Jeanne d'Arc May 12, 2011 13:58:33 GMT -5
Post by Bytor on May 12, 2011 13:58:33 GMT -5
The cut scenes look absolutely fantastic, understanding they what they are, and not expecting next-gen movie scenes. Instead, think really great looking cartoons. The actual battle scenes are also well done although some pixelation is at times evident (and the characters at times remind me of lego people, lol). In both instances however, the colors are fresh, vibrant and beautifully done. The game is simply a visual feast which looks really good on the PSP wide screen. My only real complaint is the battle scenes themselves. The backgrounds representing various parts of France, and especially the various towns/castles/villages, are all rendered very nicely. The attention to detail is simply superb! Unfortunately at times, not often but often enough, this attention can cause blockages in your vision of the battlefield. Now it is a simple fix to use the shoulder buttons to rotate the camera view but still at times it is a slight, and pretty slight at that, annoyance. I'm sure more games wish the only complaint concerning visuals was something that minor.
The voice overs are, which I wish there were more of, are all excellent (gotta love the French accents, lol). The actors provide just enough emotion without going overboard and becoming cheesy, which, let's be honest, is a rarity in this type of game. The music is another issue though. While the soundtrack fits the game wonderfully it gets so freaking repetitious I was looking for the mute button a quarter of the way through the game. I am, though, going to grade the game on the positive aspect of the music being really good and not totally bash it for it's repetitiousness.
The game is pretty typical of the SRPG genre in the sense that battles take place on a grid and movement is limited based on character mobility. What makes the game unique in my opinion is the customization of characters. Now this is nothing truly new but it is done in a slightly different way than many games. While the characters gain experience through battles (which raise various attributes) they can "learn"/equip various other attributes through the usage of gems. These gems are spoils of battle or can be created by binding two the gems together to form a (typically) better one. Another wonderful aspect of this system is the fact that the gems can also be unequipped and changed around based upon different needs for different battle conditions. Now none of this is truly innovative but the system works so very well it's certainly refreshing, fun and makes the various battle challenging. And this is a challenging game, often it would take me twice to accomplish a mission, perhaps I ran out of turns (most often) or I died (more seldom). Typically the first mission was, if you will, a dry run, then I'd defeat the enemies and save the day the second time around. The missions were, with one exception I felt (an escort mission where the person being escorted has to have the dumbest AI I think I've ever seen), fair and yet very challenging. Enemy AI is top notch, if you have someone weak in your party or someone weakened you better expect the enemy to zero in on that individual! Items are easy to get, saves are everywhere and once an area is done it can be replayed over and over and over with slightly harder enemies for $$$, items and experience. Overall simply a wonderful gaming experience.
Loosely, and I mean loosely based on the story of Joan of Arc and her participation in the Hundred Years War. The game is essentially divided into two parts, the first part is somewhat historical, although magical aspects are commonplace and not necessarily heretical, lol, while the second half somewhat rewrites history (with dwarfs, elves and Therions (kinda man/animal mixtures). The story is really good but I do feel that I simply did not develop a bond with any of the characters, they were to a certain extent so caricaturish that I simply never felt a bond and never really cared much about there struggles and desires, until pretty much the end of the game, and by then it was simply too late.
A great game...not a truly incredible awe inspiring OMG what a great game but still a game that will keep you occupied for many, many hours (@45 I'd imagine for a "completest)). Unfortunately the lack of a truly emotional story left me a tad detached from my characters and left me feeling the game was slightly, and ever so slightly, but still a tad more of a strategy game than a RPG. I know it is a fusion of both but my point is I feel it lacked enough emotional involvement to make it a true classic.