I’ve played some horrible shit from FuRyu, before, but this title is completely different from those sad excuses for games. It’s like this one is in a whole different “dimension”…got it? HAhahaha! Oh, wait! FuRyu just published it? It was actually developed by Lancarse? Now, that explains everything!
A mysterious tower appeared out of nowhere and launched nuclear missiles against many different nations. A man calling himself “The End” sends a challenge to the world, claiming he will make a second attack soon, unless someone climbs the “pillar” to stop him.To achieve this goal, S.E.A.L.E.D. – a team of special agents with psychic powers – are sent to the tower, but they would never be prepared for what they found inside: A insane game of death and betrayal, where they must “erase” their allies one by one in order to climb to the next floor. This is the only way to reach “The End” and save the world.
Shou Kasugai is the protagonist. He has a very serious demeanor and a strong will to save the world. He possess the power of “Vision” which grants him the ability to see the future. By using his gift, he can find who is the traitor among his companions.
Youko Tachibana once strived to become a singer in order to convey her feelings to the world through her songs, but her telepathy powers deemed this useless, which changed her into a melancholic person.
Touya Olbert is a cynical man with electromagnetic powers who doesn’t care much for friendship or saving the world. He is very talent, succeeding at everything without any effort, which made him bored with the world. He only agreed to participate in the mission to find someone able to surpass him.
Mana Kawai was born with appareled physical strength and was never seen as a female by the other boys, which gave her a strong inferiority complex. She loves cute things and wants to stop The End for the sake of protecting everything that is cute. However, no matter what she does, she is never able to find herself cute, which means she can’t love herself, either.
Nagi Shishioka has the power of levitation and was in the army. She is a very reliable soldier who cares a lot for her allies and is admired by many, but she lacks feminine charm and is very awkward when dealing with people outside the battlefield.
Zenji Maeda’s power to synchronize with other people and copy their abilities made him unbeatable. Therefore, he finds those who effort toward something to be pathetic, since he never needed to work hard in his life. The truth is that he envy how everyone around him is unique, while he can only copy them. He acts bitter towards others in order to feel different from them.
Agito Yuuki has the ability to teleport himself, which he believes to be the reason why he is always so friendly towards anyone, even his enemies. He has a strong will to save the world, but his special trait makes impossible for him to hate The End…
The plot – while interesting and having potential – is very simple, which leads to the playthrough’s length being really short (about 20 hours). Every character in your party also has the potential to be charismatic, but suffers from the same problem as the game’s story: Lack of depth.There are many elements that could be further expanded, but the game ends up simplifying everything. Events showing characters interactions are stupidly short and many details about the world setting and characters’ backgrounds are left in collectable documents viewed only in the main menu.This makes the story become repetitive, with many occasions where characters have a quick chat about how the “pillar” is a weird place, how crazy The End is or how they don’t trust anyone. The dialog hardly has any difference between characters and makes you wonder what is the point in seeing those events. The whole game is so short that it feels like a 90 minutes movie, rather than a long saga.
The main feature is the judgment of your allies. There’s always 3 suspects in each floor, and Some battles give you “vision points” that Shou can use to dive into an ally’s future to find the traitor.But before that, you can find the suspects among the members who fought with you with a scene that happens at the end of each battle. If there’s a potential traitor in your formation, you will hear a “suspicious voice” (represented by red letters). By using different members in battles, you can have a good clue of who will betray you.By choosing the right person to be erased, you raise the trust between your party members. This is important for them to assist each other during attacks. This also changes some events, but the ending you will get at first will be virtually the same, as the game demands you to have a perfect friendship with every single ally in the game. Something that is impossible to do in a single playthrough, since George is always the first traitor, working as a tutorial and giving you a safe tour through the 1st floor, while you’re not used to the game’s system.From the second playthrought forth, a random person can be the 1st traitor instead of George, but if you don’t like to play games a second time in order to complete them, this will not the very enjoyable. Specially considering how repetitive the game already is right from the first run.The battle system is reminecent of the one used in Valkyria Chronicles, but while VC is more similar to a third-person shooter, this one feels more like a Shounen battle manga/anime, since there’s no cover system or first-person mode. The characters also use a bigger variety of flashy super-powers, rather than realistic weaponry.The battles are also much less frustrating than Valkyria Chronicles, as your attacks are much more likely to hit your opponents (and likewise) which makes strategies being much more efficient than in VC.There’s a clear gain and loss between melee and range attacks, as well as many differences even between characters of the same type. For example: Agito and Mana, while being both melee combatants, are completely different from each other, opening possibilities for all kinds of strategies.The game’s balance is pretty well done, as there’s no character who is overly powerful, but you will feel a certain difference in power, since the characters who participate in battles get much more EXP points.Since the traitor is always among your less used characters, this will leave you with some members who are much stronger than others, specially considering that you can equip the “mortal materia” left by the fallen members into your remaining units, giving them the special abilities used by their former allies, as well as some new skills that combine two different types of powers into one single powerful ability.With some good level of strategy, the game can be cleared relatively easily with no need of grind and even without the last equipment upgrades, but some missions can be much more difficult than others, even when the game tells you otherwise…
The 3D models are really good! You can see a fair deal of details on each character and the animations are vivid and specific for every party member and action, making characters feel unique from each other.I really like most of the character designs, they don’t feel like the usual moe-blobs we get nowadays. It actually evokes a feeling of nostalgia to animes from the 70’s and 80’s, but keeping it up-to-date at the same time.
The opening theme is by fripSide, who sang openings for Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, and yes! The music really sounds similar to the Railgun’s openings.The rest of the soundtrack is pretty good. It uses a lot of techno samples, which gives the feel of 80’s music, being a nice fit for the general visual of the game. The only problem is with the variety, as most times you will be listening to the same tracks for battles and events.
There are some really well-known voice actors, but Shou’s voice by Yamamoto Yusuke needs some more training. He is a good actor, but it’s easy to notice he is not very skilled as a seiyuu. But the major problem is not with the skills in the voice acting but the lack of voices all together. Just some few events get fully voiced, while most get just that “Fire Emblem bull-shit”, where there’s a dialog-box full of text, but the only voice you will be hearing is a “hello” or a “ok”. It’s like the developers want to pretend their game is fully voiced, and honestly, it would be better if those short voice samples simply weren’t there…
This is a decent game and it got me impressed, especially giving the history of making dungeon crawlers with simple graphics and few voice-acting. Therefore, I was not expecting this style of RPG or this level of details. Nevertheless, it still feels like it could use some work on many areas. The necessity to clear it 2 times to get a decent ending is also questionable. Since it’s still kinda pricy (about 6000 ¥), I recommend to take everything into consideration before buying it.