Fans of classic JRPGs, please take heed of my advice. You’re probably going to want to play Airship Syndicate’s Battle Chasers: Nightwar, which is now available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Why you may ask, well you can find those answers in the video review below, but the short and sweet of it is that this game just nails the JRPG formula from the 80’s, which for someone like me makes for an excellent gaming experience.
Like I mentioned you can take in my full review of the game below via the video or embedded script, but if you’re too lazy to consume either of those, then just hit the summary box at the end of the review. Or just trust me when I see that if you love old school JRPGs, you’ll also love this, so just go get it already.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar Video Review
Hey now Battle Chasers, Matt Heywood here from EntertainmentBuddha.com to review Airship Syndicate’s Battle Chasers: Nightwar, which is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
There will be no story spoilers present.
If you grew up playing JRPGs, most notably the early Final Fantasy games, then Battle Chasers will instantly resonate with you. This is mostly due to its old school turn-based combat system, but other homages are also in place for the classic JRPG gameplay formula it employs.
These include separate Overworld and Dungeon views, which is similar to how early Final Fantasy games handled world and town/story objective segments. In the Overworld view you’re perspective is zoomed out and you can see most of the world map and the enemies and treasures that are on it. While in a Dungeon or explorable area the view is pulled in much tighter on your party and resembles the perspective you get in Diablo 3. While in dungeons enemies are moving freely about and can be avoided if you’re fast enough, but a battle can be kicked off by running into them.
Like I mentioned earlier, these battles play out in a retro JRPG turn-based manner. This is my favorite aspect of this game, because it makes combat strategic and thoughtful because you have all the time you need to plan out your attacks to maximize your parties skills for success. I love being able to see the order of my attacks, as well as the enemy’s, because it allows me to make better decisions on which attacks, or buffs I should use to get the edge in battle.
This game also employs a system that allows you to overcharge mana while also building up a Burst meter. Overcharging mana allows you to turn regular attacks back into mana points, so you can essentially use mana-based skills without eating up all of your mana. The Burst attacks on the other hand are super moves that each character can carry out after the meter fills up. This meter can also be increased to hit even more potent Burst attacks.
Battle Chasers features six main characters that you can use in your party of three. Each one has a particular set of skills, so it’s encouraged to mix and match your party from one dungeon to the next to find your ideal lineup. You can choose from a variety of unlocked perks to further buff out your party, so there’s even strategy in your upgrades. Luckily, these perks can be toggled at will, so you’re never locked into a particular one if you end up not liking the buff it provides.
You’ll find that the main characters hit most of the JRPG tropes in terms of their personalities and skill sets. These skillsets range from mages to rogues, so most of the classes you’ve become used to seeing in a JRPG are represented. It’s tough to settle on your top three though, because each brings something different to the table, so again I recommend trying out different party combinations to find the best one that works for you.
While the Overworld map is full of surprises, enemies to face, and a central hub town to visit, it’s the dungeons in this game that offer up the most gameplay and fun. These dungeons are randomly generated and serve as main story objectives in this game’s more than lengthy campaign. You can choose to play them on three different difficulties, with the most difficult one needing to be unlocked by beating the dungeon on either its Normal or Heroic setting. Increasing the difficulty can net you more rewards, but it can also punish you, especially if you play on Legendary, which will fully reset the dungeon if you die. The other modes only take some gold from you if you perish.
Dungeons also feature boss battles, which can get pretty challenging depending on the difficulty you chose, so they provide great tests of your strategies and team setups.
Visually the game is pleasing and blends modern graphics with the old school visual perspectives of classic JRPGs. The characters are vibrant looking and detailed. They’re each given their own animations in battle, as well as while exploring a dungeon. The enemies you come across are also nicely detailed.
The characters will also change in appearance when you equip new gear, which is a nice touch to reflect the equipment upgrades and loot you find throughout your journey.
There really isn’t much to bitch about with this game. One could possibly take umbrage with the fact that the cutscenes are just motion comics and not fluid cinematics, but I didn’t find them to hamper the experience at all. Load times can get a bit lengthy too, but again I didn’t find that they affected the overall experience too much.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is just an all around solid throwback to the iconic JRPG genre that got most of us into RPGs as kids. The turn-based battle system is my favorite aspect, but I also just love grinding away at the world map and dungeons to find new gear and level up my team. This is without a doubt a 9 out of 10 type of gaming experience, so if you love the JRPG genre, or were into the Battle Chasers comics, picking this game up is a no brainer.
Thanks for watching, Matt Heywood signing off for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided an Xbox One code by the publisher for the purposes of this review.