A hidden gem?
Got this game from Lukie in great condition, with the case (and no nasty stickers on it too!), arrived pretty speedy and all for a pretty good price, considering it's a cult classic.
Heard about this game from HardcoreGaming101.net and have been wanting to pick it up for awhile now since it's pretty much from the people at Quintet who made ActRaiser, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma and several more also cult classics in the 16-bit era. Sure, they're not CALLED Quintet here - but the game's studio Shade was pretty much Quintet in terms of team members, and apparently this is pretty much the unofficial fourth part of their "Heaven & Earth Trilogy". Seriously; interesting stuff - look that up on HG101 if you're interested.
So yeah; I haven't dug into this so much yet, as I'm working on other backlog games at the moment. But from the few hours I've played thus far, this is everything I wanted from an PSX JRPG. It's charming and interesting, has great "90's anime" cutscenes, controls well, sounds great and looks pretty good - nobody has faces though, which is weird. I mean other PSX games sometimes did that (MGS springs to mind), but it stands out a bit more here. Beyond that, it looks pretty good! And it also has a really cool battle system that emphasizes one on one, deliberately paced, strategic battles where you're focused on blocking, timing attacks, dodging... it's almost like a proto Dark Souls. I can't say much more about it since I haven't played a ton, but its very promising and definitely is something I want to return to later in the year after finishing Tales of Zesteria and Digimon Cyber Sleuth (seriously; THE BACKLOG IS NO JOKE). Definitely seems like its going to live up to being a cult classic.
-- Quick Aside though; this is one of 3 games I got for the PSX at the same time and all of them failed to work properly on my PS2. The other 2 failed to start at all; this one started up to the "PS logo" screen, faded to black and then never continued. They all play just fine on my PS3, but its something I feel like warning people about when it comes to buying retro CD-based games - physical media degrades, and not every hardware config can read every disc. Just a friendly reminder!
Reviewed by: Vince from USA on 8/8/2016