|Developer||EXE Create, Kemco|
|Unique Launch Date||Feb 4th, 2016|
|Platform||PC, Android, iOS, PS4, Vita XOne, Change|
As Kemco continues its concentrate on producing JRPGs for cellular platforms, they’ve additionally slowly continued their development of re-releasing sure titles for PC as properly. Just a few months in the past did Revenant Dogma develop into out there for platforms outdoors cellular. Though referred to as a sequel to Revenant Saga, I really feel this must be extra precisely referred to as a religious successor. Comparable marketing campaign, comparable gameplay, however the plot is thrown for a loop. Revenant Dogma is one half basic JRPG and one half check in endurance.
The story of Revenant Dogma focuses on two kingdoms with a fragile peace, one insult away from all-out conflict. One is dominated and populated by people whereas the opposite is ruled by the therians, humanoid beasts with equal capabilities because the people, in addition to equal mistrust for them. The people worship what they name holy gods whereas the therians worship feral gods. Just lately, the variety of monsters showing in each kingdoms has been rising and the 2 kingdoms blame one another. With opposing beliefs and mistrust in each other, every search to extend their very own energy. Caine, a human working for his kingdom as a Revenant Corps member, is dispatched together with Julie to discover a feral relic in enemy territory, an merchandise possessing feral god powers. Throughout his preliminary search, he comes throughout fellow Revenant troopers and the mysterious Lilith, whereas additionally merging with the feral relic he was purported to retrieve. By serving to Lilith, Caine and Julie at the moment are marked as enemies and retreat to therian territory to unravel the mysteries behind Lilith, the relics, the Revenant Corps, and the growing monsters.
Whereas a number of of Kemco’s previous efforts have suffered from a scarcity of plot depth, Revenant Dogma is a specific offender. This “sequel” alters a lot of what Revenant Saga establishes and flat-out discards the remaining. To begin with is the introduction of a completely new species, the therians. The place have been they through the first recreation? It undoubtedly feels just like the builders simply determined to throw them in there, like that is positive to easily add a completely new species and kingdom with zero rationalization. Secondly, Revenants will not be the identical issues from the primary recreation. In reality, it’s hardly even coated what Revenants are in Dogma, regardless of having the phrase in its title. Whereas in Saga it’s defined that Revenants are people which have had a demon positioned inside them, right here they’re individuals with both holy or feral gods and/or their relics and powers positioned inside them. It’s by no means made solely clear if Revenants could be created by summoning gods as a result of the one main Revenants that gamers are available contact with have all develop into them by way of relics.
Additionally, it was a serious plot level in Saga that Revenants couldn’t be vanquished via regular means and solely a Valkyrie, blessed by their god Rystoria and who had an amulet signifying the blessing, might achieve this. Right here, Rystoria, the amulets, the blessings; none of that’s talked about. It’s all utterly discarded and Revenants have been stripped down merely to a kind of soldier. Maybe my largest grievance is with how the earlier characters are handled. Albert, the primary character of Saga, solely has two scenes and a boss battle. Esther, now named Estelle for no matter purpose, is only a voice with a handful of strains. You don’t even get to see her as an NPC. Probably the most developed characters from the earlier recreation, and arguably your complete Kemco library, are so haphazardly handled by the builders that it’s shameful. Additionally, zero point out of Bruno or Julia. It’s an enormous disservice to change and get rid of a lot of the depth the primary recreation offered, particularly as a result of this recreation lacks it so strikingly.
Outdoors of its failures to correctly tackle the primary recreation, Dogma’s story is a obscure, linear expertise. The sport throws you right into a primary plot by which a thriller wants fixing earlier than warfare breaks out. Once more, subjects like Revenants are glossed over and gamers are anticipated to float because the plot progresses. It’s not the worst story I’ve ever performed by means of, however due to its lack of correct buildup, it’s simply forgettable. Taken as a stand-alone story, it does have a couple of moments of intrigue and even a shock or two, however it’s nowhere close to sufficient to carry actual curiosity. Once more, as a sequel, it’s a disappointment, not doing any justice to its predecessor and we’ve all performed sufficient video games the place good should beat out dangerous simply because.
