Game Title: Antiquia Lost
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Availability: Digital Download
Battery Life: 5.5 – 7.5 hours
Download: 312 MB
After I reviewed Asdivine Hearts for the second time on this website, I wanted to play more Kemco RPGs on my Switch. Revenant Saga was on sale, though I technically already did a Video Review on that, so I decided to grab something else. I had the choices of Dragon Sinker or another game I’ve reviewed in the past, but one that I don’t think I’d ever done a Video Review for.
That game was an RPG about Slime Girls, Cat People, and Kidnappings. It has been awhile since I’d played that game on the Vita, so I went for it. Here is my review of Antiquia Lost for the Nintendo Switch!
Antiquia Lost is set in a world where 3 tribes / species of people once held a great battle against one another and are now at peace. However, a string of disappearances from all three tribes has led to a lot of suspicion and tension between them that threatens to break what ltrust stiull exists between them.
Amidst all of these disappearances is a young man named Bine, whom runs into and travels with Lunaria, a girl who was born from two of the three tribes and has an ability that affects the magical power of those around him. After leading Lunaria to the city after her mother dies, his power quickly labels the pair as villains, being blamed for the disappearances and sent on the run, adventuring to find the real villain and prove their innocence.
The story of Antiquia Lost isn’t a bad one. It balances its plotline pretty well. The only thing I don’t like is how forced all of the character-specific quirks are. Every character has some strange thing about them, from Safira being someone who easily becomes lost or Lunaria referencing old books she read as a child. The problem is that these will come out in very serious situations. You will be talking to the King or Queen of a kingdom, trying to prove your innocence, and right in the middle of a serious discussion, one of the characters will derail it, running around the throne room, ranting about how much they are friends with someone else, or something similar that completely throws off the feel of the conversation.
Like Asdivine Hearts, Antiquia Lost is a turn-based retro RPG made in the vein of the old Super Nintendo games. Like Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy IV-VI, you traverse an overworld map, fight in turn-based battles, navigate in ships, and fight through boss battles that progress the story to the next scene/chapter.
Main progression is prettty simple, and just like it is in Asdivine Hearts. The story pushes you forward and you’re constantly traveling, buying upgrades in towns, and moving towards the next dungeon to get to the next part of the story.
With skill systems similar to Asdivine Hearts, like Physical Skills and Magic Skills both, the uniqueness of Antiquia Lost comes in the character, Lunaria, Farming, and the Tempering system. Lunaria is the main heroine of the game and doesn’t level up in a traditional sense. Her stats only go up if you feed her gems/accessories. Each accessory increases her stats in different ways, so you gain strategy whenever you get new accessory equipment: Do you want to keep and equip it or feed it to Lunaria to “level” her.
The second is the Weapon Tempering/Upgrading system. In most RPGs, when you get new weapons, you sell the old ones. But in this game, all weapons can be combined/fused with other weapons to let that weapon “level” and increase in strength. This can be done with hundreds/thousands of weapons per weapon, so once you get a weapon you like, you can use all other weapons for that character to keep upgrading it and essentially never having to buy new weapons unless the new weapons outclass your upgraded weapon (which can then be used to give your new weapon a major boost).
And on top of that is the Farm system. You gain beans throughout the game you can plant in the “Farm” part of the main menu. These beans will eventually bear fruit that will permanently increase anyone’s stats. HP, MP, Strength, Vitality, Intelligence, Speed, etc. This system can essentially override level stat increases and indefinitely keep boosting characters to max out their stats, even past the level cap of 999. This is especially useful for Lunaria during parts of the game where Accessories are rare and scarce.
Before going on, this is a game originally on Mobile and, unlike Asdivine Hearts, the In-App Purchases / Micro-Transactions were -not- removed in the Switch version. Some special equipment to give you more experience, skill points, money, etc can be bought on the eShop with Real Money. Not that you need it, as I will explain in a moment, but the micro-transactions are still built in.
Now, let’s get into the Premium Currency known as Alchemy Stones and the special Shop you use those stones in. All enemies can drop Alchemy Stones and they’re used mostly for special equipment, like late-game armor, increasing Experience and Gold earned in battle (similar to the Micro-transaction items, but not quite as potent), and items to influence Character Trust/Affection ratings for when you are going for the True Endings.
This all boils down to one very big thing: This game is absurdly easy to break. Alchemy Stones are very common and you’ll easily get a lot of them as you play through the game, just fighting battles normally. Using them in the Shop can net you big items, but you can also use them in a very mobile-esque RNG game where you dump them and randomly get powerful weapons. The game actually gives you a ton of these in a tutorial that gives you an extremely high chance of netting rare weapons that will massively overpower everything in the first half of the game.
When I did this, I was one-shotting bosses for hours, and the breaking of the game just keeps getting easier from there. You can find the optional dungeon with super-powerful enemies and knock them out with said Alchemy Stone weapons, shooting you up in level. When I first found the place, I went from Level 20 to Level 60 in about 5 minutes. After that, even the hardest difficulty could barely touch me for almost all of the rest of the game.
And it kept getting worse. The special Arena in a certain town can net you special accessories that make the most EXP-rich enemy type pop up in every battle, even furthering the mass-increase in EXP earned to the point where you gain several levels in almost every battle you fight. This game is balanced incredibly in your favor and, unless you just decide not to use this equipment, nothing outside of the Secret Dungeon Boss will stand a remote chance of taking you out or even doing a decent amount of damage to you in the Main Story.
All of this comes together to you being a power-house, which can also bring down the game’s already-short length. This certainly isn’t the shortest Kemco game I’ve played, but it an easy second. I did almost all side-quests to further extend my Play Time, but I still managed to beat the Normal Ending in around 13 hours, and the True Ending in 14 hours, with only 1.5 hours later reaching the level cap and knocking out all of the secret dungeon areas.
While 15 hours for $12.99 isn’t a bad trade-off, it’s a very short RPG.
The control scheme for this game is strange because of how it looks. The icons all over the screen where touch controls were implemented are still there, yet the game doesn’t have any touch controls built in. When you’re in handheld mode, tapping the screen doesn’t really do anything, so the UI being like it is feels odd and strange.
The control scheme itself is pretty easy, though. The Arrow Buttons / D-Pad and Left Analog Stick are used to move around the field and menus. The ZL trigger is used to see the dialogue / script in cutscenes while L switches the character leading the party.
Then we have the face buttons. A is used for confirming options and interacting with NPCs. B is used for cancelling options. Y is used to pull up the World Map. X is used for the customization menu. A pretty simple control scheme.
Graphically, there hasn’t been much touching-up done between previous versions of the game and this game. All of the character models and renders have a bit of a grainy, blurry look to them. This was the case in some models in Asdivine Hearts on the Switch, but it is more apparent here.
Performance-wise, I have no complaints. Load Times are short and there aren’t any fps or freezing/crashing problems.
Asdivine Hearts set Battery Life records, so I was very optimistic here. Here are my Battery Times, from 100% to 0%
Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 5 hours, 37 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 5 hours, 43 minutes
Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 7 hours, 26 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 7 hours, 39 minutes
As you can see, you’re definitely gonna get a good chunk of Battery Life out of this game.
In conclusion, Antiquia Lost is another of Kemco's RPGs that has been seeing new life on new platforms outside of Mobile. There is a host of issues, from strange dialogue derailing scenes and blurred character models to the game being rather short and heavily unbalanced in the party's favor that removes any sort of difficulty outside the very hardest setting. But, if you enjoy Kemco's RPGs or retro RPGs in general (and enjoy breaking games to the point where you can easily one-shot the final boss without much grinding), it's worth a look.