Year of release: 2006
Developer: Q? Entertainment and Phantagram
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Game score: 35 (70/100)
Replay ability: 4
Learning Curve: 1
Patch version: Dynamic I presume
Bugs: 2 (not many seen, but...)
Modability / Community support: 0
This is a one man army kind of game. It pitches you into battle beside two guard squads; you also get some sergeants to help you out. But you are nigh unstoppable, and they need your protection more than them to you.
Upon beginning the game you get a few nice cinematics, with no real backstory, you have to read the manual for that. But story isn't what you are here for; you want to crush hundreds, no thousands of enemies with your fantastic combos and superior equipment.
So as I've said you enter battle, with yourself, a one man army, some useless guard units and some semi-good helpers. You wage war against the average enemy, goblins, and evil dark elves. You start as Inphyy a female knight wielding a greatsword in one hand. You can acrobatically jump around and slaughter your enemies even run across their heads, which is a nice feature. As you kill enemies their death, and the damage you inflict causes red orbs to float up and home in on you, to collect automatically. A red bar fills up as this happens and once full a quick click of the B button unleashes your power. The two attack buttons (not much, but combine them for alot of combos) prove to have alot more power than before, and you literally send soldiers flying in their dozens. As they die from this short lived mega attack, blue Orbs drop and home in on you. Yes another bar, this time - blue! Once filled, and this takes a long time and many red attacks, you can unleash an even more powerful attack. And that is the basic premise of the game.
As you meander through the ten or so levels for each of the 6 (plus 1 unlockable character) characters who range from male and female knight to fire barbarian, to water mage girl and even a speedy goblin with two knives, you meet squads cannon fodder. They get boring, but then you meet archers who annoy you even more, then wizards who should all be castrated for their evil evil powers. Once you get through this you get boss battles, at least two per level, whether it is defeat or repel the enemy toughie. Then you realise why you should have been more careful earlier with the weak enemies, you really need that health, red and blue attacks now. Tough enemies range from trolls (they a have cave troll!) to fat frog kings, to evil overlords of power far better than your own. This is where the most unused button comes into play, the block button, these guys are good, as you would expect, but block and they do nothing, the block is that simple, and nothing short of the frog king jumping on you will get through it. Then you let your aids, or archer guards if you picked them help, they basically make the enemy boss block constantly as you attack from the rear with your best combos, that’s right, the same tactic every time. Don't mistake this game's simplicity for its downfall though oh no, it is pure fun.
Levels are often the same for each character; each one does have unique levels, but some crossover as heroes fight together. But even so you will always take a different route or have to do different things in each such level, so that design is good.
The controls are easy to master, you may even forget to block against low level bosses it’s not always needed. Two attack buttons provide all the combos you ever need, well jumping can alter them slightly, and 'Orb attacks' spawned from the B button are another attack form. But it is very very simple. Simple but good that is.
Now this IS an RPG, roughly speaking. As you kill enemies, each Orb you collect adds to your Orb score, which is basically experience. When you level up you gain attack power and health. You also gain access to better items, which can again increase health attack, and even defence, speed, and Orb related matters. The maximum level is nine, not very high, and with each level your combos become more extensive in complexity ad you get more of them too.
Another level feature is the level of the map, which for some reason starts at 3. If you fail it goes down to help you out, if you then ace it with an A rank or S rank it will revert to 3 then go up 1 to 4 and so on as you get more successful A or S ranked missions. This means there are more items on the battlefield and the enemies are more challenging. This is the only way to truly complete the game.
Story is there to make its name, no more. Having slaughterful fun is put over plot here. You'll find yourself skipping in level cinematics, only caring for the start and end cinematics. And as usual this Jap-made game is the storyline sequel to a war decades ago, don't know why that happens in games.
Graphically it's nice, and the effects are very cool, especially the water mage, she know Brownian motion thoroughly. Quite a bit of clipping occurs, even during cinematics, which is a damn shame.
Overall its great fun, the poor mark it gets denies its level of enjoyment. You get to slaughter thousands of enemies, and everything is fair game. When dragons come down for their attack run you can knock them out of the sky and kill them too. Basically it’s full of little surprises and frolics involving expensive looking explosions and lots of dead enemies.
The game isn't a great, its just good, and alot of fun. If you have the time to stick with its small frustrations and want to relieve stress at the expense of innocent goblins then go for it, I couldn't recommend a better game. But if you are looking for the critically acclaimed next gen boundary breaking game, then look elsewhere. This is a nice addition to the 360 range, but you won't think "wow this is the power of the 360!" when play it, nor will you remember it as their trademark games. Don't let my words put you down though it is fun, a hell of a lot of fun, Phantagram made it, so it has to be (See Phantom Crash).
Wow, did I kill that many people today, cool!
Looks nice, especially when you unleash a blue bar attack.
Clipping, enemies have a limited animation reel, repetitive. No plot to speak of.