spincookie's Jeanne d'Arc (PlayStation Portable) review

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Jeanne d'Arc Review

After over 40 hours of play time I finally beat Jeanne d'Arc for the PSP. The game is an alternate take on what happened during the hundred years war, and with Joan of Arc. Instead of the usual soldiers and infantry, the enemies take the form of orcs, trolls, and daemons.

The game is a strategy RPG (SRPG) meaning that you move each player along a grid and then perform an activity whether it be an attack, healing spell, or other skill. Each time you defeat an enemy you earn experience points helping you "level up" throughout the game. Unique to Jeanne d'Arc is the ability for certain characters to transform into super soldiers, with heightened attacks and powers, by use of jewels they wear on their arms.

I have never played an SRPG before and was a little skeptical coming into this one. My friend had sold me on the story which is why I decided to try it out. After getting a lesson in how to play the game, and most RPGs, I undertook my first battle. It reminded me very much of playing chess. The game requires you to plan out each move very carefully, everything must be taken into account. You can attack from the side or back of the enemy for more damage, leave burning auras or "hot spots" for another character to step into to increase their ability, and you can choose when to transform your character to inflict greater damage on your enemy at the most crucial time. You also have to take into account when your characters need healing or other forms of aide, as each health boost takes up a turn.

I fell in love with the gameplay of Jeanne d'arc and although at times it felt a little repetitive, I was always unlocking new attacks and abilities to try out. The story also proved rather interesting with various twists and turns. The story was accompanied by almost an hour and half worth of anime cut scenes. These were super polished and very well done. After staring at sprites on the small map for each battle it was good to see a fully realized version of each character, it gave them depth and personality.

The game looked amazing on the PSP's bright and wide screen. The colors were brilliant and each stage looked completely different from the last. Part of why I kept pressing on in the game is because it was fantastic to look at. Level-5 did an amazing job with this title and I can't wait to get my hands on some of their other games, such as Professor Layton for the Nintendo DS. I have decided to start scoring my reviews to accompany the write up. Each game's score will be on a scale from 1-10 with no half points or decimals.

Jeanne d'Arc: 4.5/5

I give this game a 4.5 out of 5 because it was extremely fun to play and a great introduction to the genre. It made me really want to try out two other SRPG's for the PSP: Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea. I deducted a point because of the level grinding. It sometimes became a pain to loose a battle, go out to another free battle just to level up a bunch, then go back into the battle to finally win. It became time consuming and I mostly wanted to progress the story.
Overall this was a fantastic game and I look forward to their other titles.

Other reviews for Jeanne d'Arc (PlayStation Portable)

    2nd Tier Strategy Title 0

     As a strategy game fan, I enjoyed playing a game outside of the usual stable of franchises such as Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics. The gameplay is very unique, mainly bringing the concept of empowering certain characters to gain additional turns by chaining kills. Combined with the skill system, the core concepts of this game make for what could have been an interesting game. However, I couldn't help but feel that the game never really comes into its own. The main reason for this seemed ...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

    Jeanne D'Arc Review 0

    Have you ever wanted to play a tactics game loosely based on the Joan of Arc story, well I didn't think I would, but I have to say that I was happily mistaken. You will be playing the part of Jeanne, a small town girl that tries to help a fallen soldier only to have an armlet appear on her wrist. Then she starts to hear the voice of "god" telling her what she needs to do with the armlet. You will be playing through varying levels either to progress the story or perhaps level up those characters ...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

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