Published by Ubisoft on 08 September 2006
Developed by FromSoftware Inc
Platform: Xbox 360
I’ve Seen this Before somewhere…
The story goes that over a thousand years ago, war broke out. No-One alive today knows why it begin, or what it was about. (probably due to civilization as they knew it being wiped of the face of the the earth). For whatever reason, At some point during this war one side decided to create a group of self-Aware robots known as golems. these golems would do exactly as commanded even after the person giving the orders died (Despite being Self-Aware), and so consequently destroyed the world.(Though I’m not sure why!)
One day they stopped, for no reason at all (presumably they got bored.)
The humans came out of hiding, swiftly built the land using enchantment, conveniently forgot about the All-Powerful Devil-golems they’d created and pretty much everything they knew up til then, except enchanting.
Now skip forwards a thousand years and our slightly whiny protagonist Atsuma and his awesome friend Mary-sue, I mean Toya (who is so amazing that he has his own fan club and his lover follows him everywhere he goes. ) are busy skipping school to illegally battle golems and generally enjoy the festival the town has going on to celebrate something.During these celebrations, the town is destroyed and our plucky heroes run off to investigate and accidentally awaken the Queen of Ice, A dark and ancient devil golem, where a severe clothing deficiency.
Now the entire world is in Danger and only our band of misfit heroes can save it…
It should as this is pretty much the plot to every JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) ever made. Even the robots aren’t exactly original.
All your base are… wait wrong game.
But just as poorly translated, a few times you will be given options and only be able to pick one because the rest mean nothing in English, it’s almost as if they used Google to translate it without actually checking what was being said.
Some of the Characters are fairly decent despite most being stereotypical of the genre, (the fanatically loyal knight, The wandering warrior princess, The self-obsessed reluctant hero… Etc… ) though they do develop and change throughout the story so at least that is a bonus.
The script is awful and uninspired. I can guarantee almost everyone will have, read, played or watched an incarnation of this story before. Characters will often expressly say how they feel instead of showing it as is the golden rule of storytelling. (though this could be because of the poor translation.) The English voice acting is terrible, emotionless and flat. ( the golems were never translated.) Fortunately there is an option to switch to the far superior Japanese voices. (possibly because I can’t understand them) and but at least they has some emotion in them.
Now for the good bit…
The gameplay is unfortunately very predictable and unless you are new to this particular sub-genre of gaming it holds no surprises. there is also a distinct lack of side-quests making it extremely linear. Which is a shame because it would have vastly improved both the game and it’s sales has they created more to do.
However the battle system is pretty cool and relatively unique. You take turns fighting and moving about a 3 x 4 grid and pick your attacks (much like final fantasy in layout) which have a limited range and require you to move your team around the board in order to do the maximum amount of damage. (simple right?)
One of the best things is the amount of golems you have access to, well over a hundred different options with their own unique abilities abilities and skills make customizing you team very fun and enjoyable allowing you to play in the style and with the strategies you prefer. Your characters are also very customizable with a great deal of skills and powers available. although unfortunately the golems are not.
If your feeling lazy or just want to get the battles over quickly it can also be auto fought. which is helpful later on when you are required to grind out levels to beat the final boss.
It does have a mutliplayer mode however I’ve never seen anyone online so I personally have no idea how it plays. I would assume it’s much like the battles in the actual game so if you do get a copy of this game it’s well worth a shot to try the online with a friend as they servers are empty.
Apart from the very last boss who requires hours of levelling up, the rest are very underwhelming you often only realise that you’ve just fought a boss feel when either an achievement unlocked or a wall of text has stalled you for ten minutes.
On the visual side of things. The game starts out beautiful then starts to get bad towards the end with textures and areas repeating themselves making it look like a bad port for the original Xbox and making it feel like it was rushed.
The achievements in this game are really easy to get as they are given for just playing through the story. One playthrough should net you a full 1000g although two at the end are miss able if you make the wrong choice. for those who really loved the game or just want to ramp up that high score the game is also available in Japanese and Korean and allows you to net a total of 2700G out of 3000G for this game (the Korean version is glitched and some achievements will not unlock). Provided of course you own an NTSC-J console.
It’s a below average JRPG with an interesting battle system and some initially interesting graphics. It’s fairly user friendly with a decent battle system, easy to pick up and play and would make a great introduction to JRPGs if you have never played one, however for those with a lot of experience with the genre will probably find it uninteresting and below par.
If you want me to review anything in particular just message me on the forums, (Tcio123) or through Xbox live (Nomstuff) If I have it then I will review it, if not then I’m afraid I can’t help you.
©2013, Nomstuff, Nomsheep, Tcio123, All content is my own.