Review by DantesOtherBro
"So Dark You Will Need A Nightlight"
Being an RPG, Nocturne needs to have an engaging story to even have a chance of success. Personally, I enjoyed the story that the game delivered. Although a bit cliche, it takes turns and has a few surprises that you don't really expect. The obvious best part of the story is the fact that the player molds and shapes it, to an extent. Decisions you make in the game won't change what happens during the game, but the ultimate ending you get will be played depending on how you've played the game to the conclusion. There are several different Reasons (basically philosophies) that you are able to side with, and a human that sponsors each Reason. From Hikawa's World of Silence to Chiaki's world where strength reigns supreme, there are several choices that the player can decide to side with. Throughout the basic plot of the game, there is always a foreboding side plot concerning "Good" and "Evil". Different choices you make in this side plot can actually piss off God or the Devil, respectively. So there is more than just meets the eye at first glance in this Megaten game's story, although that's nothing surprising for a game in this series. So from 1 to 10? I'll give credit where its due and hand out a 7, here.
Nocturne's battle system is both one that you are familiar with, but will have to learn at the same time. It brings a familiar old school CTB system to the table (think FFX), but is brutal when it comes to mistakes. Elemental strengths and weaknesses are both the key to winning and losing horribly. For instance, if you attack an enemy who has the ability to drain fire with fire, not only is he going to drain it, but you lose the rest of the attacks on your turn. The same goes for immunities, and sometimes they even reflect the damage back at you still causing you to lose your turn. On the same note, if you take advantage of an enemies weakness, you are rewarded with an extra attack in the current turn. Regular enemies also sport instant death techniques that bosses in some other RPGs would tremble in fear at. It should also be noted that each enemy in Nocturne is a potential ally, because you can recruit them in battle by bribes, kindness, or several other actions. On a scale from 1 to 10, I enjoyed the old school/new additions blend Nocturne presented, because it made each battle interesting and kept you on your toes. A solid 9.
Now for what is the make or break aspect of this game for most gamers: the difficulty. Nocturne is a VERY hard game. Probably the hardest game that I have ever played. Ever. This is for a couple different reasons. Most notably, the bosses are insane. They will make regular use of techniques which give them anywhere from 2-4 extra attacks PER TURN. This makes for LONG battles, or very short if you aren't leveled up correctly. Another thing that people are having trouble dealing with is the unusually high encounter rate. The thing with the encounter rate though, is that if you don't fight all these demons, there is NO way you will be strong enough to even have a chance against these extremely difficult bosses. So really, the encounter rate is a blessing in disguise. Thirdly, Nocturne sports some really annoying dungeons, and when I say annoying, I mean asinine. Teleportation, falling through holes, even upside down worlds and invisible walls, Nocturne has them all. When you go into Nocturne I think the previous things are something you should know, so don't get yourself into something you don't think you can handle.
My recommendation or non recommendation for this game boils down to one thing. Your resolve as a player. If you want an easy 20 hour game with nothing but average everything that takes no risks, then Nocturne is NOT for you. For guys like you, go buy like...Fable or something. Now on the other side, if you are a veteran gamer looking for an astute challenge and don't mind a bit of frustration because you realize it will pay off in the end because of the satisfaction having conquered said title...(that was a mouthful, err...handful)...then this game is definitely for you. It's 80+ (emphasis on the +) hours long counting continues and whatnots, but well worth the ride. On a scale of 1 to 10 overall...9.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/06/05
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