July 28, 2019 at 3:44 AM #962
God Wars: Future Past
Rating: 4.0 – Great
A Meaty Helping of Old-School Tactical RPG Action
I went into God Wars totally blind – pretty much the only thing I knew was that it’s a tactical RPG on PS4, which is quite rare, and the art looked solid enough, so I grabbed it, as it was on quite a big sale prior to release. And I can see why, the localization seemed somewhat rushed, although the inclusion of full English voice acting was a commendable decision for a game that would seem to skew towards a Japan loving audience that might prefer a dub to a sub.
So far the game has surprisingly met my expectations for being a fun tactical RPG. Of course, it won’t be for everyone. I’m not gonna lie, the game looks like a port of a PS2 game with a bit better lighting. But, if you don’t care about that kind of stuff, it’s a fun experience.
Plot – 7/10
The game appears to take place in an alternate reality Japan, which has very… liberal… interpretations of ancient Japanese myths and legends. Luckily, the game doesn’t break from tradition entirely, it just switches things up a bit to make things more interesting.
You play as a young lumberjack who has a crush on the princess and decides to free her from her status as "human sacrifice". He and other characters function as her bodyguards as they seek out the queen and find why she is willing to sacrifice her children to calm the angry gods, journeying through the entire land in the process.
The plot kind of reminds me of Fire Emblem or a Tales of- game, in that it has just the right amount of drama to keep it interesting while playing it safe and being overall inoffensive. Don’t expect an amazingly original story, but it’s more like a fun romp that leans a lot on anime tropes.
Kudos for adding a fully translated lore dictionary and character list to give more background information on the world.
Gameplay – 9/10
The real meat and potatoes is the tactical RPG gameplay. It seems simplistic at first, but it soon becomes more complex as there is a tremendous array of jobs you can learn with a lot of corresponding skills.
Battles take place on isometric battlefields and the battle system greatly resembles that of Final Fantasy Tactics. You guide characters around in a 3D plane, and can attack from the sides or back for greater damage. There are melee and ranged unit classes, and due to the very flexible job system, you can basically make any character any job or role you please, with the only unique thing about them being some innate skills that they possess.
The player navigates around on a world map, and can buy/sell items at shops and also use Shinto shrines to pray to the gods for bonuses. The player can also take up special requests at these shrines in exchange for cash and experience.
Unfortunately, being a NIS game, the engine isn’t the most stable in the world. I’ve had one crash that caused me to lose progress of a mission. As long as it doesn’t go up to the level of Witch and the Hundred Knight (PS3) it should be fine, but save after every mission just in case.
Graphics – 7/10
As I mentioned before, the graphics aren’t the best. The game looks like it’s a PS2 game in textures and 3D models. Still, it’s far better than anything your typical indie game can pull off, so it’s still enjoyable if you can look past that.
The character portraits are done with a beautiful anime art style spiced up by some textures that give them a pen drawn effect. Unfortunately, they are lacking in the expressions department, as similar to Fire Emblem Awakening, they only have one pose and merely change their facial expressions.
The character designs are hit or miss. Some are pretty cool, others just make you wonder what the character designer was smoking. Kind of like the bear that somehow has a topknot and a permanent Cheshire-like grin.
Sound – 8/10
The music of the game is decent, although it doesn’t have amazing standout tracks, it’s not bad either.
The voice acting is obviously not using any A-list talent, but it is still well done. Certain incidental voices can sound like a random dude who has zero voice acting experience, but the main characters are thankfully not annoying.
Unfortunately, the sound balancing of the game is incredibly off. The voices are extremely quiet compared to the background, and certain sound effects are incredibly loud. I highly suggest when starting the game to turn down the ingame volume of BGM and SE, and raise your speakers so you can actually hear the voice acting. The game also doesn’t really mute the BGM when characters are talking, which leads to problems discerning the voices.
Overall – 8/10
God Wars is a solid B tier title that knows what it wants to do and does it well. It will appeal to tactical RPG fans who have a hankering for a new game in the genre that isn’t on portable consoles, where the vast majority of these types of games are.
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