Chantelise is the newest game from Indie localization team Carpe Fulgur, originally from EasyGameStation. Having very much enjoyed Recettear, their first release (which was made after Chantelise, confusingly), I was all set to wait it out for the holiday Steam sales to pick it up.
But then Whiskey Media user omghisam decided to gift me the game in a shocking twist of magnanimity, with one stipulation: That I biographize my experiences with the game in my inimitable Microsoft Paint style.
Any Twitter followers of the Pass the Whiskey podcast (and that should be most of you. I mean... c'mon duders) can attest to my dubious mastery of that particular graphics program. So feel free to drop your expectations a bit. No, a lot. More than that. Okay, that should be enough.
Disclaimer: I wrote each of these observations and made them comics as I played the game. Some may be a little inaccurate as I was still in the process of learning the ropes. I'll be going into more detail underneath each image, though.
So yeah. Both a character introduction and a portent of the graphical horrors to come. Because there's a female anime protagonist, that makes this game a hentai.
Spells are cast by finding crystals on the ground after damaging enemies with physical attacks, and have different effects when cast alone or combined with others. It's a system that allows a lot of improvisation, but often you're better off stacking up ones of the same color (kind of like Match-3, in fact) for stronger elemental types. Above is a quick guide of the four basic spells. Earth, it turns out, does have its uses. But it's still mostly terrible.
Magic Defense is as big a deal as regular Defense in this game, and it is worth your consideration when choosing accessories. Trust me. I speak from experience.
Chante (the fairy) casts the spells, but as the token fairy she's also required to dole out inanely obvious commentary and hints. I don't know why.
So an interesting feature of this game is that on each of the brief action stages there's a hidden chest you can find by completing a specific task. It tends to be things like hitting all the trees, reaching a distant hard-to-reach platform or defeating certain enemies first. It is some serious Tower of Druaga obfuscating shit, and the hints you get for sacrificing HP at the church rarely tell you anything. But the treasures are worth it. So do random stuff all the time? And maybe that will work.
I have no idea why the mushroom enemies look like that. It confounds me.
After I drew this I met a silhouette boss and a multi-form final boss defeated with the power of friendship (spoilers for every JRPG ever?) So clearly there was more to add to this comic. Last panel still fits though.
Why do fishing mini-games always do this to me? They give you a little fishing bestiary in the item screen to fill up! With fishes! Gaaaaaah.
And this was where I quit.
Overall, if you like Recettear, you'll like this game. It's considerably less in-depth, as an Action RPG with limited resources, but it moves at a brisk pace, has some frantically fun Ys-esque combat and there's no penalty for getting your ass killed. And believe me, it'll happen a lot, since there's no healing items beyond what enemies feel like dropping very occasionally. There's no XP either: It's one of those games like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles where the clothes make the man (or anime) as far as stats go. So it's short but challenging, which kind of balances out. Definitely worth the ten bucks they're asking for it.