Our story begins with a short history lesson about three tribes who were at conflict within the world of Edelstein. Peace eventually was reached between them and all was well until members of each royal family began to get abducted. Enter Bine, a member of the Fai Tribe and the hero of our story.
Bine is sent out by his childhood friend to fetch some plants for her father in the Emerald Forest. While exploring the Forest, Bine runs into a mysterious young woman named Lunaria who resembles a slime creature with shape-shifting abilities.
We come to find out that Lunaria is a member of both the Ruta and the Fai tribe. After her mother’s tragic but predictable ending, Lunaria decides she wants to fulfill her mother’s wishes to live life the way she desires. For reasons that are fairly vague, the duo run across a cat-man by the name of Jade from the Eeth tribe. This is the point when Antiquia Lost is finished developing the premise and the player can go off into Edelstein.
So let’s go back for a moment to the gameplay before we meet Jade. There were a few features I liked at the title screen such as a detailed description of each difficulty, along with the option to change this setting on the title screen, and a help menu that explains everything you need to know throughout gameplay. The opening scene when the prince of The Ruta tribe was kidnapped felt both lacking and forced. There was no real set as to the significance of the prince and then he is just captured with no prior build up.
There were plenty of missed opportunities where they could have added sound effects to enhances some of the scenes. For example, when Bine’s friend Seraphy barges into his home, the sound of a door opening or slamming could have added more emphasis on her brash nature. There were a few grammar choices that were questionable such as using “Ah yeah” instead of “Oh yeah” when Bine recalled something or using the word *tut* to express an exclamation. Another issue I feel I should point out is how they tell you when you are approaching the next part of the story.
You would get a dialogue box stating this at the end of every scene. It felt like watching a movie then hearing the director yell “CUT!” and it really took me out of the immersion. A final note on the story flow in this title is how lifeless the characters feel. I see where they were coming from, anime-inspired RPGs are niche genre.
However the characters all felt one-dimensional and there was no reason to move on with the plot other than, “Lunaria wants to go here” and I would like to say more about the music but in the four and a half hours I played, I only heard at most 4 to 5 different tracks because all the towns and dungeons were recycling the same two themes.
I was pleasantly surprised at how user-friendly the tutorial aspect of the game functions. Not only do you have the option to skip each one, but you can also even replay until you have a firm grasp of the rules. Again, if you end up skipping it by mistake, you can access it either in the menu or the title screen.
Speaking of the menu system, that is where the majority of the title’s mechanics reside. First, we have your typical options you would find any RPG such as the inventory, status, options, tactics and on occasion the help menu. But there is much more than that hidden behind that triangle button. A unique function it the planting option which allows you to grow berries to strengthen your team, kind of similar to what you would find in a Pokémon title. There is also a crafting system that allows you to craft your own weapons, more on that later.
This was the part of the menu that made my head cock to the side, however. There is a shop you can access in the menu but its not what you would think. I would like to first state that there are two forms of currency in this game, coins, and diamonds. The shop within the menu uses the latter as currency and there are two ways to obtain these either through limited actions in game or paying real money. There is also a lottery where you can gain more items either through diamonds or tickets you win in battles.
I admit, this kind of irked me because this type of micro-pay is something you would expect in a free to play titles like Smite, not game you had already purchased at retail value. There is a difference between DLC and micro-pay, I feel as if the developers dropped the ball on this one. The final aspect and part of me wishes more RPGs would do this, you can access your quests in the menu to see where you are supposed to go next. The developers even went so far as to have the next location marked on your map to keep it “idiot proof” and make sure the story progressed.
The graphics had a little bit of a nostalgic feel, it reminded me of an updated Phantasy Star 4. An overhead view of the world with NPCs, shops and hidden areas felt very familiar and easy to navigate. The field screen also had a couple of unique although not entirely original thoughts such as a one button press to heal the entire party and a map of each location regardless if it is a town or dungeon. They also added some elements from past titles such as being able to change who is on the map, and each party member has a unique function to help you through articles. There are also two kinds of treasure chests, one for items and the other dedicated to the equipment.
The display set up for the combat menu could have been better. You have your party on the right side of the screen along with the list of commands on the right and your party’s status is on top. The enemy health is above their respective monsters and there is a battle timeline on the bottom so you can see who is next. The combat itself is where I feel the biggest issue is.
Before I reached level 10, I had already crafted weapons for my team that was so powerful I could use my mage’s melee attack to one-shot enemies. And while I admit that I was playing on the normal setting, the mechanics are this game are kind of easy to break. Along with the weapons I mentioned earlier, you can also change the element type of your enemy as well as bosses. This mechanic makes it ridiculously simple to win a battle because all you have to do is change their element to earth and then spam fireballs.
The leveling system is where they really tried to come up with something different, and if they had gone about certain mechanics another way, this could have been a completely different experience. For starters, you must use each attack in order to strengthen its effects which in a sense forces the player to use different spells and attacks. Everyone levels in the traditional kill thing/get profit mechanic except for Lunaria. You have to feed her gems in order to raise her stats.
This could have been an amazing feature for the title if it wasn’t for the fact that her food source are the accessories you use to equip your team with. And while we are on the subject of Lunaria, why is it that this is the only way to level her but its not the same for Saria, who I might add is also a member of the Ruta tribe. In terms of storyline continuity, this raises a few questions.
So my summary of this title is as follows. I feel if they had taken a little more time developing Antiquia Lost, it could have really been something great. However, between the somewhat broken combat system, bad calls on certain features, and a storyline that doesn’t exactly inspire, this title, in my opinion, is destined to be one more likely to get purchased during sales than friends recommending it to one another.
REVIEW CODE: A FREE Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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