Review by Zujin2
"Great! Be Sure To Check It Out!"
Okay, this review is coming from someone who is a massive turn-based RPG fan. In fact, if it weren't for the PSP's RPG catalogue being a little dry, I probably wouldn't have picked this up. But, I'm really glad I did.
Story - 7
Well, Reid and Farah are introduced to Meredy in the beginning of the game, she's a Celestian and she's from, yep, you guessed it, Celestia. Due to her being a Celestian, and them having a bad reputation in Infernia, she's banished from the village. Farah decides to go along with Meredy, trying to find a way to communicate with her and then hopefully find out her reason for being there, Reid is dragged along with them. The game gets a little more interesting when you eventually are able to understand Meredy, that's when, in my opinion, the true story unfolds. It's a pretty common story, but after the amount of games that's been put out after all these years, I'm not really expecting a seriously "WOW" story anymore. I'm not saying this story is bad, I think it's pretty interesting, but it's pretty cliched as well.
Gameplay - 9
I'm a huge turn-based fan, as I said, so I didn't expect to be into this game that much. I was wrong. This game is real-time, you control one character while the other three help you out (either by attacking as well, healing, or using spells) Fast paced, very fast paced, which is great! On average the battles last around 5 - 30 seconds, depending on how hard the enemies and how many they are (bosses aside, they can go into the minutes) and there are some battles where you're up against more than a handful of opponents, which is where strategy comes into play. You can't leave Meredy at the back as you'll be (usually) surrounded by all the enemies, so you have to go back and forth, defending Meredy while trying to keep yourself alive. Okay, it's not really as hard as it sounds, but strategy is needed in this game. Especially for bosses, I find myself constantly going into the menu and selecting the other members skills to use, items to use, etc. So it's not all "mash X button". There is also a heap of skills to learn, and when you've learnt them you learn the "Sacred skills", which are two original skills combined to make a more powerful skill. Also, you can use your other members, so if you get bored with Reid, learn the game with Farah.
Characters - 7
Well, they're the usual, generic, stereotypical RPG characters... The Reluctant hero, the bossy tomboy, the girl who speaks like an eight year old and the arrogant brains of the group. One problem I had is that for a fair amount of the game you'll have four characters to control, and only those four... I like some variety, I would have liked to have seen around eight characters all up, but hey, the four you have are more than capable in battle.
Graphics - 8
Depends if you can put up with the 2D sprites and not class them as "dated". I, for one, am all for it. I think sprites are great, especially in a game like this will all that's going on in the battle, you can still see where Reid is and what he's doing. They're colorful, detailed and awesome to look at in battle. I think the graphics are top notch, and some spells mix 2D with 3D which comes off great. I also like all the different weapons that Reid can equip (swords, spears, axes, daggers) and how they all look different, and believe me, there's a lot of them.
Sound - 7
I'm a big fan of the music and the sound effects, the voice overs in the battles are fine too. But I don't like the voice overs during the game, some are pretty bad. I usually don't mind them, but sometimes it sounds like Reid's voice over is reading the line for the very first time. Whether he did or he didn't doesn't really matter, it's the fact that it sounds that way. I'm not a huge fan of Reid, but they all deliver a few bad lines throughout the game. As I said, in battle they're fine and it's got some great music.
Overall - 8
There are more than a few side-quests, so many damn weapons to get, heaps and heaps of skills to learn, if you get sick of Reid use Farah, if you get sick of Farah use Meredy, If you get sick of Meredy use... I think you get the point, story isn't that bad and gets interesting a little further in, hours of fun and some challenging battles. It's a great game, it really is.
The PSP doesn't have a wide range of RPG's out, so I recommend this if you're a RPG fan, there's not much else to get so what's stopping you?
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/24/06
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