Fantasy-themed real-time technique coated in traditional Vanillaware allure.
Initially launched on PS2, GrimGrimoire is a real-time technique (RTS) recreation from Vanillaware, the makers of Dragon’s Crown and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, and Nippon Ichi Software program (NIS), the makers of the Disgaea collection. The OnceMore re-release options remastered graphics that genuinely elevate the already charming storybook look Vanillaware has turn into well-known for, along with a brand new talent tree and revamped person interface. Throughout a couple of dozen missions, you’ll information a younger magician in coaching as she tries to uncover the mysteries of the Silver Star Tower the place she is finding out. Even when the narrative generally is a bit difficult to comply with at occasions, the controls of this console RTS are strong and the gameplay loop gives a satisfying fantasy-focused tackle the style.
You play as Lillet Blan, a youthful and plucky woman decked out in conventional mage apparel. Throughout her first days at her new faculty, she meets quite a lot of professors whose classes educate you the ins and outs of GrimGrimoire’s gameplay. Ranges are represented by books on a bookshelf, with cutscenes and particular person missions separated into totally different colours; 25 trial phases have their very own row on the shelf, however these aren’t required to see the primary story by. Robust voice performing and writing buoy the narrative parts of the expertise, however it may be simple to get just a little misplaced by all of the quirky names thrown at you from the hop.
Whereas the 2D nature of GrimGrimoire’s real-time technique may give the impression that the gameplay could be pretty easy, the number of items and skills to coach and grasp be sure that nearly each stage is a enjoyable problem. Models are summoned from runes, which perform like portals that may be upgraded to supply extra items and strengthen them. The 12 kinds of runes are divided into 4 magical classes similar to Glamour, which may summon elves, fairies, and unicorns. In most phases, you’ll begin out with only one or two runes and a handful of items from their respective households, however you may construct extra runes to actually range up your forces. In fact, nothing is free; each unit, rune, and improve prices mana, which you should harvest from crystals by sending your employee items there and remodeling the crystal into a kind of mine. The RTS trappings are pretty simple, and anybody who’s performed one will possible decide up the mechanics rapidly. The addition of Grand Magic spells to OnceMore mean you can carry out spells that conjure up flames to wreck a large space and even rewind time, however use of this potential is proscribed.
Most missions process you with both destroying all your opponents runes or surviving for a set period of time. By holding ZR, you may fast-forward time, and the pace of this perform may even be adjusted within the recreation’s settings. From the outset, there are three issue modes–simple, medium, and laborious–and you may select which mode you want earlier than every mission. Finishing the sport unlocks a fourth much more difficult issue. Sure talent tree perks are solely accessible at a selected issue setting.
The talent tree is without doubt one of the most evident additions to the OnceMore model; it lets you spend cash earned through missions on upgrades to your items and their related rune. As an illustration, for the Hades Gate rune of the Necromancy department, you may improve the ghost and phantom items to spice up their assault and pace, decrease their mana value, and even grant them new skills. The perfect a part of the talent tree is that bought upgrades may be refunded, so you may mess around with totally different loadouts and take again cash to make use of on whichever runes you like. The presentation of those screens might be just a little clearer and the font enlarged, however the best way during which you need to use the non-compulsory trial phases to earn extra cash and unlock extra upgrades does rather a lot to make GrimGrimoire a extra player-friendly expertise.
Whereas the hand-drawn visuals actually shine by way of the cutscenes and character/creature designs, the phases themselves find yourself being a letdown compared. Regardless that the layouts can change barely, each degree principally seems the identical, with the identical staircases, black background, and pillars. That there are such a lot of totally different enemies to take care of provides selection to the gameplay itself, however the taking part in discipline may actually use some range as effectively.
GrimGrimoire OnceMore (with feeling) is a textbook instance of easy methods to retain an gratifying expertise and modernize it for a up to date viewers. The whimsical characters and artwork shine in HD, and the RTS gameplay holds up effectively on Swap. The phases do get just a little repetitive as you make your method by the primary story, however there’s greater than sufficient meat on these bones to justify a purchase order for followers of Vanillaware’s earlier works or anybody searching for a satisfying RTS with a fantasy coat of paint.