Quick impressions: Jeanne D’arc

| brandon

jeannedarc.jpgI got to play Jeanne D’arc at Comic Con this weekend, and it was quite excellent. I’ve been looking forward to it for some time, since I love turn-based strategy RPGs, even though I’d prefer if the characters were sprites, and the super deformed look is a little disturbing in 3D. Still, this is a very Japanese interpretation of the Joan of Arc mythology, which is quite amusing. First of all, Joan/Jeanne is spoken to by god – god is a voice in her head, telling her to do things. That’s all well and good, but when god tells her to raise her armlet thing up into the air, she has a sentai-style transformation into a suit of armor, and produces a giant sword from nowhere. That’s pretty awesome. And she has different suits she can transform into.

The actual gameplay is quite good, with simpler attack assists (merely stat bonuses, not joint attacks), and simple unified guards. I played the two stages available in the demo, and magic wasn’t a big force there. I hope that remains true, as it can really wreck the balance of a game like this. One curious thing is that Jeanne has a skill called ‘godspeed’ when she’s transformed, wherein if she kills an enemy, she can take another turn immediately, which means she gets a lot more exp. They really want her to be your tank! One thing I didn’t like was that attacking basically ends your turn. I like to be able to do any of the things I can do in any order, ie attack and then move, and choose the direction my character is facing. The game is very nice though – and when I beat the second level (which was actually pretty far into the game, it seemed), the boss character said ‘well played, but it won’t be so easy in the retail version!’ Really took me back to the old days…

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