Posted by K-Off on 6 May 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Game Reviews

To preface, I’d call this the poor man’s Fire Emblem if it wasn’t so damn expensive for its quality, not to mention so difficult to find. Here in New York City outside of lower Manhattan, there’s game stores in Brooklyn, Queens, Flatiron, and Newport, to a total count of 12 game stores in a 20 mile radius, and not one location had this cursed game for a while. I certainly did not want to preorder this because the Japanese E-shop rated this game 1/5 stars at one point, and the way in which marketing constantly hit us over the head with the fan service characters did make me not want to buy the game at all. But I just got out of Fire Emblem Fates and finished Bravely Default, so I needed to try this series out for myself. I won’t even bother to structure this review like my Fates review, because it’s just that cynical, shallow, and undeserving of your money. I’m going to compare this game to Fire Emblem a lot, because that’s clearly what it wants me to do by riding on the coat tails of the Fire Emblem hype train.

It’s difficult to play this without thinking about why this was released in the first place.

Immediately upon jumping into the game, I noticed a lack of quality on the production end of things, despite its improvements from the Japanese version of the game. For one, the voices. God, the voices. It follows the Fire Emblem route of dialogue in that the characters say a short phrase followed by a line of text, but the voices still cut in and out inconsistently from time to time – this originally happened on the Japanese version a lot more and it doesn’t seem to have gotten much better in the NA localized version. Speaking of which, there is no sense of pacing, characters pop in and out of dialogue text scenes without even a fade transition and it’s pretty jarring to sit through when you start to say “where the hell did he/she come from?” to yourself. But the NA version is apparently a masterpiece compared to the initial state of the Japanese version last year. Whenever there was a transition from one scene to another, there was apparently an abrupt black screen for a few frames before it cut back into another scene. Those black frames are still there, but now they have fade transitions. Great job, they’ve finally remembered to do the basic minimum: test the game.

Look at this embarrassment. The game would have you believe these are two separate locations, and this happens only a minute apart from each other just minutes into the game.

That was the state of the game back then and it hasn’t gotten much better. It’s to the point where they reuse the same, bland backgrounds with a lazy color adjustment done in Photoshop just a minute after they last used it. You have to wonder if they even knew what they were doing when they were making this Fire Emblem clone or just didn’t care; I’m going with both. On the art department, there’s really nothing outstanding about any of it, it’s by Satoshi Urushihara and Hiroshi Kaieda so I suppose I expected better from them besides bland character designs, over-use of fan service, and the uncomfortable sheer number of half-naked loli characters. It’s not as if other JRPGs don’t have fan service, but once it begins going overboard I can tell that the developers are hoping to cover up the crappy game itself with pretty visuals and pandering fan service.

Lastly, the music is just terrible, it’s a stupid cluster of 10-15 second loops of generic fantasy rpg music, with bland rock music that isn’t rock, and it’s frankly just hilarious that they made a soundtrack CD, as if anyone would ever want to listen to this garbage ever again. Yet I know that with this situation, it’s a desperate attempt to try and attract as much buyers as possible, because they can’t possibly be proud of this soundtrack, very similar to the hole that Lord of Magna was in a few years ago. Yet at least Lord of Magna wasn’t a disaster, and it actually had a decent soundtrack.

The models are just lazy. Look at that puke-green grass.

Now, the gameplay. This is perhaps the most atrocious abomination I’ve ever seen as of late, surprising when all Langrisser has done is attempt to copy Fire Emblem’s combat mechanics. Since they just rushed it out the door in order to release the game at the same time as Fire Emblem Fates in Japan, everything is shallow, irritating, and half-assed. The battlescapes look like they were ripped straight from a 2006 DS game, the UI is awkward, the bottom screen is rarely used at all, and the battle animation scenes (as you can see above) are just utter trash. They didn’t bother to render a proper battle area and we get just a space with some textures and low-res buildings slapped onto it, with 3D sprite characters which were clearly not a stylistic choice – they did it because it would save time and money. Aside from the utterly garbage visuals of the gameplay, combat itself is very similar to Fire Emblem, with a rock-paper-scissor mechanic, except you can control multiple grunt units in addition to the main characters in your party. This sounds interesting, until you see just how boring it is in actual gameplay. There is little to no difference between different types of units, the range of your units is basically the same whether they’re on horseback or motorcycle (yes, an out of place steampunk motorcycle in a traditionally fantasy RPG). I haven’t played any of the original Langrisser titles so while I can’t say whether or not this game is an improvement, it brings nothing interesting to the table. Ultimately, the gameplay isn’t just simply a shallow rip-off. It’s a frustrating, uninteresting, and unbalanced experience that somehow managed to infuriate me within the first ten minutes. I wouldn’t recommend this even with a price drop.

