24 June 2014 | Aaron1375
Up to this point, the best RPG game for the PS3 I've played
This role playing game is brought to us by the company that usually churns out great RPG games, Level 5. Granted, they have had their fair share of misses too as they are the ones that put out Chronicles of the White Knight and the disappointing Dragon Quest 9 for the Nintendo DS. Still, they usually put out great ones like nearly all the other Dragon Quest games and Rogue Galaxy. Here they team up with Studio Ghibli like they teamed up with the creator of Dragonball on Dragon Quest 8 to bring us one of the most stunning looking RPG games on the PS3. The game is not all looks, either. The story is rather good as well and the characters are delightful. The combat could have used a bit more work; however, it is more traditional than the stupid and almost non interactive combat they gave us in Final Fantasy XIII. The game is a work of art as Studio Ghibli brought their unique style of animation to the table and as of today this game is the best RPG that I have played for the PS3 (have not played Tales of Xillia, yet) edging out Resonance of Fate thanks to its easier to follow story and the fact this game is exclusive for the PS3, while that one also was released on Xbox 360.
The story starts out in a town called, Motorville. A place that resides in a world pretty much like ours. Seems to be taking place some time in the 50's or 60's. Well, in the town lives a boy named Oliver who sneaks out with his buddy Phil to race a car that Phil and Oliver have built. A strange woman looks upon this from a world that is more of something one would expect to find in a fantasy realm and she causes Oliver to have an accident. Oliver's mother ends up rescuing Oliver at the cost of her own life and soon Oliver meets a fairy by the name of Mr. Drippy who takes Oliver to this new realm so that Oliver can stop a man named Shadar from attempting to destroy the world and perhaps find a way to bring his mother back to life. He will team up with a young girl named Eshter and another named Swaine as they go from town to town looking for keys to defeating the seemingly unstoppable Shadar, unaware that an even greater threat to the world is lurking in the background...The White Witch!
The game is a nice throwback as you have an over world map to traverse and you visit towns, dungeons, forests and the like. You visit towns that have people, shops and such too, unlike say Final Fantasy XIII which was all style with no substance. My main complaint is the combat. It was not bad, but I just do not care for the whole go out collecting monsters for your party. I am always hesitant to get rid of the first ones you have and it just takes so much time to get them all leveled up and give them the best items. They do the brunt of the fighting in the combat which is sort of action, rather than turn based and it is sometimes annoying getting others in your party to heal you or themselves and their A.I. is not the greatest at times as at one point I was fighting a villain who shot a laser in one direction and it was easily avoidable and one of the computer controlled characters ran from one side of the battlefield to the other and ran smack into it! Still, this aspect did not stop me from enjoying the game, all it did was prevent the game from getting a perfect 10 score which it could have gotten if not for these flaws in the battle system.
So, this game was great and I enjoyed the team up of Level 5 and Studio Ghibli. You can see Studio Ghibli's influence in the art style, but you can see a lot of Level 5's in the way the game plays. You use an alchemy pot like in Dragon Quest 8, for instance. Both came together well, to make a memorable world and game. One only has to play the game a moment and walk through Motorville to see they put a lot of effort into it. Near the end, I was afraid they were setting up for a sequel instead of there being a resolution and thankfully I was wrong there. I do not care for games that set up for sequels, because some times the sequel never comes. This one wrapped up, and if they want to do a sequel I can see it being done by having Oliver returning the the magical realm when he is older or something; however, it is not needed as this game is great on its own.