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Weird is an apt word for describing many Japanese games, but in this case it's a very fitting description.

 

For someone familiar with these sorts of strategy RPGs this one pretty much tears up the rulebook.

 

Your character is a sort of medium that can see and talk to spirits. She also has the ability to infuse spirits into a variety of innanimate objects, whereby the spirit takes on some of the objects properties.

 

A spirit confined to a rock will be tough , but slow in both body and mind. Conversely a spirit confined into a plant will be quicker, but weaker and also more vulnerable to fire.

 

Each battle begins with your character (the only one who is alive) on a battlefield with different potential spots where you can confine spirits. Some of these items are more suited to particular spirits than others and you also need to think about your spirits elements as well as any elements on the weapons they carry. Confining a spirit with -50% fire into a -80% tree, not good if you have fire using creatures against you :huh:

 

The rest of the bad news is that spirits can only maintain this form for a short period of time. In the case of witches its 3 rounds , the average warrior lasts for 5 and soldiers last the longest though they are very average otherwise.

 

This leaves you not only with an army that needs to be summoned to the field, but also one that wont last the duration in longer battles. Given that your main character is very much on the delicate side you need a very sturdy squad rather than just a few strong characters.

 

Each character comes with basic abilities depending on the class. Other abilities are granted by equiping items (or grafting skills from items). Each skill also has a different stat base. Some are based on attack, others are based on hp's and even speed. Each character class also has a rank for learning abilities. For example fighters are A rank in physical attacks, Valkyries are A rank in special attacks, Witches are A rank in magical spells. (the ranks can be altered by titles).

 

As well as offering potential confining points , every item can also be picked up and used as a weapon. Bash things over the head with flowerpots, smack them around with a full sized tree, use a piece of driwtwood like a bazooka, the variations are insane. Over time each item also charges with mana which releases even more stored up abilities which your blacksmith will be able to release.

As well as the more usual purchased weapons like spears , swords and staves.

 

In addition to which, once you add a fusionist to your ranks you can absorb skills from items directly into the spirit, or even absorb other spirits. You can for example absorb a ghoul spirit and take on it's chomp attack , which gives you a handy way for your warriors to heal. Chomp on anything, trees, rocks, even the dead :-

 

Fushionists can also fuse different items to make them stronger or to give them stats they would not normally have. The combinations are mind boggling and thats before you get to titles..

 

Recruit a titlist and you can aquire titles to assign to characters, items and even dungeons (more on that later). Titles can add to stats, grant skills, spells and numerous other things (like making fusions more effective).

 

Add a Dungeon Monk to the growing retinue and he will seek out hidden dungeons for you to explore (in gameplay terms he's a random dungeon generator) be warned some of these things are immense. Luckily if you pay him he can extract you from them as well. Anything you kill down in the dungeon has the potential to become part of your growing spirit army...

 

Two more important cogs in the wheel are the Merchant and the Healer. The higher level your merchant is , the better the equipment he sells. The merchant will gain experience whenever you buy something, and on the battlefield as well.

Healers keep your army going. Each special skill has a cost and those points can only be regained at the end of a chapter or at the healer. The healer also levels up as you pay for healing and make suprisingly effective fighters as well as being central to keeping everyone else buffed and alive.

 

There are a LOT more classes than this which appear later in the game and if you can find them.

 

The downside of all these options , had to be one didnt there. You can exploit them and make the game rather easy. You also have levels that go into the 1000's if you feel like it so the potential is there to spend hours,days,months leveling up.

 

For comparrison my wifes Disgaea characters were at around level 3000 and mine were only level 70 ish when I finished the story.

 

Phantom Brave has a lot in common with Disgaea when it comes to nutty levels and big numbers.


I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I found this game to be quite easy and very enjoyable :-

 

/currently replaying La Pucelle Tactics

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I found this game to be quite easy and very enjoyable :-

 

/currently replaying La Pucelle Tactics

 

Did you do much leveling up?

 

My wife says it's a requirement, but she said that about Disgaea too. I was breezing along until I got to a castle with a boss with 500+ hp's no one could stick around long enough to damage him. Thats besides him having a skill that can kill a row of characters in one blast.


I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I always level :D

 

I'm not sure it's a requirement, but it is fun :)

 

I hate leveling. I've never even reached 99 in any of the FF games.

 

 

<The Titlist is on the main story path cant really miss him>.


