Review by Prinnies

Reviewed: 02/16/06

I, Prinnies say this Strategy Role Playing Game kicks demon and angel ass, Dood!

Nippon Ichi blessed us with an old school Strategy Role Playing Game that contain Demons, Angels, and most importantly myself, Prinnies. At first, this game did not appeal to me at all. Then one day, a very good friend of mine recommends this game to me. As I play, I realize I didn't know what and where the hell to do/go. I knew this game wasn't my type, until my friend lets me borrow it and to my surprise and possibly to yours, I fell in love.

Story

Wittyness combined with pounds of Humor. Great combination, no?

In this game, you take the role as the Arrogant, black hearted(for now), Overlord Prince, Laharl. Etna, Laharl's companion desperately attempts to wake Laharl up after his slumber for over two years. To his misfortune, it turns out his father died and the Netherworld is in disarray. Embarking on a quest to call the Netherworld his own, he meets a naive girl in his ruthless journey named Flonne. These are the protagonists of the game and humor sets afoot almost at every cutscene. More humorous people join your alliance as you progress through the story such as Gordon, Jennifer, Thursday, and much more. See for yourself, and I'll save you the trouble from spoiling anything.

Graphics

A negativity about this game. The graphics aren't too great at all. It's as it is in the Playstation 1 era but beside all of that, the graphics are decent for a game that came out long ago. The cutscene graphics are a pretty good eye-catcher, though. Also, the special effects of your attack are pretty colorful and fluid. This is just a minor flaw in this game. Please restrain from telling me that graphics are what makes up a game. If that’s the case, then don’t look at this review any longer and quit your gaming career which I doubt took a large portion of your life. Anyways, don’t play a game for its graphics, just a heads up. No major complaints about the graphics in this game.

Difficulty

This game is not the average stroll in the park. Strategy is the key role in this game and if you don’t think, then all you’re asking for is an ass kicking. This or Phantom Brave (Another Nippon Ichi game) are considered difficult sRPG’s. If you feel that you need an easier task, pick up La Pucelle, Makai Kingdom, or Rhapsody. Those are three other fantastic N1(Nippon Ichi) games which have a connection to each other in one way or another. It makes sense if you have a good memory and can keep track of what major events occurred in the Nippon Ichi games you’ve played. I’ll just make it simple and to the point, this game will make your brain think.

Sound

The sound in this game are pretty good. It's as if it’s been taken from a cutesy anime. The music also fits the mood in any part of this game. Some tunes are memorable and are even stuck in my head at the moment. Some tunes will return in the Nippon Ichi games and you’ll remember it if you really get into the game. Also, during engagement in a fight and casting your attack, your character that you casted it with will blurt out words that can be easily heard. Some are average, some are creative, etc. Anyways, the music/sound is beautiful, case closed.

Gameplay

This aspect of the game is where the game really shines. What you do is you go to a series of maps and you engage in battle with various enemies. You move by grids and can only move a certain amount of spaces per turn. Your objective is to defeat all the enemies and what makes it tough is that there are Geo effects most of the time that can really be a pain in the ass. You can throw enemies into each other to combine their power. You can also carry your own allies and form a strategy to reach an area if that's the case. Team attacks are another great feature. Your allies have to be one grid apart in a certain formation and the maximum amount of people is four for a combo attack. This can sometimes be useful in tight situations and can sometimes backfire. There is a tutorial in the beginning of the game like any other game, so there’s nothing to worry about. There is also a shop in your so-called palace in which you can buy items/weapons to fulfill your needs. The rarity of the item will stop increasing at a certain point and you will be on your own to hunt your own godly items. There is also “Item World” that has a series of floors based on the item (100 at most) in which you buff up your item in terms of stats. You descend down floors with monsters scattered in the area. Each ten floors, you have the choice to return or keep going. At floor 100, you go face to face with an Item God which hold the godliest of items after their death. It’s a fun system, really. Something else that really helps add to the gameplay is the Dark Assembly. You have various choices to choose from, such as passing Stronger enemy bills if the monsters are too weak for your power at that point, Weaker enemy bills if the enemies are too powerful for you, and unlocking secret maps which lead to even greater things. Your level and other aspects will affect the opinions of the monsters in the assembly. You can also have a choice of persuading by force which means you have to kill all the enemies that loathe you(Who can hate Laharl?) Well, this is an excellent add which can sometimes be funny and annoying at the same time and it helps bring the gameplay at the top of the ladder.

Replay Value

These are one of those games where you spend countless hours on. There is so much to do that you will have 100+ hours if you want to go for more than just the ending. There are multiple endings, unlockable maps and characters, defeating the Item Gods to obtain the best weapon and accessories in the game for your characters, and creating an unstoppable army that no can stand a chance. The replay value is excellent in this game and most people put depth into this aspect. If I could rate this portion higher than a 10, I would do so. But until then, this easily snags first place out of every game I’ve played in terms of Replay Value.

Extras

There are three unlockable characters: Marjoly, Priere, and Baal. They start at insanely high levels and these characters can be life-savers at tight points. But in exchange of these characters comes a completely difficult task which is defeating them. Yes, you heard me. You have to work your strategies to defeat them in order to use their power(just like in any other recruiting RPG.) “With the bad come the good.” You would have to play deep into this game. It gets repetitive. But in the end, you’ll feel as if you’ve completed a large accomplishment and it’ll all be worth it. There are also many unlockable maps which one can lead to one of the many endings. There’s also maxing out your character to Level 9999 (the maximum level) and transmigrating him/her(A basic, simple reincarnation of whichever character, but in a much stronger form.) This will take determination, patience, and what this game’s all about, Strategy.

Last thoughts

This game is remarkable. If you're a fan of the Strategy RPG genre and you refuse to buy this game, then you will miss out on something truly special. All of the great aspects of this game which is practically everything will make you careless of the graphics. This is a pretty difficult game and can be hard to adjust to. This can be a rare game at this point so there's a possibility it will be a hard find. This is the type of game that will surely be worth your precious gaming dollars. You won't regret it.

Overall: 10/10

Prinnies say Dood, get this game NOW!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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