Game Review – Exstetra (PS Vita/3DS)

2013-11-17-135934Hey, like to read an asshole trash-talking about a shit game? So read further!

Themes

Exstetra 02Exstetra 02b

Yeah! I am starting with that, since something needs to be clarified: This game has men kissing each other, so if you are homophobic, you should not only avoid this game, but avoid everything about it. Since it is serious business!

2013-11-07-2258422013-11-17-004509That’s right! Different from other Japanese bizarre ideas like Conception or Akiba’Strip, this one treats its weird gimmick as a serious thing. This not only make the man-on-man scenes look akward, but even the hetero ones be nonsensical. So if you were expecting “Wacky” stuff, you will be disappointed.

Story

Exstetra 04This is a good one! “Story”? Let’s make this very clear: The “kiss-thing” is not what make this a “kusoge” (shit-game)! Here your main playable character just wake up with amnesia in the middle of a random forest when this chick who seems to be from a 70’s anime appear out of nowhere and say:

– You are the Prisma! You are the only one who can save the world! Now here is your sword and armor. The village is further in that way, there are some monsters, now fight! Here is a random girl, now KISS! This will give her super-powers and a fancy outfit!

2013-11-07-200637Exstetra 09And so, without asking for further explanation, the protagonist obeys. There is no need to over-complicate things here. All you need to know is that the real world is being fused with this medieval one, but aside from the protagonist and his friends, every other living being from earth was taken to the purgatory or something and they will only return if the heroes succeed on their mission: Taking some phallic artifacts from temples filled with monsters and bring to a monster-freed temple.

Exstetra 20Exstetra 21This could make for an interesting game, but they use those elements just as an excuse to overly-dumb the world’s setting and plot. With no other humans aside from the playable group and some villages means there is no need to think about the clashing between cultures or to create other influential characters.

2013-11-07-194851The flow of the events stays almost the same until the end of the game: You waste time at the only village in the game, until an animation of a comet indicates there is a new “nakama” to be escorted. You go to a generic forest dungeon to kick the shit out of some random monsters until you get to a boss fight. After the battle is over, you kiss the newcomer and get a new party member. Them, it’s time to look for phallic objects in a nearby temple, which becomes a HUGE-ASS dungeon! After the Boss battle at the end of the temple, you see some animations and it’s back to the village until you see another comet with your next kiss-partner. Rinse repeat!

Characters

Exstetra 12Exstetra 13Exstetra 14Exstetra 15Don’t expect anything great from here either. Everyone is so generic that, it not only kills my joy at playing this, but also discourage me from doing a lot of other stuff! This is because Tony Taka and Enami Katsumi, very famous Japanese character designers that I happen to be fan of, were responsible for some of the most generic designs that I’ve seen in a while!

Exstetra 16Exstetra 17Exstetra 18Exstetra 19There is not much to talk about those characters. The few background presented to the player are mostly to give an excuse as to why they know how to fight with their weapons. Like Mizuki, who was in the school’s archery club; Jin is a national kendo champ; While Shiho played a lot of “The House of the Dead”, so she naturally knows how to handle a real gun! I am not even kidding!

2013-11-17-0001342013-11-17-000341There is next to no character development, except for some side-quests about Masaru asking you about girls or Mizuki looking for a key holder in a forest, which hold no relevance for the story nor make the characters more appealing or complex.

Gameplay

2013-11-07-2011022013-11-13-012706At first it seems that at least the gameplay will not suck, but there is a black list of things that ruin the experience: The battles have different rows for both sides, like many RPGs, this means that characters on the back row cannot be reached by normal attacks and can hit enemies with weapons like bow, guns or by using magic. However, soon you notice that enemies have infinity MP and nearly every monsters have long reach attacks, with means there is no safe-spot for your healers or weaker characters. Not only that, but enemies will also use the different row for their advantage, with attacks that deal massive damage and throw you one row back. However, there is no way to attack and go back to where you were, so you need to waste a turn just to move, becoming open to other attack that can throw you to the back row again! While there are abilities to prevent that, you take some time to get them and not everyone can obtain it at first…

2013-11-13-0020362013-11-16-214015Negative Status are a bitch here! More than in other games! For instance: When inflicted with “Sleep”, you will not be awaken after being hit by the enemy…NEVER! You need a special ability to do that…Yep! You need to learn how to wake up from a head stomping!

2013-11-16-230133It seems this game tries to make a throwback to many elements from the old era RPGs: The isometric view, still camera, horrible dungeon maps, world map with little icons representing places, repetitive dungeons. By the way: There are A LOT of repetitive dungeons, some are very short but, not further in the game, you will have to spend hours to complete some. The random encounter rate is insane, and running away from battles will almost always fail and, most likely, will have you killed because you waste a whole turn at each attempt, and even if you succeed, the encounter rate will rise so much that you will enter another battle immediately!

2013-11-17-1555042013-11-17-155550Since the most useful attacks are physical attacks, you will just have to press the confirm button a million times during each dungeon. At the end of it, you will be both mentally and physically tired! There is an “Auto Battle” command, but different from the enemy AI (which is as cheap as the devil), yours is pretty dumb and incompetent. Just to help spicy things up, there are items and attacks that cannot be used by your AI.

Graphics

2013-11-13-0135592013-11-16-234304It seems that this game is the complete opposite from Tears To Tiara 2. While the plot, characters, designs go from over-simplistic to total shit, the graphics are pretty decent! The textures are very colorful and detailed, 3D models are big and have many excellent animations made through motion-capture (with some made to be used only during events).

Exstetra 222013-11-13-010232Some dungeons environment with Tokyo’s buildings in ruins are pretty cool and unique (but later shifty to some generic magical temple tough). It could use some mouth animations or some victory poses in the end of battles, but I think this is asking too much from this game. Anyway: Great graphics!

Sounds

Exstetra 01There are many famous voice actors playing the main characters, but their roles are so forgettable and uninspiring that it feels like a waste of their talents. At least there is something less to torment you during the gameplay.

lastblade01lastblade02The BGM is so repetitive and dull that will make you turn-down the volume to hear something else instead (like me, hearing some nice The Last Blade’s Arranged Soundtrack).

Exstetra 23

Claris is responsible for the theme song, it’s not bad, but I’ve heard better songs from them. The scenes in the opening video didn’t help much…

Conclusion

2013-11-17-005151Furyu is responsible for a lot of games that have always failed to draw my attention. I decided to try this for one reason: Budget! There is a lot of big names involved in this product, but it seems that even all the money in the world does not compete against competence and intelligence…

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3 responses to “Game Review – Exstetra (PS Vita/3DS)

  1. Admin you should build link pyramid in order to rank otakuoverdrive.com in google. This method is very effective after piguin and panda updates. It is hard task i know, sometimes it’s better to outsource it, i know the right solution for you, just type in google – Burol’s Tips Outsource The Work

  2. So if I don’t know Japanese is this game still playable or will I be completely lost?

    • No problem with this one. The gameplay is pretty easy to understand, and the story is silly, simple and actually not important at all. The main focus are the H interactions and homophobic jokes.

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