Thanks to KEMCO for the review code
Title: Antiquia Lost
System: Playstation 4
Release Date: 09/05/2017
In a world with several tribes that inhabit it, a series of disappearances related to the royal families have been taking place, and a boy named Bine sets out on a quest to take a girl named Lunaria to the royal capital. As they meet new companions along the way, they begin to learn that more and more people are vanishing, as they investigate the cause. It’s another cookie cutter plot, like in other EXE Create games, with the same setup of the story gradually moving on at a linear pace.
As per the norm with EXE Create developed titles, Antiquia Lost uses the same basic artstyle for out of battle scenes, although for once the movement animations out of battle are no longer as choppy! Still, everything else is per the norm, with basic world map, dungeon, and menu system designs. Unlike Revenant Saga, which made up for those factors by using 3D Models during battles, Antiquia Lost goes back to the 2D sprites seen in their earlier games, but the good news about reverting back to 2D sprites is that they took the time to significantly improve the quality of them in-battle. Now both teams are fully animated while idle, and every move pulled off has a nice little animation to go along with it. (which you can turn off in the options menu to speed up the pacing of battles) While I still would prefer the 3D models that were used in the other game, these 2D sprites are a far superior improvement to the old, dull battle systems seen in their earlier games like Alphadia.
The music is a bit more memorable here than in other EXE Create titles, which means that there’s actually a few memorable themes you’ll hear during the journey, but the overall score is still nothing that’s soundtrack worthy. One thing I can give the OST a lot of credit for though is that they finally managed to make the Title Screen/World Map theme fitting for both instances, with a song that gets the job done on both fronts, and is actually something that won’t irritate you after several minutes of wandering around the overworld, all thanks to being an iPod worthy background song!
Playing exactly like the other EXE Create games, the same concepts apply. Explore a big World Map and many dungeons as you find lots of random encounters along the way, go from objective to objective and take on the occasional sidequest that a townsperson needs help for. Having reviewed several other titles from this company already, you can pretty much read my reviews on those games to see my thoughts on how it is handled here, since for the most part little has changed, outside of a few UI tweaks and the aforementioned boost in visual quality for in-game battles.
With all that said, every EXE Create game does have a gimmick that makes it stand out from the rest, and in the case of Antiquia Lost, that gimmick is none other than the first party member to join Bine’s team, a girl named Lunaria from the Ruta Tribe. While the other party members gain stat upgrades through the RPG standards of experience systems and stat boosting items, for Lunaria the only way she’ll ever get any stronger is if you feed her equipment items you no longer need, and there are plenty of those to be found throughout the game, which leads to her being mostly immune from a really fun game-breaking exploit that you can choose to do from the start of the game, related to this game’s variant of the SP system seen in Revenant Saga.
Just like in RS, you’ll gain special items over the course of the game from random item drops that can be exchanged for really helpful items and equipment (these are known as Alchemy Stones here), or redeemed in a raffle for random items (which are Pandora Tickets, a separate item) While in RS it was pretty standard stuff such as items that could be sold for extra gold or special equipment that granted bonuses, Antiquia Lost takes things to the next level by not only giving you 1,000 Alchemy Stones from the get-go, but allowing you to buy an item called an EXP Package that will give you 500,000 EXP upon using it in a battle and winning it.
You heard me right, the game lets you grab at least two of these broken items to destroy the game balance, and it’s honestly really enjoyable to mess around with as a silly option. Such an item would be a commonplace thing on a mobile device where it was only available with microtransactions, (and there are a few here, but more on them later) but here you have the option from the start of a save file to just go ahead and choose to have two characters in your party be gods, allowing you to breeze early game boss fights even on the Hell Mode difficulty. (Which like all prior EXE Create games, is available to change at any time via a menu) This is totally at the player’s choice, and I’ll admit that it is a nice way for inexperienced players to go through the game at their own pace, especially if it happens to be their first RPG and the easy mode isn’t cutting it for whatever reason, or if you’re like me and just want to feel the joy of being overpowered to make the main story go by quicker.
The last things of note to mention here are the friendship system, which is a feature that comes into play during certain parts of the story where during free time periods, if you do the right kind things with certain party members they’ll either trust or distrust you more, and the aforementioned microtransactions. Surprisingly, you cannot buy more Alchemy Stones to get even more absurd EXP/Gold/equipment boosts, and instead all the microtransactions on offer here are just for misc equipment that gives you gradual EXP and Gold boosts that honestly don’t seem to be worth spending real money on. Still, they’re an option, for those with an unhealthy amount of disposable income.
In conclusion, Antiquia Lost is yet another example of a basic JRPG experience meant to replicate the nature of the old era of JRPGS, doing most of the same stuff that you’ve seen already in prior EXE Create games. While the story is a bit weaker than Revenant Saga’s and the game can be made a lot easier if you know what to do, it still benefits from the small quality of life improvements that have gone into these games over time, so while it’s not something I can recommend on the same level as Justice Chronicles, this is still a good RPG for those who want to go on an adventure for a good length of time, especially if you want to go after all the trophies, and if the 3D battle system of Revenant Saga doesn’t look as appealing to you.
I give Antiquia Lost a 7 out of 10, and you can buy it on the US PS Store here if you so desire.