Review by Demonsedge

"An sRPG lacking elements of strategy"

Yggdra Union is one of many strategy RPGs made by Atlus, which has made many great GBA games. This is not one of them.

Gameplay -- 4/10
Tedious, at best. In a classical sRPG sense, you move around on a grid and move next to people to attack them. By moving your characters into certain patterns, you can have multiple characters attack at once, which is important because you only attack once per turn. You assemble a deck of cards, which is kind of weird since it's not really relevant to the storyline or anything else, for that matter. But the cards determine how much you move and affect your attack power somewhat. They also give you an ability, like steal, do some elemental damage to enemy, etc. but most of them have crazy restrictions on them, so the entire system is rather rigid.

The actual battles are dull and time-consuming. Your people jump them, then they wack you back, then you sit on two sides of the screen with a space barrier in between and make attack movements at each other for way too long, without anyone actually touching, while the number of troops you have falls and with that number go your hopes. At least it's sanitary.

I'm also not a fan of how items are used. You can either equip them, in which case they go away in a few battles, or you can use them for morale, which is kind of like healing your HP. Except most items are hidden somewhere on the battlefield, and you have to move to the right space, which is usually really far away or surrounded by enemies. On certain maps, items can really help out against certain enemies, but in general they're not entirely useful for equipment purposes.

It's supposed to be a "strategy" RPG, but there's little more strategy than "form a giant union and use a high-powered card with an awesome effect (Gravity Chaos, anyone?) to destroy the enemy." But apparently "strategy" can be handed out to any game with a rectangular grid now.

Graphics -- 6/10
What annoys me the most is that the background style isn't like Fire Emblem, in which you can tell there's some sort of background which suggests to the terrain on which your units may be standing. In this, the map is a set of boxes with some vague shading underneath splotching over the fuzzy background.

The battle animations, in a purely aesthetic sense, are a bit overcrowded, however they are well-done in a graphic sense. I guess I just hate them because they're completely irrelevant to how the battle will go.

Sound -- 6/10
It sounds pretty much like all of the other music for everything else Atlus has released with a fantasy theme. I'm not tone deaf or anything, I just don't notice much difference in terms of style between this and say, Riviera. It's not bad, but it's just something that they had to include so that people wouldn't complain.

Story -- 8/10
Princess fights with oddball gang of skilled fighters to reclaim her kingdom from big, bad empire. Oh yeah, the Emperor is summoning some super-devil to plunge the world into chaos. The story is actually decent, more so than indicated by my unflattering summarizing skills. The game lacks surprise, but there are some interesting moments. Too bad you can't skip the dialogue, though.

Some of the characters can only be gotten by doing certain things on certain maps, so you're missing out on a big chunk of the storyline by missing them. Nietzsche and the Undines, Astral Fencer Russel, etc.

Um... avoid like the plague? There's so much better stuff on the GBA that you're totally wasting your time with this game.

One of the things that most constantly amuse me is that Nietzsche is named after Friedrich Nietzsche, which is totally random, and also when you fight Rosary, her golems are named Sodom and Gomorrah.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 08/15/07

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