Celestian Tales: Old North is a new take on the turn-based Japanese style RPG where your decisions affect how the story turns out. Using the classic style of graphics of slightly pixelated gameplay. Also featuring a deep detailed story with an abundance of characters to play as each taking different approaches to the situations the player may experience.
The story begins in a fantasy realm where your beginning dialogue depends on the character the player chooses to begin as their primary character. I chose Aria (She was described as a crusader how could I not), a noble girl who is sent by her father to become a squire to a far away kingdom, she is deeply religious worshipping the gods they call ‘Deus’. The characters are sent to this far away kingdom all to serve the lord of Levantine.
The player has the choice of 6 characters each of which has a different personality, weapons and abilities that can be unlocked throughout the game. You may choose anyone of these 6 to start as and 3 to be your main party (the one you fight with). For my play-through I used Aria, Ylianne and Reynard. Ylianne is a small elven girl who uses a bow and has arrow abilities, whereas Reynard is a tanky human with a battle-axe and heavy damaging abilities. However you can change your team up anytime to vary the abilities and types of attacks.
Gameplay elements are of a classic style from Japanese RPG’s alike to some of the original Final Fantasy games, with turn-based combat and certain amounts of free roam elements. The towns to me are an explorer’s dream where you can go all over the towns and cities and enter discussions with other NPC’s unveiling elements of the story and learn about characters personalities’. The turn-based combat feels good and not dragged out like other turn-based games I’ve played in the past.
The graphical style of the game almost looks like slightly-pixelated sprites which accurately represents the nostalgia of the classic RPG’s which it is attempting to revive. Old North has a lovely soundtrack which reminded me personally of old RPG’s played on the original Playstation’s especially Final Fantasy.
Celestian Tales: Old North does a good job of placing a heavy burden upon the player , either allowing them to be corrupted or remaining pure in their ideals. By the scenario’s the characters are placed in it makes the player think about their actions and how they handle situations. For example I captured a bandit after defeating them when I was defending a village and I had the choice to either hang the bandit for the peasants or to hand him over to the commander of the area.
However there are in my opinion some flaws with the game, for example, even though it’s a story and you’d expect to have a lot of dialogue, the huge amounts of dialogue in between opportunities to walk around and fight slowed down the game too much for me. In between doing an action and your next action unless you just mash through the dialogue usually takes a few minutes depending on the conversation. This does mean that unless you are truly invested into the story you will probably get quite bored with the long cutscenes (although you’d probably be playing it for the story).
In conclusion, this is a fun story driven RPG that shows classic elements from older turn-based and free roaming games of the sort alike to some of the original Final Fantasy games. Although if you are not interested in the story or the characters then it may seem a little slow.
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