Asdivine Hearts Review

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Game Title: Asdivine Hearts
Developer: Kemco
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download: 245 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

Kemco is a developer known for making lots of Mobile RPGs.  Their reputation is good for making lots of games, but not-so-good for many gamers’ opinions of said RPGs.  They make lots of retro experiences, but the term “shovelware” comes up a lot when you go on Mobile forums and start talking about Kemco RPGs.  I’ve played my fair share and wouldn’t call them that, but some of them do have a bit of a generic feel and look to them.

Kemco RPGs have come to console before. If you recall the game that came to PlayStation not too many years back, End of Serenity.  That was a Kemco RPG.  I thought it was fun, though it was a pretty short game, overall.  Today, we dive back into Kemco’s world of RPGs with the recent release of a new Mobile to PlayStation port.

Here is my review of Asdivine Hearts for PS Vita and PlayStation TV!

Story

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The world of Asdivine is governed by two deities: The Deity of Light is responsible for creating life and the Deity of Shadow for maintaining Death.  After the two of them have an argument about how the world works, a strange event happens below, resulting in a large number of monster appearances.  One year later, two orphans are setting a wildcat free in the forest when it becomes possessed by what claims to be the Light Deity and journey across the world to fix what was broken a year prior.

The story of Asdivine Hearts is good, but not good at the same time.  The first half of the game has a pretty generic storyline that is very predictable and each character’s introduction feels like they are nothing more than bare-bones clichés thrown into a forced harem party setup.  Once the second half of the game starts, things get more interesting with character backgrounds, more in-depth interactions, and the overall plot becoming much more engaging.  But, you have to get past the first half to get to the good part.

Gameplay

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Like many Kemco RPGs, Asdivine Hearts is a turn-based RPG with some very light social elements thrown into the mix.  You will spend most of your time, watching story events, exploring the overworld, town, and dungeons, and fighting your way through a wide variety of enemies and bosses.  Imagine SNES Final Fantasy and you’ve got it down pat, savor a few other features.

Main progression basically goes story events pointing you in the direction of your next destination, and you travel the large overworld map (which turns into 2 fully-sized overworld maps later on) to get there and continue on with the story.  This has everything an overworld map RPG needs: Towns, Dungeons, Boats, Airships, and lots of random monster encounters.  You will be spending a lot of time traveling for each story objective.

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There are also a couple things to do on the side.  Asdivine Hearts has side-quests for NPCs as well as an Affection/Trust mechanic.  Your party consists of you and 4 female characters, each of which has a special unlockable ending sequence.  Every so often in the story, you gain Free Time where you can interact with them, not unlike Free Days from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel.  Make correct dialogue choices and their Trust with you goes up.  If a girl’s trust is at a certain point by the final boss, you unlock her ending.

The battle system doesn’t have a whole lot out of the ordinary.  You have your typical magic spells that are used by spending MP.  Though you also have Skills that use regenerating Action Points, which is nice when you don’t want to constantly be using regenerating items during longer boss fights.  The biggest hitter, however, is the trust gauge.  Over the course of many battles, you build up the gauge and can unleash it at 100% for an intense combo, some characters which get up to a 20-hit combo all in one turn.

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As far as difficulty, it has a pretty nice curve to it, so long as you stick to Normal Mode.  Easy Mode has virtually no challenge outside of the final boss and Hard Mode is pretty extreme.  But stick to Normal Mode, and you have a nice amount of difficulty for RPG fans.

Length is one of the more disappointing aspects of the game.  I’d heard from many people that the game lasted 20-30 hours, but I finished my first run at barely over 16 hours.  Those looking for a long RPG to fill their time will not find it here, as it is a rather short RPG, even for handheld standards.

Controls

Asdivine Hearts is compatible with the PlayStation TV, so the Vita version can be taken on the go or played on the TV via the micro-console.  No special controls here, but it is compatible.

Controls are pretty simple.  D-Pad or Left Analog Stick is for basic movement.  X is used for selecting or talking with NPCs.  Square brings up the World Map.  Circle cancels options, and Triangle pulls up the menu options.  You can also press Start anywhere to pull up the option to save your game.

Presentation

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Visually, the game’s 2D renders look very polished and refined.  In comparison to End of Serenity, it looks quite good.  From the details of the environment drawings to the fact that character and enemy renders move in battle, it all around looks pretty decent for the kind of game it is.

I cannot say a lot for music. It fits with the style, but I doubt it will be anything you will overly fallin love with.

Presentation is mostly good, except for stuttering.  Every time you load a new area or when a battle animation is about to play, the game freezes and stutters for a split-second.  This amount of lag is very apparent in battle, but not as much so during loading screens for new areas.  It is a bit annoying, especially with how fast everything else runs in the game.

Summary

Asdivine Hearts is a pretty nice little Kemco RPG.  Although the first half of the story is pretty bland, the game stutters during battle animations, and the overall experience only lasts around 16 hours, it can scratch that itch for RPG fans looking for a retro turn-based experience. 

7/10

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