Posted by Amado Bustos
When my good friend Bobby let me borrow this originally, let me think... *flash back to 2005* I had an Afro, an was wearing plaid... no wait different flash back. Anyway when he first let me borrow it, I only played about 5 minutes of it before I got involved in something else, and I soon forgot all about it. Last week he again let me borrow it, under the condition that I actually play it this time lol.
Well now that I've been playing it, I have no idea why I wasn't so keen on playing it before. Sure some of it's game play is dated at best, like the turn based system of the old RPG's. however, they do mix things up a bit with some other fun elements:
1st innovation - Like in Chrono Trigger, wherever you encounter your enemy on screen is right where you battle! *burp*
2nd innovation - Final Fantasy Tactics, remember how it shows your range of attack in squares, also shows your range of movement in squares and all that? Exactly. This game mimics the tactics style of battle, all the way down to the Samurai's straight line, hit-everyone-on-the-way attack!
3rd innovation - This one is my favorite. Dual attacks! Pietro (main character) has an attack called "Slicing wind" that hits everything down a line. Narcia (Non-Main Character) has a move called "Wind Cutter" (oh man it's so hard not to make fart jokes here) well if you've used one of Pietro's turn charging him up, then on his next charged up turn stand him next to Narcia, they'll do a combined attack! That's right folks, they'll combine their powers for an extra powerful version of both their attacks in one!
Now equipped with that info lets move on. The first thing you'll notice about this game is it's great cut-scenes. According to Wikipedia this game began as a Manga. That to me explains why this game has what a lot of other games do not-- a substantial plot, and character development.
This game actually seems to care about it's characters enough to develop them throughout the series. Not just the main characters either. I'm talking character development for the old lady with the 20 cats who at every new chapter has something new to say, as do her cats ;).
Also Instead of just giving you a single page about that particular characters favorite ice cream, his zodiac sign, and what annoys him the most. Neither does it employ one of the most annoy tactics, something I've heard called "Kernel Exposition" (said by the great Weltall and Tim the Enchanter at Manga pulse podcast) which basically means that some random character comes into the picture momentarily to tell us all about the main character in a round about sort of way only to disappear for the rest of the story.
The artwork in this game is very nice, but different. They seem to have gone with a European style of art. They also use a lot of beautifully animated cut scenes, which may or may not have been pulled from the Anime series. This gives the characters even more depth.
Last but certainly not least, story. The story in this game is actually split up into 3 stories. This particular game is actually 3 games in one. There are 3 stories involved in this PSP title, sectioned off into "books" & "Chapters". The first story is about 9 hours or so long depending on what all you do.
In the first book you are a 10 year old boy named Pietro, he inadvertently finds out that his mother whom he was told was death since his birth, is actually not dead! In fact she's in perfect health, besides the fact that she's unconscious and has been for about 10 years. 10 years ago there was this mean guy called The Ice Demon, good name for a bad guy, he tried to freeze the world over, and kill everyone in it. She (his mother) transformed into her native species which is a dragon, beat him up, and dragged his soul to the underworld where she holds him captive for all eternity. Pietro needs mommy, so he (you) go after her. That is the first book, and there are 2 more after that. All great.
I can't encourage you people enough to check this game out. If you enjoy yourself some RPGing, check this out.
Butter and Jam Toast!