Words by Lissette Alea
Music by Lissette Alea, Ted Birkey, and David Fisher
Published by Shang Sya Music (ASCAP) for the U.S.A.
Performed by Etro Anime
Produced by David Fisher and Ted Birkey
(C)Neurodisc Records See more »
This is the first of a two part game series and a rarity in the world of role playing games as the second game is a direct sequel to this one. A lot of times in role playing game sequels, the game only shares the same name and a few features or such. Or, if it is a sequel, the characters from the previous game are not in it because it is set in the future, but this one ends and the second picks up right after. Though, despite that fact and despite the fact I enjoyed the second game too, this one is still the better of them. The story is more interesting and there is more mystery to it than the second game. While the second game starts out amazingly good, it kind of tails off near the end and gets a bit too bizarre. This game was brought to us by the creators of the Shin Megami Tensei games and the look of the game and many of the same features from those games can be found here; however, there are noticeable differences as a lot of the things present in most games of the series are not here such as having to collect demons and fusing them together. Some may be disappointed by this, me not so much as I sometimes get annoyed with that aspect of the series as it can be incredibly difficult to get what you want. Here you have a team and it is constant throughout and you have the ability to make them stronger to nearly impossible to defeat by using a very awesome skill tree that is in the second, but much more difficult to use as it is different.
The story has a group of emotionless soldiers battling on a field. A strange object lies on the battlefield, and this strange object is going to change the entire realm this people dwell in. A place called the Junkyard, where it rains constantly. In this world, groups are separated by tribes and all the tribes are battling for control of the Junkyard so that they may enter Nirvana through a tower that is at the center of this world. The object changes things drastically as it gives all those who reside in the Junkyard the ability to morph into demons and it also begins to introduce emotions. The leader of the party you control is summoned and learns that a girl found on the battlefield must be found, the tribes all beaten and the winners of the free for all will make it to Nirvana. However, it is not such a simple matter as the group of heroes must battle various tribes for control, the hunger of their new demon forms and even each other to make it through this ordeal!
The game play is standard for the must part as you battle and level up and gain strength. They let you customize Serph, the main character, but the others are done automatically. However, you do get to power them up as well using a skill tree that if you take your time and fill it up will make your party almost invulnerable to any attack. The game is great, but also has its faults as the whole tower at the end really takes way too much time to get up as they just make leveling that skill tree to the max a very long process. Some of the dungeons puzzles are kind of annoying too, and though the game overall is not as good as this one, the second one thankfully relies less on very confusing layouts and such being much more straightforward. More boss type creatures in the final area of that one too as here the last tower is kind of devoid of difficult fights save for a really annoying snake monster and the devious Angel! Though for my money that Bat was the most annoying enemy of the game!
So all in all a very good game and though the second is a direct sequel I can honestly say this one is the better of the two for me. The Junkyard is a very strange place and fun to explore. I also think the music here is better than in the second game as the music cue after Serph and Sera touch only to get pulled away is incredible. I just find it a shame that the creators of this wonder two games have not made anything else quite like them since the days of the PS2. Sure, they made the even more amazing Persona 3 and 4, but those were PS2 era as well. About the only games they have done since have been for the portable systems, which I like hand-held games okay, but I prefer playing on my television. Just glad I can revisit the Junkyard anytime and be rewarded with an incredible game and story.
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