La Pucelle Tactics

Review

posted 9/20/2004 by Jennifer Yan
other articles by Jennifer Yan
One Page Platforms: PS2
Now getting back in to the battle system, it’s quite simple yet complex at the same time. Once you’ve got your demon demolishing squad out on the battlefield it is time to get down to business. The simplest way to take out the baddies is to defeat them all by going heads up with them. Send three or four guys up to him and if they are will bunched together they will execute combination attacks that have them all ganging up on the one enemy. However this system is not without balance. For if the bad guys have some of their pals nearby then they will also get the chance to let loose with some counter attacks of their own. Or you can play the safe route and just chuck special skills over at your enemies, at least then they won’t be countered, the choice is really up to you.

Now if you go all out in each battle then you’ll be missing out on one of the key aspects (and most fun I might add) of battle; the Dark Portal/Dark Energy system. When you start a battle you’ll see portal from which monsters spring forth. These portals can be sealed right off the bat or you can have some fun with them, increasing your experience point count in the process. From these dark portals there is a flow of energy, each portal supplying a different color/element flow. Placing characters within this flow can help shape victory for your party whether it be by doing massive damage to the enemies or healing your party, it’s all dependent on how you want to cross the energy flows. Sound confusing? It is at first but after a really easy tutorial it’s quite simple. When you are able to change the flow of energy and forming a full circle (this doesn’t actually mean make a circle) more than fifteen spaces long a special entity will appear and do something to either you or the enemies. The skills for each creature that appears are static so you don’t have to worry about random status affects knocking out your party.

Another thing to be wary about in battles are special events that will help lead to other areas of the chapter that will help you to get special good or bad endings per chapter. If you are able to fill certain requirements (mostly just visiting specific maps and hitting a switch) then you’ll most likely get the best ending on the chapter and a bonus in cash. However how you play all the previous chapters has no bearing on the final ending which is kind of a let down. No multiple endings here folks, just a straight shot to the end, along with a few side quests near the end. Remember Prinny Baal? Remember what he looked like before Laharl banished him? Just be prepared, that’s all I have to say.

Let us not forget the aesthetics of this game, for they are mentionable and are what give the game most of its heart. Graphically you already know that it’s a Nippon Ichi title thanks to the sprite based 2-D with some 3-D maps. The character designs are whimsical and cute, Prier, being as cute as a button never ceases to amaze when it comes time for her to get tough. Some of you may be thinking you’ve heard the name Prier before. That’s because she was one of the hidden bosses at the end of Disgaea. So now’s the chance to see her grow up into the little alternate overlord with over two million hit points. Musically Nippon Ichi never fails, the music fits the mood of the game perfectly and the voice acting is surprisingly good. Of course after the bar had been set by Disgaea I would expect no less.

Of course this game isn’t without its flaws. There are a few little things that just happened to bug me quite a bit. Namely the recruiting system, I seriously liked it a lot better when all I had to do was have enough energy points to materialize a new party member. I don’t like having to sit in a battle persuading my enemy to join my cause while I’m getting whomped on by him or his cronies. Secondly as I said before, I really wish there was the options for multiple endings just because the story looks like it could go anywhere at any given time. Ah well, I will always have Disgaea in that respect.

In closing, if you liked Disgaea then you are going to want to snag this game, if you haven’t already that is. You’re in for a good story, some fun battles, and a game that will hold you over until the eventual pick up of Phantom Brave, the next Nippon Ichi title to come stateside. Just be prepared to get into it for the long haul with this game, as you’ll constantly find yourself giving this game another play through just for the great story.



B
If you liked Disgaea then you'll love this game.


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