Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Game Review - Jyaseiken Necromancer NR

Jyaseiken (邪聖剣) Necromancer Nightmare Reborn (DSi-ware)

So I want to review this game that I recently bought and played, because well, I wanted to play one of those good ol' 2D RPGs.
Before I go into it more deeply, my conclusion is that it is worth its price. However, I think you cannot buy it unless your 3DS is Japanese.
And by the way, the game came from the now lost Hudson, which recently was absorbed into Konami.

Anyways, about the game:
In every way, it is the typical old RPG. You have equipment (Weapon, Helmet, Armor, Accessories, etc) and Magic.
You walk around a 2D map and fight enemy encounters that occur at random. You can attack, use magic, defend, or run away.
You have HP and MP and level.
You have a party.
There are towns where you talk to people and buy items and equipment.
There are no sidequests however. There are locked rooms you need to come back to later, but other than that, no sidetracking possible, though there is a hidden dungeon unlocked once you beat the main story.
However, one thing I noticed is that a good half of the dungeons are rather boring. There really isn't any puzzle-solving and it just involves you moving from screen to screen.
There are dungeons that have puzzles of sorts and require some thinking in order to get everything though, so not all bad.
Also, about magic, but while there are typical elements like Wind and Fire, there are also elements like Mental and Explosion and on top of that, only one magic that fall in each category, which felt like a waste.

While nothing stood out, the music was good.
It doesn't have much besides the basics, so for instance, the map enemy encounter BGM doesn't change halfway through the game.

Good old 2D graphics.
I feel the character sprites look too much more cuter than the full body illustrations.
The enemies are animated, which is a plus.
One of the selling points (according to the e-shop description) is gruesome monsters. After playing it, I agree half-way with that description.
While the monsters are gruesome, you only find them gruesome if you look carefully enough, like go "Oh, so this part of this monster is actually...", but there generally are few monsters that make you go "Eww!" on first sight.

Based off of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, it isn't a bright story.
You have your share of important characters dying, but aside from that, it is a pretty simple, typical story.
The world is being ruled by demons and the sun doesn't shine upon the humans. It is only a matter of time before the humans all die, so the protagonist sets off to find the legendary sword that will allow him to defeat the demons.
It is simple, but it works, and there are interesting points throughout the story, so you shouldn't get bored.
I do feel the very last battle is a bit... Woah... @Last boss of main story

Not horrible, but I feel it could be better.
One problem is that everytime you go into a new area, it feels like the strength of the enemy monsters take a short jump. No transition.
On top of that, when you get to a new city, the price for magic and equipment seem to jump too.
At first, it doesn't seem too bad, but as you go along, it will take some grinding to get everything before you move on.
Thankfully, you need to level up for the next area too, so you can do both at the same time.
I guess this type of grinding is also a characteristic of RPGs, so it isn't too bad.
Another thing I thought was that magic was too strong. In the very later half of the game, you do get some weapons that allow your physical attackers to do a lot of damage, but even then, magic tends to not only do more damage, but hit more enemies at once.
However, magic requires MP and there are monsters with immunity to certain elements of magic, so there is some balance in that.
Also, Speed is very important, because low speed will cause monsters to hit you more times.

No problem. Just like this game's story, they don't really stand out, but they are interesting enough for you to care.
Party members include (self-romanization):
Elder - Protagonist. One point he earns from me is that he actually decided to convince his younger brother to come with him on his dangerous journey, instead of asking him to stay there and be safe (the opposite of the usual).
    As protagonist, his abilities are balanced, able to use magic to some degree, though mainly physical attacks.
Bajil - Elder's brother. Not the most willing on their journey to defeat all demons, but he goes along with his brother. I guess you can call him a geek for legends?
    In general, most of his stats don't stand out, but he is fast. Learns a few attacking magics.
Dayl - Tsundere magic-using girl. Learns most attacking magics. High magic and MP, very useful considering how powerful magic is in this game.
Mary - A kind but mysterious girl that looks like someone Elder knows. Like her appearance might hint, she is the healer of the party, learning all healing magic. She learns support magic and a few attack magic too. Stat-wise, she has similar magic-user stats, though a bit slow.
Stepia - A soldier of a certain country. The "act-first, think-last" type that uses his brawns over brain. Similarly, high physical stats, but terrible MP and Magic as well as low speed.
Nigehra - A unique demon that has interest in humans. Everything is balanced, with not-so-good everything, but not-so-bad everything. Learns plenty of magic, healing and attack.

It costs 800 yen ($10), which is more than a lot of the e-shop games, but it is worth it. I played 17 hours on it, but I haven't beaten the hardest enemy available, so I need to grind a while.
But you can play 15 hours with the main story, which isn't bad.
If you want to play an RPG, this is a good choice.

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