Now I already know what you’re saying, “Kyle, what the hell kind of goofy ass name is that? Was this made by Rob Liefeld? What year is it?” I can assure you that any preconceptions you have about this game from the name alone, luckily, are wrong. Battle Chasers is a modernised take on the classic JRPG style we’ve been used to. The game itself is adapted from the comic book series of the same name, and wouldn’t you know it, the author himself had a hand in this, so you know that at least it will be faithful to the source material. We’re only lucky that the game itself didn’t have several years in between each part of the game. Probably would be like if TellTale games took place over your actual lifetime. Anyway, back on track. Should you get Battle Chasers: Nightwar? Well, listen close.
The first thing you’ll notice from this game is it’s art style. I for one absolutely love it. It has a nice blend of western comic and anime style that it really stands out. The bright, vibrant arenas and exploration zones also really help the game to shine, rather than just being a long, monotonous hallway for your characters to run through. The game has different aspects in terms of how you play, part of it is akin to a Diablo style Exploration mode, where you run around dungeons collecting items, solving puzzles and finding your way to the big bad, while fighting enemies along the way, with each character having some abilities that they can use in order to aid you in your upcoming fight.
In terms of the fighting style of the game, it’s the well-known turn based combat we’ve all come to know and love throughout the many years of RPGs and JRPGs. It follows the timeline turn system where it tells you how long in between each turn, being able to hasten your moves with buffs or by choosing certain moves. Certain attacks can vary in their speed, whether you’re attacking right away or it’ll let a few enemies attack first. I like this style of play as it forces you to think a bit more tactically whether or not to go for the large group heal, which would heal everyone to full, but in turn you might risk someone dying if you don’t do a smaller, quick heal. I myself am not a 5,000,000 IQ genius, but when the plays land right, I feel like a walking, talking Stephen Hawking, yes indeed. Another system included in this game is the “Overcharge” system, which allows you to build up your mana in a fight with just normal attacks, with there even being a small overcharge meter at the top of your bar, but you can have your mana down at 30/100 but still build it up and use a skill, with some skills benefiting from how much overcharge you’ve stored up. The mechanics of the game were definitely well thought out and gives it a big thumbs up in that department.
The music in the game is also nice and fitting and all the other amicable adjectives you could ask for. There’s nothing unpleasant about it, but there’s always the curse of if you’re going to have an RPG that requires some grinding, make god damn sure that it isn’t grating after 50-100 repeat listens. Luckily, I haven’t found myself contemplating death or muting the music yet, so that’s always a good sign! It ranges to the nice, calm atmospheres of the town to the large, swelling boss battle music that all follow the typical conventions of RPG music without being too derivative, it’s not something I’d find myself listening to when I’m not playing the game, but it’s good enough that I’m always happy to hear it.
In terms of the story, I like to keep my reviews spoiler-free for the majority (I hope) in order to appeal to new would-be fans of the game without ruining the experience. Anywho, the story overall is fairly bog standard in terms of your fantasy RPG, with enough twists and a bit of subtlety to keep you interested up until the end. I will say there could be a bit more characterization and enlightening the player to how well they all get on and add a bit more to help keep them invested in the characters, after all, they’re who you’re trying to keep alive. An RPG without getting invested in characters is almost doomed from the start in terms of getting the player to keep playing. With how the game has ended though, it should be safe to say it won’t be the last Battle Chasers game, but knowing the history of Battle Chasers and release dates, I’d like to see it before I hit 35 or even 40. The voice acting is good enough, with the characters being able to get across how they’re feeling without having to rely on heavy-handed writing to hammer the point home.
In terms of what could be improved, I’d mostly say the story elements of the game, and perhaps a tweak in difficulty, enough to make the Normal difficulty a challenge without having to jump straight to Heroic difficulty for anyone that’s played an RPG before. There were also bugs here and there, with a few of them involving lock-on issues during combat, and the keyboard controls being a lot less favourable than a controller at times. I’d suggest more emphasis on PC controls when you’re playing it on one, and perhaps a few balancing issues. Aside from that, the gameplay is fantastic and I would still definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good 40-hour indie RPG to sink their teeth into.