Thanks to NIS AMERICA for the review code
Title: GOD WARS: The Complete Legend
System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 09/04/2018
In this tactical RPG, you take control of a man named Kintaro, who decides to free Princess Kaguya from years of isolation after her mother was sacrificed to the gods long ago. Upon freeing her, Kaguya must go on a search to find out what happened to the region since her isolation, and why the gods wanted her mother as sacrifice to begin with.
One thing that’s very obvious about this game is how despite the decent anime cutscenes and character art, the game looks really low-budget, with some pretty ugly 3D models and maps. Combine that with how characters don’t even have a proper animation for stepping down an incline, (meaning that if they go from a higher tile to a lower tile during a pre-battle cutscene they just snap in place) and the game doesn’t look so hot in motion. At the very least, the menus are easy to use and the soundtrack is memorable enough with plenty of oriental compositions, although the English dub sounds as if certain characters recorded their voices with a webcam mic, which makes those characters hard to deal with despite how solid the performances are in general.
Being a strategy RPG, comparisons could be easily made with Disgaea or Final Fantasy Tactics, in that the main goal of each stage is to wipe out the enemy forces while keeping your team alive and well, moving through a world map and progressing the story after each battle. The whole concept is standard fare, and there’s not much new that God Wars does to turn the genre on its head, making the game easy to understand if you ever played a game in this genre before.
When entering a map for battle, the game lets you control the camera with the right stick, allowing you to freely adjust the direction in any way you wish if the default diagonal perspective is hard to work with. Turn order is determined by a speed stat, and all the standard basics to a strategy RPG apply, with the characters taking turns, being able to use skills to deal extra damage to foes or buff their own allies until the battle is won or lost, leveling up along the way, and even being able to search sealed boxes spread around the map to find items (or traps) within. There’s little else of importance to mention, outside of how sluggish this battle system can be.
Yes, even though there are options to adjust the speed and disable certain animations, the game still feels like it takes an eternity for enemies to complete their turn, since I couldn’t seem to find any way to outright skip over the enemy turns and switch to my next character, making some stages with several enemies a bit of a chore to complete due to all the waiting when modern strategy games like Disgaea 5 and Fire Emblem Echoes allow for enemy turns to be drastically sped up or skipped altogether. While having some options to speed up battles is better than none at all, I did find myself wishing that some parts of this game could just hurry up.
Luckily, God Wars offers a skill tree and job system to make learning new skills a lot more fun than gaining them upon leveling up. By default your team has a job that can be freely changed between other jobs that your party has access to, along with a unique job that only that character can use and is unable to change in any way, shape or form. Clearing battles and defeating enemies will give you job points that can be used to unlock the next branch of a class’ skill tree, or a new ability altogether. If two jobs aren’t enough for you, you can even throw on a secondary class if you want to learn even more skills, which comes in real handy since the game gets tougher in no time at all, with enemies learning how to inflict status conditions and deal a lot more damage that can kill your teammates in no time if you don’t defend and learn skills to counter. Even though you do have a five turn grace period to revive an ally before they become unusable for the rest of the battle, revival items are very expensive and scarce, and learning the skills needed to revive your allies take a while and aren’t cheap with MP when you do finally learn them, which makes staying alive all the more important.
Last but not least is how the game handles sidequests. During your journey you’ll come across towns that are mandatory to visit with in order to advance the plot, and after these plot scenes a shop and a shrine will usually open to allow the player to buy any items they need and to fulfill the prayer requests that people posted at the shrine. These prayer requests are simple tasks that tend to ask the player to head to a map to defeat a group of enemies, and doing so will grand a reward such as more leaves, (the game’s currency) job points and EXP. Unfortunately, these requests are nothing more than simple tasks, and they can easily be skipped without any consequence if you don’t bother to visit the shrine, which makes their presence here feel not nearly as important or even as useful as it should be.
In conclusion, God Wars is a decent strategy RPG with little going for it outside of its budget price and the all-in-one nature of the Switch release. While this does include all the DLC released for God Wars Future Past (including a new post-story area with multiple endings) and makes the game a good enough value, the core game itself is sluggish and not that pleasing to look at, nor is it that much fun to play. By far the most fun I had with this game was gaining job points to boost my characters and make them a powerhouse, but by the time I would feel confident with my own team, the enemy rosters became equally aggressive within no time, and even the introduction of new characters over the course of the story didn’t make things go any faster or make the story more engaging. God Wars is a decent pick if you want a Strategy RPG on a budget, but there’s little else it has to offer outside of that.
I give GOD WARS: THE COMPLETE LEGEND a 6 out of 10.