Together with the uninspired story, the characters and their improvement additionally left me dissatisfied. The place Albert and Esther had memorable levels of improvement and depth, each individually and as a budding couple, in Revenant Dogma, all of the characters are mould becoming. Caine is a typical action-oriented hero, unaware of the ladies round him. Julie is the aggressive sort and Lilith the quiet one. Fleon is one half robust man with no endurance, and different occasions comedian aid. Aside from that, there’s actually nothing else to say. One thing to say is that this Lilith is certainly not the identical Lilith from Saga. Saga’s Lilith, regardless that we solely ever hear her voice, has a way more distinct character than this one. Positive, personalities can change over time, however these are two utterly totally different characters. I might have appreciated to have discovered what occurred to the unique Lilith and Bruno, the Revenant possessed by her, as there appeared to be a budding attraction there. Lastly, on the tail finish of the sport, the participant can select who to have an ending with. Zero point out of a relationship system, zero trace of this selection in the course of the recreation; the builders simply slapped it on on the finish. It’s insulting to their very own characters. General, the characters right here and the plot each ask for an excessive amount of from the participant with out giving sufficient in return.
Shifting on to gameplay, Revenant Dogma’s gameplay is harking back to Revenant Saga’s, with a number of revolutionary modifications. Gameplay continues to be fight pushed, that includes basic turn-based battles and using participant and enemy positioning so as to add depth. Standing within the vanguard yields probably the most injury given and acquired whereas sure assaults, comparable to weapons and magic, are usually not topic to place. The transformation component to fight makes a return, permitting every character to rework into 4 totally different courses as an alternative of the unique single transformation. Every class boosts a specific stat reminiscent of power, protection, or intelligence. Courses can be modified throughout fight, so gamers might rework their staff into guardians first, which usually have stat boosting expertise, then through the battle, rework into knights and healers so as to add power and intelligence results on prime of these short-term boosts to deal most injury. With the variability every class supplies, fight turns into greater than only a brute drive endeavor.
Outdoors of fight, Revenant Dogma options a number of acquainted mechanics. A easy quest system tracks most important story quests, that are began and accomplished routinely as you progress. Subquests are offered by NPCs within the numerous cities visited all through. These subquests, whether or not they’re retrieval quests or requests to defeat sure numbers of enemies, all have a concentrate on fight. Retrieval quests sometimes have you ever journey again via a earlier dungeon, forcing you to drudge via all these enemy encounters once more. Dogma additionally options the Ethereal Institution, a set of 4 problem dungeons that present particular weapons, uncommon gadgets, and the power to grind ranges. Once more, heavy emphasis on fight right here, particularly because the monsters in these particular dungeons are much more resilient. Talking of weapons, the customization from the primary recreation returns right here, permitting the crafting and enchancment of weapons by way of sheer power, in addition to the addition of results, akin to sleep, poison, and so forth. Lastly, there’s a factors system. By amassing Revenant Dogma Factors (RDP), just like Saga, these factors can be utilized in a Menu Store for distinctive gadgets or traded in a weapons lottery.
Sadly, there are obvious points with the gameplay that, I really feel, make it a irritating and tiresome expertise. My largest grievance is that the encounter fee is very excessive. Each new space you enter may have a painfully frequent encounter fee. Pair this with the obnoxious dungeon designs and it turns into borderline excruciating. I’ve observed that as you achieve vital ranges, the encounter fee decreases barely, however by the point you attain that time, you’ve gotten already moved on two or three areas. There are gadgets that enhance this, however not by a lot. Kemco appears to have observed the issue, providing a DLC permitting the adjustment of encounter charges for console variations of the sport (nothing for PC as of this evaluate). One other drawback is the problem of enemies. The sport itself isn’t troublesome, however each battle is a check in endurance, just because the enemies really feel unbalanced, having greater protection and resilience than crucial. You’ll be able to achieve a number of ranges in an space and nonetheless spend far too lengthy preventing the identical teams of enemies. Additionally, enemies don’t present sufficient expertise. Since this can be a widespread trait of Kemco video games, I consider that is intentional to stretch play time, however repeated missteps are nonetheless missteps. Whereas there are gadgets, weapon expertise, and strategies that may all improve expertise earned, they don’t seem to be simply discovered of or acquired, particularly for informal gamers. Plus, a number of strategies of high-yield expperience achieve require a excessive sufficient degree to start with, so the method is additional delayed.
