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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: NIS America
Developed By: Nippon Ichi Software
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: August 14, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Nippon Ichi Software is known for making some of the quirkiest RPG titles in recent times. Whether dealing with exploding penguins, or stories of redemption and love, NIS has provided memorable gaming experiences across a multitude of platforms over the past few years. With one of their latest releases, Phantom Brave: We Meet Again, NIS and NIS America take a classic PlayStation 2 title and give it new legs with its release for the Nintendo Wii. What made this game so great on the PS2 was the fact that you could pick up the game and jump right in, without being worried about needing to know the ins and outs of the game. With it being ported over the Wii, this same gameplay presentation remains intact, also offering up a new scenario, visuals and several gameplay tweaks. Whether you have played the PS2 version or not, Phantom Brave: We Meet Again is bonified hit for the Nintendo Wii.

A nice contrast to other Nippon Ichi series is the fact that the story within Phantom Brave takes a more serious route. You take control of Marona, a troubled girl who experienced the lost of her parents at a very young age and has the ability to call upon phantoms. Along for the ride is Ash, a warrior whose tragic death is linked to an ancient evil. Together they roam the lands and kill monsters in order to protect the innocent. Maronaís ability to utilize phantoms in battle, also known as Chartreuse Gale, provides a unique gameplay experience and intertwines with the storyline of the game very well. While there is still humor within this title, gamers should expect a more serious, heartfelt gaming experience within We Meet Again.

The battle system and Maronaís ability to control phantoms create an interesting, yet strategic component to the gameplay mechanics. Done away are the grid-based battlefields seen within the Disgaea series. Instead all combat will take place within a circular area that allows you to move around freely. During a battle you will see various objects scattered around the battlefield, for which you can confine summoned phantoms to. Confining summoned phantoms is very important maneuver in order to protect yourself in battle, while also attacking your foes.

After a certain amount of turns, the summoned phantom will leave you and the battlefield, requiring you to be prepared to act once this happens. In place there is also a protection system for which you and even your enemies can benefit from. In the case of your foes, powerful items like sacred trees can be utilized in order to dramatically increase the states of your opponents. The same can be said about your summoned phantoms if you utilize the protection system. Since the good guys always win, Nippon Ichi included a feat that will allow you to produced deadlier phantoms than the current ones on the battlefield. By using items that give you protection in conjunction with harnessing the powered of confined phantoms will result in a new breed of spiritual beasts, able to do some mighty damage to your opponents. Rounding out the combat system, Marona also has the ability to use any in-game item as a weapon, which can provide some humorous moments.

As mentioned before, a new scenario has been added to the game, which is available from the get go, not requiring the player to complete the game in order to unlock it. Within this new scenario, you take control of Corona, which is another form of Marona from a different dimension. Though not as long as the main story, this new scenario provides additional content and replay value to the overall experience. For those who have a chance to pick up the slip cover edition of the game, get it. Alongside the game is a media disc, which gives artwork, images, etc. that can be downloaded to our computer. While not mind-blowing, this additional content alongside the low retail price is yet another reason to pick up the game.

If you played the original Phantom Brave title side-by-side with Phantom Brave: We Meet Again; you can clearly a quality jump in terms of the visual presentations. In We Meet Again, every aspect of the visual presentation has been tweaked to take advantage of the Wiiís capabilities. The pre-rendered backdrops that are utilized within cutscenes are nicely done, offering up additional eye candy to look at. The 3D battlefields and even then cast of characters; both good and bad, utilized a nice array of colors. Special effects are pulled of rather nicely, utilizing the rich color palate that Nippon Ichi is prided on within their games.

In regards to the musical soundtrack, expect many of the great tunes that comprised the PS2 version to make their return in We Meet Again. The only real drawback to the audio comes in the form of the English voiceovers. The actors portrayed each character rather good; however some of the voices can get a bit annoying. A nice bonus is the option to switch all spoken dialogue back into Japanese for those who prefer the original spoken language.

When it comes to Phantom Brave: We Meet Again, you canít go wrong with a quality gaming experience that provides hours upon hours of gameplay content on the disc. You have the single-player campaign, the all new scenario which boast a darker story and new gameplay features, and a new game plus mode which allows you to retain your skill level and items as you play through the game again. In the era of games that last anywhere between 6-12 in length, We Meet Again is a welcome addition to the gaming universe, exclusively for the Nintendo Wii.


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