As always with these things I like to start out with a huge shout out to Publisher Deck 13 for tossing me a copy of this one to check out as well as Matthias Linda. I know it’s weird to see me toss a specific name out there but he actually developed the game himself, and for that he has my eternal gratitude.
In case you want to go into this game 100% blind like I was blessed to do, here is my quick opinion. Don’t walk to purchase this game, run. If you like RPG’s that will remind you of what many consider the golden era of the genre, this is your game. If you want to know why, keep reading.
The story starts off introducing you to what will basically be the main characters, of which there are many. There is Lenne a princess her friend and admittedly but obsessive guard Robb. My personal favorite Sienna whose one goal in life seems to be to steal anything that isn’t nailed down. This is a small portion of the characters admittedly.
The battle system is very reminiscent of Chrono Trigger in many ways, there are no random battles and you will see exactly what you are about to engage with with a few exceptions for boss battles. Another very nice thing is at the end of all battles your HP and TP will replenish completely and anyone that dropped will be revived.
This doesn’t mean you can just go all out with your best moves however. In the upper left hand corner there is an overdrive gauge. When it is yellow you will take normal damage and when it is red, that damage you take is increased. But that sweet green spot is where you want to keep it. When it is there you will take less damage and give more. Every action you or an enemy take will move that gauge. Defending will always lower it,and certain move types will also lower it but that move type changes often.
This is a level of strategy that does nothing to take away from the enjoyment of the game, in fact some of the best times I had with this game were losing a boss battle because I screwed up, trying again and winning with no issue because I managed to keep the gauge where I needed it while taking advantage of my ability to paralyze the boss with one character and attack that weakness with another. Each time I did this however it became harder to paralyze the enemy. The game doesn’t allow you to simply spam a strategy and rewards experimenting without making the game a chore.
The story itself isn’t as simple as it seems either. It starts out as a simple story of stopping the evil kingdom from taking over the continent. You however will start to notice little things intertwined that make you second guess what is going on even within your party.
By mid game I wasn’t sure if I should even trust my own people as an unexpected ode to Suikoden kicked in and I’m building my own clan and recruiting people to my island to provide various services.
I haven’t even touched on the reward system that will allow you to unlock bonus grimoire shards to help strengthen your characters and many other items. All of these are basically optional but mostly they happen as you play the game anyway and are worth doing.
There is so much to say about this game, and I am sure I missed a ton. The important thing to know here is that in about 6 years of reviewing games I have never given out a perfect score,and while that still stands this game has come closer than any other. This one is a 9.5/10 with my one and only complaint being there were a few times I managed to accidentally climb through the side of a wall while going up or down a rock ladder. This isn’t anything major and didn’t even interfere with game play,but unfortunately it does exist and it would be dishonest to not mention it. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.