With expertise comes leveling and I felt the extent ups themselves don’t present adequate stat enhancements to justify the participant endurance wanted to struggle every battle. Stability is vital to any turn-based RPG and this has been an all-too-common drawback for Kemco, regardless of it being mastered by Squaresoft and others again within the early 90’s. Due to this imbalance, many gamers will depend upon the extras that the Menu Store supplies, particularly the weapons the lottery may give. Weapons that you simply wouldn’t in any other case see till later are wanted a lot ahead of once they begin showing as treasures and enemy drop rewards. This can be a comparable grievance I had with Revenant Saga with the dependence on these extras and particular gadgets, simply to take care of a semblance of stability. Even with the perks the Menu Store provides, the final difficulty I take is the necessity to grind. Until you’re prepared to wrestle, scrape by with restoration gadgets, or just probability it, you will have to grind for ranges at occasions. You can save scum whereas breaking and crafting weapons to get the perfect results and add-ons, or you’ll find one of many few areas on the world map to grind and achieve expertise, however with none of that, each new space can be an uphill climb. Whereas the start of the sport feels extra balanced, the necessity to do one thing to enhance your fighters will develop into obvious a bit after the midway level. The failure of Kemco to offer correct fight stability hurts, a lot in order that the general high quality of the expertise suffers considerably and should deter potential gamers.
Now we come to Revenant Dogma’s aesthetics, which I discovered to be the strongest facet of the sport. In comparable Kemco style, the visuals listed here are nice, mixing 16/32-bit sprites and tilesets with spectacular portrait artwork. The spritework is nice, harkening again to that basic period of 2D RPGs, one thing Kemco does nicely persistently. The portrait work, with the variations in facial expressions is superb and all the time leaves me wanting extra due to how nicely it’s all the time finished. Together with the 2D works, Dogma additionally makes use of 3D fashions throughout battles, just like Saga. This was considered one of my complaints with Saga, because it gave the sport a dated look with the sharp edges of the 3D fashions. Sadly, the 3D fashions right here even have an older really feel, however it’s an enchancment. I additionally just like the modifications to the fashions of our heroes as they equip totally different weapons and rework. Having variations in weapon designs, in addition to the looks modifications when reworked, properly depicts progress and enchancment all through the sport; the willingness of the builders to incorporate that is noteworthy. Though some visible variations are simply colour swaps, the general effort is appreciated.
As for the audio, I favored the addition of voice work, but there was far too little of it. I might have most popular a totally voiced recreation, because the pre and publish battle strains, that are the one issues that includes voice work, can get repetitive after listening to them incessantly. Personally, I additionally favored that they have been in Japanese and never some low cost English dub. As for the music rating, it’s not the worst, because it’s a composite of acquainted tracks with a couple of new ones too. I did benefit from the inclusion of Revenant Saga’s battle theme and boss theme, because it provides this recreation a well-known sound, in addition to utilizing Saga’s overworld theme when crusing. These few tracks join this recreation to its predecessor much better than the plot. The few new tracks are equally good, resembling the brand new battle theme. All through my play, I by no means acquired uninterested in listening to it, however maybe that was as a result of different parts have been testing my endurance extra. Lastly, Kemco has a nasty behavior of utilizing sure tracks in all their video games and that has once more occurred right here. The generic dungeon, city, and cave music all make a return, to nobody’s pleasure.
Revenant Dogma looks like a recreation that’s cobbled along with mediocre and, at occasions, inferior RPG elements. As a sequel, it fails to respectably and coherently proceed the storyline of the primary recreation, as an alternative abandoning most of the plot parts that made the primary recreation exceptional. Taken by itself, it’s not utterly horrible, incomes a 2.5/5 score, however solely barely. It’s troublesome to advocate this recreation and I might sooner advocate Revenant Saga, in case you haven’t but performed it, in addition to different, stronger Kemco video games like Asdivine Hearts or Antiquia Misplaced. As a fan of Revenant Saga and understanding that Kemco is able to extra, I anticipated much better.
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