Sunday, 30 December 2012

Game review: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: Gears of Destiny

Title: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: Gears of Destiny (That's one hell of a long title)

Year: 2011

What is it about: It's in Japanese, so I'm not too sure. But I can tell it's about little magical girls traveling between time and space.

Genre: Fighting game with a proper storyline.

My review: It will be a big advantage if you can comprehend Japanese language well because there will be lots of talking and talking and talking in this game, and it will be in Japanese. There are no motion cutscenes in this game, just static pictures and fully voiced dialogue with words. However, this is only to be expected in a fighting game like these.

There are a total of 11 chapters in this game (plus one unlockable chapter which I'm having a hard time unlocking) and they are termed Sequence. In each sequence, there are a series of characters you can choose to battle with and battle against. Each choice will lead you to a slightly different route in the storyline, but nothing too major. Usually it's just the dialogue that will change. Therefore, if you wish to see the various outcome of the storyline, then you will have to repeat the sequence many times with different combinations of characters. At certain times, the storyline also differs depending on whether you successfully beat a particular opponent.

Though this is a fighting game, it's actually a very friendly one. No surprise here considering the fact that this game is filled with loli girls. Characters in this game greets each other and converse in a friendly manner before engaging in combat. There is hardly a character where I would consider a foe. They are all friendly. Only at times, some misunderstanding happens and the characters battle for real but no one character will die from it.

Say, an evil guy (in this case, they are all girls) resurrected a supposedly highly destructive dark powered entity in front of you. What will you do? Here, what you do is introduce yourself and give the dark powerful entity a cute name! Exactly! And guess what, this newly resurrected dark figure is the final boss, and she really is cute! She even looks harmless and you wouldn't guess she's a powerful dark being.

That said, I advise you to not judge a book by its cover. The final boss in this game is one of the toughest I've ever fought. Don't let the cuteness fool you. Without a good strategy and hand-eye coordination, you wouldn't stand a chance against her. I just finished the game after losing like a million times to her, and my fingers still hurt!

Anyway, here's a brief description of the battle system. Your skills differs according your distance from the opponent. At close proximity, the battle will be two-dimensional, but you are allowed to move slightly in or out. Your attacks will be dealt mostly with melee weapons. At a far distance, your skills switches to long-range magical powers, and you will get a complete three-dimensional field where you can float around. There are not much of combo you can do in this game, but still it's an interesting battle system.

In conclusion, this game is quite confusing in terms of storyline, but it's very cute. The battle system is simple but interesting. There are no difficulty settings in this game, but the opponent really poses a challenge to you. I really enjoyed this game. It has lots of eye candy.

My rating (out of 10): 8

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