Saturday, 16 March 2013

Dengeki Gakuen RPG:Cross Of Venus

Gamespot Score:n/a

My Score:7.5

(+)Pros: - Playable heroines from various anime will be sure to excite majority of the players (well this is why you're playing the game), - Tons of unrelated cameo appearances, - Simple combat system that is easy to get into, - Collecting cards can be addictive and card support system adds depth into combat, - Visiting the worlds of various anime can be fun and exhilarating.

(-)Cons: - Boss fights are rather lazily made except for a certain minority, - You'll be backtracking into certain worlds multiple times, -Rather short for an RPG.

Gameplay time: 10-20 hours

I am actually surprised to see how little love this game has been receiving! Being a DS RPG featuring the appearances of multiple popular anime heroines is just a recipe for greatness. Well, as a means to attract fans, at least. As its a rather simple game, it packs a good deal of content that can please fans who are into the "Dengeki bunko" series of light novels, most of these that become popular anime, otakus can easily find their worth here. However it is still a JAPANESE RPG, so if you don't know Japanese, an English translation or YouTube video walkthroughs can really save your bacon.

The story talks about a nameless high school student as he stays late in school to investigate a rumor revolving around a ghost girl that was proposed by his friend, Kizuna. Turns out that this girl was Shana, and it seems like she was investigating a space time continuum regarding the worlds of different "Dengeki bunko" light novels. Before he knows it, the main character is thrown into the world of "Iriya No Sora" along with Shana, and they fight through the various hostiles that attack them. After that, its explained that an organization is trying to screw around with these different light novel worlds to change how the stories goes, and its up to the main character and the various heroines that join him to stop the impending evil.

Wait, what?

When we talk about a crossover game, its obviously a game that was made for the fans. When you look at "Dengeki Gakuen RPG:Cross of Venus", the first thing that catches you is the appearance of all these different anime heroines that you may or may not know about. We have heroines spread across from a ton of franchises, Shana from "Shakugan no Shana", Kana Iriya from "Iriya No Sora", Kino from "Kino's journey", Index from "To aru majutsu no Index", Haruka from "Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu", Taiga from "Toradora!", Dokuro from "Bokusatsu tenshi Dokuro-chan" and Misao from "Asura Cryin". You may or may not know all of these (I didn't know 3 of them when I started), but it makes up for an even greater purpose when you wish to know more about these characters if you don't already know them.

Despite these awesome girls being playable, you also get a ton of cameo appearances of characters that appear FROM these franchises. Like lets say, Yuji from "Shakugan no Shana" or Touma from "To aru majutsu no Index". A ton of characters, ranging from side ones to main ones to villains, make their stay in this game, and its a pleasure to see them included....EVEN if they aren't directly playable (you get some of them as cards for support). This really makes me why its so hard to make a crossover game with the perfect cast or crew....

You're nothing but a video game normal enemy in a giant world of video games, its fine.

The combat system is fairly simple, there's really not much to speak about here. The four buttons of the NDS are as follows, a guard button, jump button, attack button and skill button. Attacks are the staple here as you use these to beat up enemies, they can be chained into skills to do more damage but since you are only allowed one character on the screen at once but you can have 3 characters in your party, this means you get to switch characters mid combo. Hitting an enemy with a combo, then switching to another character to extend that then switching AGAIN to the third character for MORE hits can be pretty satisfying. Though different characters have different fighting styles so there are a ton of factors that have to be taken into consideration. Guard and jump are self explanatory, though you cant guard against certain boss attacks.

During battle you are also allowed a support character, and while they don't fight directly in battle they allow the use of cards that you collect throughout the game. These cards are pretty fun to collect, buy and create. Most represent something out of a "Dengeki bunko" novel but there are some with characters on them so its like collecting a trading card game or something. You can tap these in battle anytime to eat some MP from your support to get aid in battle like heals, stat boosts or just to damage the enemy. And while enemy types aren't the best they are (they could have been a LITTLE more creative here, just saying), the worlds you visit ARE from "Dengeki bunko" novels, so if you are familiar with a certain franchise, visiting the world there, could be exciting.

Let's not stray off too far shall we?

One major gripe I have about the game is that the boss fights (with the exception of a small minority) are pretty lazily done. They all revolve around the same tactic to destroy your ass. Try to hit you with normal attacks (which are so FEW in variety), then when they drop to a certain health level, they use their super move which is godly powerful and somehow can take off a huge chunk of your HP. Honestly, most of these are too easy, though are are a small few that provide a decent challenge. Also you will be backtracking into some worlds way to frequently. Its okay to go to the same world multiple times, but at least change the layout of the freaking map! The game also clocks in rather short for a RPG. Even with time spent on walkthroughs and translations, the game only clocked in at about 15-18 hours, which is SHORT for a RPG.

This game is a complete breeze if you understand japanese (possibly cleared under 15 hours), otherwise its a little above that. "Dengeki Gakuen RPG:Cross Of Venus", despite having a stupidly long name, is a fun and sustainable RPG while it lasts. It has a simple battle system, so everyone can get into it, and cameos will keep pushing fans onward. If you know about the "Dengeki bunko" franchise and have some sort of connection to it, you'll enjoy this game, even if you don't know most of the characters. Otherwise its a decent entry point to the world of "Dengeki bunko" light novels.

Happy gaming.