You’ll see this description come up a lot when people talk about Grim Grimoire, “It’s like a Harry Potter RTS.” And fair enough that can be said about this game. But to say something like that also gives the impression that it can be swept under the rug and forgotten. That really is not the case with Grim Grimoire, the new RTS game from NIS. A joint venture with developer Vanilla Soft, Grim Grimoire is not the type of game one would expect to be on the PS2, let alone be done well. We’ve got a build that offers a healthy portion of the game and beyond the interesting story and well managed controls; its beautiful graphics will attest this is not a game that can simply be ignored.
First off I have to talk about the story. From the little time we got to spend with the game, we made it through the first chapter of the game. It starts with our heroine, Lillet Blan going to the Silver Star tower, a school for talented young children where they are taught magic by the myriad of interesting teachers. Though not all is well in the Silver Star, as within five days of her arrival the soul of an evil arch mage is resurrected and kills everyone in the tower. Just as our heroine is to meet her early demise, she awakens and finds that she’s back at the night she arrived, with all the memories of the past five days intact. From here it looks to become a “who-dunnit” type story and considering how interesting yet bizarre each teacher is, there is definitely something wacky going on.
Like I said before this game looks amazing. So long as people keep making games like this, 2-D will never die, and I really hope it doesn’t because this game looks so good. The character portraits have more frames of animation in one scene than most games have for their entire story. Characters breathe and have their own quirks so it doesn’t feel canned at all and gives the game quite a range of personality. Once you get in to battles you see where this game really shines. A large number of massive sprites populate the battle field and aside from a little bit of slowdown when the screen is crowded it looks fantastic.
What really surprised me about this game is how accessible it is. The controls for RTS games on consoles in the past have been less than stellar shall we say. Though the last RTS I recall being on a console was Starcraft 64 so it could be that I am just ridiculously out of touch. Back to Grim Grimoire, it is surprisingly simple to pick up and play. Square is used to select a unit or object, and L1 and R1 are used to select the different options available to you, another click of the square button and your unit is off to its task. Or let’s say you’ve got a cluster of one type of unit and you want to move them all. Press Up on the d-pad with one of those units highlighted and all the units in view will come to life to follow your orders. It’s something that you need to try to believe, I myself was astounded at how easy it is to pick up and play this game in such a short time.
Grim Grimoire is going to be one of those sleeper hits that show up near the end of a console’s life span that got swept under the rug thanks to the newfangled technology of tomorrow offering the kids some whiz-bang graphics and flashy sounds. Or it could just get buried under this Pokemon epidemic we seem to be experiencing right now. Either way it would be a shame if you were to miss this title when it comes out late June. Check back here at Gaming Nexus when next time we’ll review the game.
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