I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I rarely max level, I enjoy leveling until I hit a "comfort zone".

 

The only game I ever leveled to max level and beyond was in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne.

 

And that was work :o

 

But strangely fun.... :)

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I couldn't get in to Phantom Brave. I tried playing it twice, and stopped playing around the same time in both games, fairly early on. I still own the game, though; for some reason I can't bring myself to sell it quite yet...maybe I'll try it again.

 

I played La Pucelle Tactics right until the last fights, but haven't picked it up in awhile. The problem with me and Nippon Ichi games is they are just so childish. I know the majority of console games are geared towards a younger audience, but these games just go too far into the realm of goofy for my tastes.

 

I LOVE the tactical/strategy RPG genre, but I prefer the Tactics Ogre or Final Fantasy Tactics more serious style to the Nippon Ichi style.

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:) Goofy doesn't = childish

 

:o

Maybe to you...to me having a party consisting of little kids making stupid sex jokes is both goofy and childish.

 

BUT I'll admit the focus of those games isn't so much the story but rather the actual gameplay, with all the leveling and items and all that.

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It's a stylistic thing. The stories are not at all childish and the games themselves are probably beyond most children.

 

Looks like I'll have to ask my wife to level my characters though. Them vanishing every few turns makes it difficult to play underleveled like you could in Disgaea.


I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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Make sure she focuses on her summoner (can't remember her name offhand)

 

If you can get some levels/power under her belt she can hold her own quite well and then you can use your Phantoms strategically.

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It's a stylistic thing. The stories are not at all childish and the games themselves are probably beyond most children.

I'll give you the stylistic thing..I suppose the actual stories themselves may not be totally childish but the way in which they are presented strikes me as sort of immature. Though that's just my take on it.

 

I disagree though that the games are beyong kids. Yeah, the games can get pretty deep with all the item combo possiblities etc etc but nowadays that's nothing for a 12-year old to pick up.

 

AND now listening to you two talk I'm wanting to give Phantom Brave a go again. Thanks a lot. :)

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I greatly enjoy the game. I'm playing it again after beating it when it first came out in America.

 

I'd highly recommend Double Jump's guide if you can get it.

 

This leaves you not only with an army that needs to be summoned to the field, but also one that wont last the duration in longer battles. Given that your main character is very much on the delicate side you need a very sturdy squad rather than just a few strong characters.

 

The time limit on side characters doesn't really matter much. In a couple hours you can create a super weapon that give Marona 1oo turns to each enemy's 1 and that can annihilate even the final boss in one hit. She isn't quite as "delicate" as it seems.

 

For comparrison my wifes Disgaea characters were at around level 3000 and mine were only level 70 ish when I finished the story.

 

Only 3000 :devil:

 

Phantom Brave makes it easier to level up, simply killing things is no longer the only option. But it doesn't matter anyway, as a the time spent leveling is better spent making the above super weapon.

 

I actually just beat the game with an average level of 300. One hit.

 

Phantom Kindoms, or Makai Kingdoms, (whatever) comes out March 18th in Japan.

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*minor downer*

 

I haven't been able to get back into this game, the army building and customizing are very nice but the plot sequences were weak and bland enough(imo) to pull the rug out from under it. I found it hard to care about the mains or my phantoms much less objectives in the relatively bland missions, then it just comes down to juicing units up. Which leads to the game's japanese style RPG power curve which is out of place in a game like this imo. I could deal with mechanics like transmigration in Disgaea but I seriously hope those kind of hour stuffing gimics aren't a permanent fixture of Nippon Ichi games. I would perfer to 'earn' additional power for the army in other ways than random dungeon slaughtering, like meeting special conditions,maybe randomization of boons and such.

 

Not to say the game is bad or anything just a dissapointment to me after hearing it bragged up pretty heavily.

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It's a Japanese thing. Most of their RPGs work this way, though the Nippon Ichi series seems to take it to the extreme with a 9,999 level cap.

 

It does require some discipline not to take advantage of the system in order to maximise the games enjoyment. But my major objection is that it's not really part of the game.

 

If you for example reach an area at too low a level and you get your arse kicked, game over. Now when you restart the characters dont know they are too level for the area so if you level it's meta gaming rather than roleplaying.

 

Resurection of Dark Dragon had the handy dandy egress spell. So if you were losing you could egress and then whip your army into shape in a very in game way.


I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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