Battle Chasers: Nightwar is evocative of old Japanese RPG games in that we must commit time to beating all opponents and obtaining further experience in order to uncover the complete narrative. Especially if we want to grow each character to be able to replace one of the squad’s three members if necessary. It would be dull and annoying if the wonderful graphics didn’t continually give this “grinding” a lovely character and kept you from becoming bored.
The easiest turn-based battles span a few dozen seconds, while more challenging ones might last several minutes as you juggle attacks, shields, and healing. However, even although we defeated our opponents in two hits, the battle looked fantastic. No surprise, given that Battle Chasers is based on an American comic book released in the 1990s, and Joe Madureira, the original’s designer, also develops the game’s style. This is a visually appealing game. We are welcomed with an entrance that is reminiscent of television cartoons from thirty years ago, followed by a short introduction produced in a comic book manner, and lastly by a gorgeously created universe blending two- and three-dimensional visuals.
Small details and big, painted backgrounds for fights guarantee that there is always something to watch over the many dozen hours of gameplay. The soundtrack, composed by Jesper Kyd, is also significant, having appeared in the first two installments of the Assassin’s Creed series as well as Borderlands. The narrative is a little weaker. The tale concerning the main character’s father’s disappearance is only a pretext to explore the game environment and slaughter everything that stands in the way. This is not to say that the writing is bad or uninteresting; the brief conversations are typically well-written and sound well owing to dubbing. However, don’t expect any fascinating story twists or more than a few mildly hilarious quips. The mechanics are a different story. The foundation is a turn-based combat model in which we may affect the order of the characters’ moves with various advantages and penalties. The basis is straightforward, but it is built on a complex and rich system that is merged with exploration in an unusually engaging way. We go throughout a big island filled with biomes and dungeons. The first are the surface; we may roam around freely here and kill any creatures that arise. Dungeons are more challenging because we must manage our resources carefully. Exploring the dungeon imposes limitations on mana recovery, making fighting more challenging. This does not imply that we must save the coolest spells for crucial battles; instead, in each fight, we can utilize basic strikes that cause less damage but provide an energy boost to be used in the present conflict.
Collecting such transitory power-ups might be frustrating at first, and the easiest encounters generate the impression that it is almost not worth spending mana until the conclusion of the dungeon, but the game swiftly corrects the error. If we come across a particularly vicious bunch of monsters while exploring the dungeon, even with the greatest spells, the fight will be difficult. The trick is to make judicious use of magical energy. Enemies wandering the subterranean are just as vulnerable to all traps as the player’s squad, so we can employ them sometimes. The ability to discern when it is worthwhile to assault a group of opponents and when it is preferable to try to distract one or two monsters and play a series of little battles rather than one massive and arduous combat can rescue us. Battle Chasers does not enable you to load a previous game state, requiring you to face – minor – repercussions for each defeat. Battle Chasers, in keeping with JRPG tradition, compels you to replay some areas. Because each new location demands somewhat more experience points than the previous one, we must return from time to time and explore the same dungeons at greater difficulty levels. On the one side, it may appear tiresome, but on the other hand, it allows you to gather all of the treasures and find mysteries. There are many of the latter. From fake barriers and doors that only one player can breach to puzzles that need not only perceptiveness but also reflexes – the game never runs out of things to accomplish. Many of the riddles are quite simple to solve if you carefully read the conversation or journal holding the clues, but the joy from completing them is enormous. We won’t learn anything until the second or third time we visit a dungeon, because randomly generated dungeons are formed from pre-made locations, but they don’t necessarily employ all of the “blocks” provided by the developers.
Battle Chasers also boasts one of the more advanced crafting systems. Recipes gained during the game allow you to make a basic item and then upgrade it to a rare or epic form by investing more resources. The treasure collected via exploration and fighting is generally equivalent to the equipment manufactured – we frequently locate and build the same weapons or armor. If we don’t have a suitable jacket, medallion, or gloves, we may just make them rather than going to the investigated dungeons to retrieve the item.
We are not bored of the repeated gameplay components after roughly fifty hours of playing Battle Chasers. Unique characters, brilliant plot inserts, and a stunning location make the Kickstarter-funded project feel at times like a living, interactive comic book – with the exaggeration typical of the JRPG genre and “epic” combat in which we destroy even an ordinary bat in a wildly spectacular way.