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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution


Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Level-5
Genre: Strategy RPG
Players: 1
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: August 21, 2007
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty












The Hundred Years' War is upon us once again in the latest turn-based RPG for the Playstation Portable. By combinging fantastical elements within a series of historical events, Level-5 looks to give gamers a history lessen in a whole new way. So the question is whether this title can live up to the epic battle it is describing, or will fall to the side like the Boston Tea Party.

The story of Jeanne d'Arc (Jeanne of Arc) begins with an innocent child by the name of King Henry VI of England absorbs the powers of an evil demon lord while sleeping. Upon awaking, the child has become a power-hungry monster. Now how does Jeanne d'Arc plays a role in the story is quite simple. To seel off the demon lord, five armlets were used, one of which has wrapped itself around the arm of Jeanne d'Arc following the events of King Henry VI's transformation. That very same night, her home was ransacked by troops under the orders of the power-hungry king, and she swears vengeance on England. As Jeanne sets out on her quest for vengeances, she comes across a cast of lively characters, which join her cause, including an axe-wielding lion and an arrogant Frenchman.



Those gamers who are deep into their love of anime, will find comfort in the plot direction, art style and depth of characterization of Jeanne d'Arc. While this is a big draw for the title, at its core, is a solid strategy RPG, a first for Level-5. Looking closely at this title, you will notice fully 3D battlegrounds and a moveable camera which allows you to explore the vast levels, something not quite achieve in games like Brave New Story: Travelers Tale. But this is only the tip of the iceberg as this title also plays host to several gameplay features, including quirky snippets that the characters shout during battle.

With Jeanne d'Arc, Level-5 took the baiscs of a tactical game, and made them more simplified, while at the same time, more complex adding to the oevrall depth. If you were to advance on a enemy by two spaces, but they are still out of the range of your magical attacks, you are able to withdraw you advancement and try again. With this unique setup, fine-tuning and stratergizing before your chracter enters a battle and takes its first step is key.



Another feature that makes use of this simplify/complex ideology is the skills. Each character is granted several blank slots that they can attach skill stones onto, which can grant various magical spells and/or stat bonuses. Depending on the playing style of the individual, you can create your characters in various ways. Just keep in mind the elemental structure thats present in within the game. Some skill stones grant bonuses to certain elements like Sol (Sun), Luna (Moon), or Stella (Stars). Sol holds power over Stella, which holds power over Luna, whereas Luna holds power over Sol. Keeping that in mind, a +1 Luna archer will have an advantage over a Sol-embraced swordsman.

Keeping the innovative additions coming, players can utilize a Unified Guard move when they have two characters standing side-by-side, while being attacked. By doing so, they recieve a defensive bonus. Players can also utlizie Bruning Auras to obtain attack bonuses. This done by attacking an enemy, which creates one of these auras behind them. Then once the swirl is formed, just have your player step onto the aura and VOILA!!! But I have to say the best feature to this game is the ability to transform to more powerful beings, which yield more powerful attacks and creative abilities like Godspeed.



All in all, Level-5 has made the one true RPG experience that PSP owners have been longing for since it was released back in 2005. Jeanne d'Arc is full of depth, variety, and a challenging battle system, all of which create a unique and enjoyable experience for gamers. Add this to the immersive storyline, and Jeanne d'Arc is the one true gaming experience that no one should pass up.

9/10

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