Review by Lumino
"Still the same old story, but still plenty of fun."
Let's face it, if your picking up RPGs in this day and age, as much as we love the story in them (And believe me I do.) a game can't stand on it alone. That is because every possible story has been done to death. The Summon Night series seems to accept this, because this game starts with a very simple story. Reseal evil thing by gathering magical ancient artifact, and save the world. Yay. However how the way they go about it makes this game a favorite in my book, and probably yours too.
Graphics: I tend to avoid this category for RPGs and for GBA games, cause we hold them to standards they can't possibly meet. But for this game I will make an exception. The graphics are smooth, crisp, and most importantly...FLASHY! Anyone who has played Golden Sun will probably see a few things they recognize, like town development and some magical effects, but really the game manages to keep up to par in this score, which is usually difficult for RPGs.
Story: They already accepted that they couldn't tell you anything new, but some of the plot twists they threw in really sent you for a loop. As always, you can see some of them coming, but I found myself legitimately surprised at a few key moments in the game. The game tends to be very laid back and humorous, which is a great way to keep your player doing what they do best, playing! There can be serious moments, but even the most serious of times will be broken by a quick joke or pop culture reference (Keep your eyes open! There are ALOT of them in there.).
Controls: The bread and butter for this game. The battle system is very close to Tales of Phantasia, another great RPG, but it's just you on the battlefield. You're only real ally is your Guardian Beast, think a summon but one that follows you around on the world map as well as helping (And sometimes yelling, complaining and hitting)you. If your afraid of this being like Pokemon, don't worry it's not. The Guardian Beast is possibly the most humorous part of the game, since the way they interact with your character and other NPC's was done masterfully. At the beginning of the game you can choose one of four GB's, and all of them add to the gameplay and enjoyability, some more then others. I'll let you figure out who you like.
Sound: This one is really hard for me to rate. On one hand the musical scores are amazing, and they really fit every scene in the game with the perfect music. If it was just music that I was ranking it would get a 10/10. However, the game has voice actors. BAD voice actors. Voice actors they hired from behind the dumpster at 7-11. Ok they aren't THAT bad, most of them anyway. Some you can get used to, some (Thankfully not either of the main characters.) are like nails on a chalkboard. Thank god they included an option to turn the voices off.
Replayability: This one is where it really falls short. The game lacks any real replay value. No matter who you play as or what Guardian Beast you choose, the game plays out effectively the same. The changes depending on which GB you have are noticeable, but they don't effect the overall game or storyline progression. The game is short, rather linear, and simplistic. Doesn't stop it from still being alot of fun though. And that was enough to make me go through it twice as the same character/GB.
Anyway, that's about it. I would recommend this game. It is a last stand by a brave system that is slowly falling away into it's death. Give your old GBA one last new game to try out, and make it "Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2"!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/08/06
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