Get ready for 2 more delightful strategy RPG blasts from the past with the very cool Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 3, dood.
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La Pucelle: Ragnarok
First up, we have La Pucelle: Ragnarok which originally debuted as La Pucelle: Tactics for PlayStation 2. This release consists of a sharper iteration of the PSP remake so thankfully, it's the best version yet! For the unfamiliar, you play as Prier who's a member of the titular demon hunter group, La Pucelle. She hopes to challenge the Dark Prince and his forces in order to become the Maiden of Light and along the way, she's joined by plenty of wonderful characters such as her brother Culotte, their teacher Alouette, and loads of other chums who all have beautifully-animated sprites and a satisfying array of abilities that range from cute and silly to downright epic. Overall, it's a mostly lighthearted game with charm to spare and I absolutely loved adventuring through its colourful and quirky world. v1d30chumz 44-212-99-248
I know what you're wondering; how does La Pucelle: Ragnarok play? Well, its battle system is very much in-line with similar NIS SRPGs such as the Disgaea games yet it has some nifty mechanics. The most notable of which are the dark portals which emit energy streams that follow a path. These can be redirected by positioning and rotating characters on the path and you can also purify dark portals in order to damage monsters and if you do so effectively enough, you can even recruit monsters to join your party. Battles are also made more enjoyable by showing characters fight in a separate screen as they exchange blows which reminded me of Advance Wars. 😊
Another aspect that I appreciate is how the battles take place in menu-based dungeons which makes clearing rooms and exploring a satisfying endeavour. In fact, I think I prefer this approach to campaign structure over world maps and mission select screens. Sure, you have to use a little imagination since the dungeons merely consist of menus but I enjoyed this setup nonetheless.
With all of that in mind, La Pucelle: Ragnarok is a mostly unchallenging game and I didn't even find it necessary to take advantage of its unique mechanics that often. It's still a great game that has definitely held up over the years and it remains rather unique despite the many SPRGs that have released since. In other words, it's certainly worth playing nowadays if you're a fan of the genre.
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure
Finally, here's Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure which is a 1998 PS1 RPG that also released for DS a decade later. It even had a couple of sequels that were never localised, interestingly enough. Anyway, you play as Cornet who's a puppeteer and she's deeply in love with Prince Ferdinand so she sets out on an adventure to save him after the witch Marjoly accidentally turns him to stone. It's a very cute premise for a game and the fact that there are actual musical numbers scattered throughout is downright adorable. Speaking of which, the graphics are filled with gorgeous art and sprites which are reminiscent of Legend of Mana and make for one immersive journey.
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure is also an SRPG but it's not quite what you'd expect. First of all, the battles are small-scale and act more like traditional JRPG fights than grand-scale tactical conflicts. You still move characters on a grid yet it's rather inconsequential because of the simple formula and low degree of challenge. Recruiting puppets and monsters to fight alongside you is the most rewarding element, especially with Cornet's horn abilities that provide boosts which can power-up her allies in substantial ways. In the end, Rhapsody is an adorable easy-breezy RPG that's wonderful to wind down with but its simplicity makes it less rewarding than similar games. 🎵
Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 3 contains 2 easygoing adventures; each with an undeniable feminine touch. Even though they both lack challenge, playing these delightful SRPGs still makes for a great change of pace from the current gaming landscape.
- + Consists of 2 great SRPGs that have held up wonderfully in all their uniqueness
- + Bursting with lighthearted charm
- + La Pucelle's dungeons are super-rewarding
- - Both games are relatively unchallenging
- - Rhapsody is a bit too simple gameplay-wise