Ever since Sony released the original Playstation, they have been at the top of their game, bringing out a lot of high quality RPG’s, and this has continued on all platforms. One thing Sony has avoided at all costs was to become too much of "this" type of company. Which means they never tried to be a company of FPS, or Action games and have done a great job of mixing up their success with several genres including that of RPGs. Now Sony is hoping to take that success with developers Level 5 to their latest game Jeanne d’Arc for the Sony PSP. But does this game have what it takes to bring a full fledged RPG to the portable? Read our full review to find out!
There is no doubt about it, the potential for an RPG having success on the Playstation Portable is highly possible. In fact, a game having success on the PSP seems more then likely, however it seems as though many developers just haven’t had that great deal of success when working with the platform. Well Sony is hoping that there first party titles can help catapult them to the next level with Jeanne d’Arc, the type of game that might not hit the broad audience but could bring a stellar RPG following if the game was successful. So how does the game turn out?
I am constantly changing my mind on whether or not I should spend a lot of time on the story of an RPG. For most RPG’s, the story is really a driving force for many of these games and continues to be a very crucial part of Jeanne d’ Arc, which is a retelling of the Joan of Arc story in a new fantasy setting. In general though the story is actually pretty engaging, and I was engrossed in it right from the start. I am going to stay away from retelling the entire Joan d’Arc storyline, but just will let you know that the story won’t disappoint.
For many tactical RPG fans, you are probably wondering what sort of combat mechanics that the game has. The game uses a very familiar square grid that has become very common for any tactical RPG. You are given plenty of options in terms of customizing your combat, and will be taking a variety of different size parties into the battlefield. There wasn’t any major innovations that haven’t been done before, but what this game does is really take some of the really popular methods and improves upon them to deliver a very deep and entertaining experience.
If there was one thing that is going to have anyone shaking their head it would be the AI, which is really important in a tactical RPG like this. However many who have played this game including myself thought it was odd there was no difficulty settings. The reason this question arises is that many times in the game you will find the AI to be rather laid back, or lacking any aggression. I would never say the AI is predictable, but it doesn’t seem to want to go in for the kill either.
What really impressed me about Jeanne d’Arc is that it really combines a multitude of different strategy and RPG elements that take this game to a level which very few RPG’s have ever hit before. This is not going to be the standout game for the PSP, but it hits so many of the right notes that it would be hard not to call this a great playing game.
I have to say that in terms of visuals, you can see a great amount of detail put into all the different characters and aspects of the game. In general though, the primary focus was put onto the different enemies and characters of the game, which really look outstanding. The environments are a bit more predictable, but still manage a very high level of detail as well. This game really manages to use the PSP to its advantage and although its not the best looking game the PSP has seen, it has a great feel nonetheless.
I am not the most renowned RPG fan out there, in fact in many cases I have to get myself amped up to get into a game like Jeanne d’Arc, but for this game it really engaged me right from the start with a very engaging story. The game does take sometime to grab hold of, and I would say the combat does manage to give a moderate learning curve, but as you go through the game it really manages to bring everything together for a very solid experience, that RPG fans are going to eat this right up.
There are really two categories of RPG’s, the great ones, and the less than favorable ones. Jeanne d’Arc manages to get in the top category, which just shows that Sony really pushed this game to become great, and they succeed in doing that. I would highly recommend Jeanne d’Arc to any RPG fan who is looking for a new experience to delve into. As a portable RPG game, you have to understand this is one deep and rewarding experience.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.