If you want a fast-paced hack-and-slash sword-swinging ki-blasting RPG, here's a game for you. The Nameless Chronicles is from Anima Project, the developers who also created the predecessor, simply titled Anima: Gate of Memories.
You play as an immortal entity who's destined to walk the world forever and protect it from evil. The Nameless Chronicles has a rich world filled with monsters and villains and almost the whole game takes place in the Gate of Memories which is some kind of other dimension so don't expect to walk much in the real world. The setting is very strange and disorienting but as long as you know what you're getting into, you'll have a good time.
You are the Nameless but things weren't always that way. After walking for a while in the Gate of Memories, you enter a small fishing village that you recognise. Upon gathering a few memories, what you learn made me feel incredibly sad. In my opinion, that's what makes a good story great: the ability to make me feel sad so well done, The Nameless Chronicles. That's not to say the story is all good. If you're not paying close attention, you might be confused why you walked through a door in the Gate of Memories just to end up in a mansion of puppets or a burning cathedral. It can be weird stuff.
The Nameless Chronicles is an Action RPG and the combat resembles Bayonetta while also featuring an RPG progression system like you'd find in a Final Fantasy game. Basically, every level grants you two skill points to spend on the skill tree. There's a nice variety of useful skills but it isn't huge and complicated as the max level is only 16. There are a lot of different moves to perform so you're free to use your own fighting style. That leads me to my next point; I love the combat system. It's incredibly smooth and you can assault your enemies from a distance, dodge attacks, or use ranged attacks in the blink of an eye.
Thankfully, The Nameless Chronicles has a dizzying amount of bosses and great enemy variety. It isn't a long game but it's densely packed with never before seen bosses in almost every new area you visit. You need to keep your guard up because each new boss has different attack patterns from the last. The first half of the campaign isn't too difficult but the rest of the game has very difficult boss fights.
If you're a completionist, there are a few optional activities that you can do but there isn't really a huge amount of optional content (as expected from a game of this size). Items are littered around for you to find that are mostly consumable ones, some equippable artifacts, and weapons. There is a secret boss and a secret ending, too, but the secret boss is no joke so be warned! Anyway, there are a couple of other activities to be found as well. You'll find the memory of a great inventor (Gaudemas) who will create a powerful item if you bring him materials. In the cathedral area, you can even play a combat mini-game with four segments and each segment offers a reward.
Perhaps The Nameless Chronicles' only real weakness is that it's fairly short and has to compete in a genre with many 40+ hour games and that might be disappointing for some RPG fans. Also, there's little to break up the tedium of combat. It would have been cool if there was a fun little mini-game or some other unique content to be found somewhere.
Anima: Gate of Memories - The Nameless Chronicles is undoubtedly a great RPG with little downsides. It has fluid combat, plenty of loot to collect, a haunting story, and amazing enemy variety.
- + Although weird at times, there's an emotional and engaging story
- + Well-rounded gameplay
- + Fluid and satisfying combat
- - Fairly short for an RPG
- - Combat can become tedious