providing your clients with the best weapons you can forge to fit their attributes and fighting preferences. Each weapon will focus on sharp, piercing, or blunt attacks, all of which hit some enemies harder than others.

Each time a mission is a success, NPCs will return with cash and / or materials for the forge, along with the weapons they used. Each time a weapon returns, its stats increase - even more so if you give them a quick polish to boot. Whenever your chosen adventurer loses a battle, you lose the weapon you loaned him.

You can't brute force your way through the game with overpowered weapons, but plenty of hints are dropped in terms of each adventurer's skills and the weaknesses of the enemy he or she will face.

"I've found the Evil Lord's weakness... your mum"

Each time the shop bell dings and a new customer enters, you'll be treated to a live studio audience sitcom-style cut-scene, complete with laugh track between Yuhan, the client, and the weapon shop master, Oyaji.

Each central character is a specialised wielder of at least one of the available weapon types, ranging from axes to katana. There are also nameless NPC grunts without overarching plots, who exist primarily for fetch quests and to help you increase the weapons' stats.

You can expect a diverse cast of characters ranging from L'invincible Sir Jean Jacques Jardeaux (whose entrance is reminiscent of Lord Flashheart from Blackadder) to Grandma Snow, who's on a quest to find her long-lost husband.

The smithing section of the game is rhythm-based, meaning you have to watch and / or listen to the musical taps and repeat them, whilst tapping areas of the molten block in front of you using the stylus.

It's quite an art form in and of itself, with breaking combos and chipping away at the block as many times as possible resulting in weapons with much better stats than racing through in one perfect combo from the outside in.

The weapons you forge can have attributes added to them to increase their effectiveness through items adventurers bring back from dungeons. These items can add improvements such as special attacks, elemental attacks, and even poison effects.

#crying #FML #excusemyFrench

The Grindcast is where much of the characterisation and humour within the game originates. It's essentially a Twitter-like feed that keeps you abreast of how each adventurer is faring on his quest. Expect hashtags, meme-references, and the odd bit of swearing to boot.

After spending some time with the game it's easy see why the localisation has taken so long - there's an enormous amount of text and the localisation team has done a bang-up job making the script contemporary and relatable.

Every so often, the weapon shop will level-up depending on how you and your clients are progressing. This opens up the catalogue of weapons you can forge, as well as giving you the ability to buy certain materials rather than having NPCs bring them back from dungeons for you.

By the end of the game you'll have built up a cache of master-grade weapons with all manner of attributes. And, after the Evil Lord is defeated... well, let's just say the game lasts a lot longer than its initial 12-hour playthrough if you want to stick with it.

Level-5 has made the right choice in bringing Weapon Shop de Omasse over to the West, and the game is well worth its price tag.