Title: Battle Chasers Nightwar

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Role-playing

Players: Single player




Written by Dragoon 21st October



















Battle Chasers Nightwar is a game that aims to deliver a turn based RPG reminiscent of old school JRPGs but with a more westernised setting.  Based on the 1998 Battle Chasers comic, Battle Chasers Nightwar serves as a continuation of that story which has been on an indefinite hiatus since its last issue was released in 2001. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign though the beloved series seems to be revived, but can this game deliver on 16 years of waiting for fans and does it do enough to welcome newcomers?


I'm going to be honest before I had heard of this game I hadn't even heard of the series which was understandable with its age but it's safe to say I'm well and truly a fan now. The comics are famous for their dynamic and detailed art which at the time was pretty revolutionary and has inspired countless artists since. While the story was always a bit on the generic side and suffered from the long periods of time between issue releases it was always the art that kept fans coming back. It's safe to say this pretty much applies to Battle Chasers Nightwar as well, a beautiful game with a so-so story and stilted dialogue.
























Let's start with the graphics first, this a truly beautiful game. The character models are all incredibly faithful to their comic counterparts and are animated beautifully, honestly I could just watch the battle scenes in this game and be more than satisfied. The game uses a cool 3D cel-shaded effect for both the characters and the environments which all look crisp and detailed. Each character has their own signature style from Gully, the tough little girl with the giant gloves to the huge War Golem with a big heart Calibretto. I love all of the original cast, although the questionable female character designs are a bit too risque for 2017 tastes, but I wasn't too excited by the newcomer Alumon and I didn't feel like there was much depth added to the older characters in the story itself.


Staying on the story track Battle Chasers Nightwar really isn't rocking the boat in that area. Our motley crew of adventurers are blown out of the sky while riding on their airship, causing them to crash land on a mysterious island. They then learn of a mysterious group who are up to bad things that they obviously need to hunt down as they explore the island and meet/kill its inhabitants. It's just a generic fantasy affair but the biggest gripe is that outside of the genuinely fun character scenes you get when you sleep at an inn there is almost no character growth or development.


The game has two distinct parts, the 3rd person dungeon crawling and the turn based battling. You move around the overworld on set paths which are dotted with encounters which thankfully aren't random to get to the dungeons which you then explore in 3D. Enemies are assigned to nodes on the world map and are represented by character models that move around in dungeons which means you can avoid them if you want. When you engage an enemy you are put in a good old fashioned turn based RPG arena.
























Combat revolves around a battle system that relies heavily on buffs and debuffs and a meter called Overdrive. As you use skills in combat you build up this Overdrive bar on top of your normal Mana, the lower your Mana is the more Overdrive you can have which fuels or enhances certain skills. It's a neat little system that helps an aged system but I do feel it leans a little too heavily on the aforementioned buffs and debuffs with things like bleeds, burns and stat boosts stacking up on both sides.


The difficulty is where the game has some major issues, it starts off easy but gets a huge difficulty spike in the mid game before petering out again. You have to do a lot of grinding in the mid game to be able to beat the dungeons which can be irksome. Apparently this is something the devs are addressing in future patches but for now it's a bit of an issue. Dungeons offer you the choice of a normal or heroic difficulty with a 3rd legendary difficulty being unlocked when you beat a dungeon for the first time. Normal always seemed to be laughably easy so you'll most likely want to go with heroic just so there's a bit of challenge.


Outside of dungeons and battling there are quite a few things to occupy yourself with. There's a fishing minigame and a robust crafting and enchanting system which gives you access to some amazing equipment if you put the time in. There is also an arena that lets you face waves of enemies to earn points for further upgrades and a hunt system which lets you fight optional mini bosses. The game also rewards backtracking for secrets and little map events which add some flavor to the world.


Technically the game is a little buggy right now with some issues with crashing, at least on the PC version i played, but again the devs are actively working on squashing these bugs. The game does offer keyboard and mouse controls but it’s obvious that the game was made more for controllers so that’s the play method I’d recommend. Battle Chasers kills it in the audio department though, the soundtrack is stellar and the sound effects in general help to enhance the overall game without being intrusive. This shines through in combat as melee attacks and magic both have plenty of impact thanks to the great sound and weighty animation.
























Altogether Battle Chasers Nightwar is a game I would definitely recommend to any old school JRPG fans. The story being generic and the virtually non-existent character development aren't that much of a deal breaker when the battle system is fun and the game itself is beautifully presented. The characters are still memorable and distinctive and a lot of my issues with the gameplay side of things are already being adjusted so it's honestly not going to be a problem for long. Go watch some gameplay and you'll probably want to give it a go yourself because it is damn beautiful.



Pros:

Amazing art style,

Engaging battle system,

Fun cast of characters,

Good dev support.


Cons:

Iffy story and character development,

Issues with difficult.


Final verdict,

Battle Chasers Nightwar earns itself an 8/10.


Written by,

Dragoon


















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