This game provides a fun old school RPG experience for players who enjoyed the sprite based action and light hearted take of some of the older generation RPGs. The battles range from challenging to mundane but the experience system prevents you from grinding so as long as you fight a few battles you'll generally be where you need to be. Its a talkative game so be prepared for a lot of reading, the inter party banter gives the game life. A worthwhile purchase if you're tired of the new generation of shiny but mediocre games, its a bit old by current standards but provides a solid fun RPG.
* The story is interesting and brings meaning to the events.
* The game world is filled with lots of detail and fun NPC's.
* Magic system is customizable.
* Battle retry system that lets you decide if you want the monsters to get weaker if you run into a hard spot. This reduces the need to grind for levels and spoil the game pace. This feature is optional and the game is so well balanced that I never did need to use it.
* In game notebook that keeps track of jobs your on and game play info.
* Recipe book and monster guide.
* My biggest problem I have with this game is the second game isn't available to play now that I am finished the first game.
Game play is basic turn based RPG in style, you gain experience in battle and after gaining a certain amount you go up in level. Going up in level makes your characters stronger. Magic in this game is called Arts; in order to gain arts you earn crystals (sepith) in combat. There are many different types of crystals and when you have enough of them they get combined into a crystal sphere (Quartz) that has a spell in it. These spheres get placed into a pendent (Orbment), which can hold many spheres and that's how your character can cast spells. The character has spell points and each art has a point cost in order to cast it. The characters also have special attacks/skills that are unique to that character. They are called crafts and as you go up in level more crafts become available.
The graphics are great. The details of the environments stand out well and I never have to guess at what I am viewing. Character portraits are well done and the overall look of the game is enjoyable.
The story is solid and simple; there is no confusion as to what's going on and why it's happening. In this game you control Estelle and Joshua; they are young Bracers which are like freedom fighters/mercs. They get hired to perform tasks and help out the community. In order to become full fledged Bracers they have to travel to all 5 regions of the Liberl kingdom and earn recommendations from the regional Bracer guilds. Once they have all 5 they become a full member of the Bracer guild. On their journey Estelle and Joshua get themselves involved in a major political matter that will affect the entire kingdom.
For me the value of this game is immense, I played the game for 71.5 hours and had a real good time. Also this is only the 4th game that I have given a perfect 10. I recommend this game very much and it's only the 1st game in a trilogy so I look forward to more adventures with Estelle and Joshua in the future.
For some reason I couldn't put this game down. The game had a classic feel to it, but the plot and characters didn't feel "classic" at all. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this game. I was a little disappointed in the whole non-biological brother and sister falling in love thing (and I really dislike romance in most games), but in this one I actually didn't mind so much. It was probably mostly because the characters are strong on their own and they grow as the story progresses. There is no mushy crap. The battles were fun and just the right difficulty (in my opinion). I am looking forward to Part 2 :)