~~K-Off~~

Storytelling: 5/10 – By-the-books-fantasy RPG story.
Gameplay: 2/10 – Unbalanced, clunky, and lazy.
User Interface: 3/10 – Messy, cluttered.
Production values: 4/10 – Decent-yet bland art, terrible music, lazy visuals, and buggy dialogue.

10 Responses

  1. AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

    A name like that is already a red flag to begin with.

    • Avatar invinciblegod says:

      The original games were basically real time (that you can pause) rts games with leveling. This looks like a turn based tactical game so the gameplay is basically worlds apart.

      • K-Off K-Off says:

        I think that changed starting with Langrisser IV. I,II, and III are as you describe but they decided to completely redesign their gameplay around Fire Emblem starting with IV from the looks of it. Which is a damn shame because the combat in III looks so interesting.

        • Avatar Dark Kain says:

          Langrisser I and II (including its Der langrisser incarnations) and relative remakes are always been turn based.
          There is a chance you are thinking to Growlanser instead? (same developers and character designer).
          Lagrisser III was an experiment that flopped badly at the time, but was later refined in the Growlanser saga.

          Similitudes between Langrisser and Fire Emblem beyond sharing the same subgenre are always been superficial, since Langrisser usually lacked most of the FE features: weapons were not consumed when used, spells were not linked to specific weapon types, death of named characters was not permanent.

          It had instead a pretty standard JRPG equipment system, standard spell learning and mp system and only mercenary troops death had consequence as a loss of finances at the end of every stage.

          It also bought the multiple class promotion paths to the table since the first game in the series (before FE did the same). And multiple scenario paths since Der Langrisser.

          Other notable differences were area of effect spells, squad combat and squad based spells, different priority (speed of execution) between attack types and a fixed, very low, health value that affects combat performance (1 hp mercenaries are at 1/10 of their strenght).

          While I can agree that this game is pretty much the bottom of the barrel of the turn based tactical jRPG genre, the Langrisser series has never been a copy of Fire Emblem.

          • K-Off K-Off says:

            Oh wow, that’s good to know, I almost tried out III for myself until you warned me.

            As for my assertion that this particular title (not the entire franchise, mind you) is a rip-off – Yes, it’s origins are relatively original if not heavily influenced by the eventual popularity of the Fire Emblem and dragonforce titles, but here with Re:incarnation, it’s no coincidence that its release coincided exactly with the release of Fates in Japan especially when it took such a long rest with Millenium on the dreamcast since 2000, not counting Tri-Swords, which is an entirely separate thing…and no one can argue that it isn’t trying to ride on the coat tails of FE’s success on the 3DS platform by mimicing its visuals, and reverting back to its state before Millenium. Either they suddenly had a burst of inspiration and it’s just a coincidence that it went into development around the exact same time as Fates announcement aftera dry spell of 15 years, or…you know, its a blatantly sad attempt to make a quick cash grab by mimicing the modern, successful 3DS FE line of gameplay.

    • Avatar Vonter says:

      Reading that title makes me also cringe how weird several JRPGs are named these days. From Square’s Kingdom Heart 2.8, Tales of Berseria/Zesteria (which now that I think about may just be attempts to make them sound like Vesperia), #FE Tokyo Mirage Sessions, etc. I think in anime is like all the Fate spinoffs and (I assume) sidesequels. I think it can be kind of hard to jump right in without feeling you’re missing something.

      • K-Off K-Off says:

        If B-N is trying to somehow relate Zestiria and Berseria to the best in the series by a thin connection to its name when it’s doing the complete opposite of Vesperia in terms of the gameplay, graphics, and combat, that’d be pretty funny. In an interview the developers said they were trying to make the two latest games more like Symphonia-Phantasia by having Berseria take place countless years before Zestiria. I really doubt it will be anything close to great.

  2. Avatar dankurt says:

    Why would you buy it when you knew it was going to be so TERRIBLE?
    That looks so awful, I actually played the first three Langrisser games on windows and the Playstation 2 and let me tell you this looks nothing like the originals. As invinciblegod said it used to be an real time strategy game with an emphasis on large scale unit to unit combat but it certainly wasn’t a turn based game.

  3. Avatar dominus says:

    Dear god the art design in this is a total mess\trash when you compared with the original saga Satoshi Urushihara’s art in the original was A lOT BETTER(even in terms of pure fan service) .

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