On my quest to play as many retro-style RPGs as I can, I'm glad that I gave the very unique Justice Chronicles a go so let's check it out.
Justice Chronicles has you play as a knight named Kline. With a war encroaching, he scouts out the enemy lands only to find a desperate situation and a girl named Alia who he saves then partners with. The 2 then go on a quest to bring peace to the world and hopefully prevent all-encompassing dark forces. This may not sound like anything new but the world of Justice Chronicles is divided between the surface and the depths which is quite intriguing, especially after you work your way to the surface world which has generally vibrant environments that are a substantial contrast to the mostly brown and earthy underworld. Anyway, you'll meet a varied cast along the way with stand-out characters being the silent Fred and the delightful witch Paola. Overall, it adds up to one memorable adventure. v1d30chumz 3-236-107-249
The character artwork is a bit different in Justice Chronicles than in most KEMCO-published RPGs and although I found it odd at first, I ended up appreciating the portraits as the story went on and eventually found them quite endearing, especially while observing each character's various expressions. The sprites are lovely, too, and the enemies are even more impressive as they're large, detailed, and animated. When it comes to environments, I became quite bored of the dungeon visuals considering how large most of them are and they definitely don't have much flair. Thankfully, some look nice but even those remain the same from start to finish. Oh, and I enjoyed the music as it shifts between chill field music (which itself is diverse and memorable) and the upbeat battle theme quite seamlessly.
When it comes to gameplay, Justice Chronicles allows you to have 3 party members at once and each one has their own equipment and beast partner (also referred to as a shell) that you can swap between via contracts. These beasts behave on their own in battle and they each have HP but in my experience, their human partners always perished before they did which renders them inactive anyway. Another nifty mechanic is the fact that characters can equip magic meteorites that can level-up and allow you to use different spells in battle on top of the character-specific skills. Speaking of which, there are also link skills that multiple characters can use at once as soon as both or all 3 of the required characters' assault gauges are full. In the end, these elements create a frantic and enjoyable battle system.
One of my favourite aspects about Justice Chronicles is its crafting system which ties in with the requests system in an interesting way. Basically, you'll get a wealth of requests that task you with slaying a certain number of foes, defeating optional bosses, and collecting materials. The latter requests will expand the available materials at shops so it's always a good idea to complete those before upgrading your equipment as it'll make the process much more efficient, especially considering how easily money is earned. Upgrading your gear usually requires a lot of materials but once you do it, you'll notice a difference and you can also follow different paths if you want your weapon to have an element or cause a status ailment, etc. Luckily, there's a collection menu where you can track down materials.
Although I had an excellent time with Justice Chronicles, it does have its downsides. For starters, the dungeons are intricate and rather large which is good but the maps simply don't have enough information so it's often hard to tell where the paths are to new areas and you can't even flip through the area maps so it's very easy to get lost. Meanwhile, there's no overworld to explore like you can in most RPGs as all you get are node-based maps for the surface and depths which is kind of disappointing. Last but certainly not least, the random battles are far too frequent and relentless which can get super-annoying when you're simply trying to collect materials or re-traverse an area on your way to fight an optional boss or something. I wish you could toggle them off in such moments.
Justice Chronicles is a superb retro-style RPG with a clever game world and rewarding systems that work together seamlessly. It does have its drawbacks, though, but if work went into remedying them then this would easily be one of my favourite games in the genre.
- + Enjoyable RPG journey with intricate dungeons and cool beast partners
- + Rewarding requests and crafting systems
- + Solid retro graphics and cool music
- - Dungeon environments could use more flair and the maps are too simple
- - I wish there was an overworld to explore
- - Random battles are far too frequent