Revenant Saga Review

Game Title: Revenant Saga
Developer: Kemco
Platform: PlayStation Vita (Cross-Buy with PS3, PS4)
Download: 181 MB
Availability: Digital Download (North America)
PSTV Support: Yes

Kemco RPGs have been coming over to consoles for some time now. I did a review back in January for the game Asdivine Hearts, known to be Kemco’s first Great RPG among many others they’ve thrown out onto Mobile, Steam, and Consoles alike. The experience got an okay score, due to story blandness, stuttering, and only lasting around 16 hours.

The game they made next that really tried to test and excel past Asdivine Hearts is Revenant Saga, a game that is a hybrid of sorts, even as an RPG. Having released on both Mobile and Steam with good scores, it’s finally made its way to consoles.

Cross-Buy across PS3, PS4, and PS Vita, here is my review of Revenant Saga!

Story

Revenant Saga takes place in a world filled with strife, due to immortal demonic monsters invading the world known as Revenants. Once a Revenant is killed, it immediately revives itself to full strength, seemingly become an indestructible force. However, The Order of the God Rystoria trains warriors known as Valkyries with special amulets that can banish and completely eradicate Revenants in an attempt to fight back.

The story revolves around a youth named Albert, whom loses his parents do to an incurable plague. After signing up for an experiment to help save a childhood friend, he falls victim to a terrible accident and becomes a half-human, half-revenant with a demon constantly trying to take over his body. Blaming the madman responsible, he ventures into the world, hunting down revenants in the hopes of finding the man who made him what he is to exact his revenge.

The plot of Revenant Saga is quite interesting from the get-go with you getting a ton of info on what Revenants are and how they came to be within the first hour of the game. That and the chatter between the MC and the demon within him really spices things up and makes the game feel like more than just some RPG Maker project given life.

Gameplay

Revenant Saga, like Kemco’s other games, is a turn-based RPG in the theme/style of the old SNES Final Fantasy games. 2D exploration, turn-based combat, overworld map, towns with shops. All of it is here and that is the biggest nostalgia aspect to the game’s appeal, just as it was with Asdivine Hearts. Imagine it like Final Fantasy IV or Final Fantasy VI and that’s the style this game takes on.

Game progression is story-based. You’ll have access to the Overworld Map right away, but your current Quest will push you towards your next story objective. This is relatively linear, but once you get to the second or third town, you begin to have optional side-quests to do alongside the Main Quest. Just as those older games were, the longer you play, the more options you have available to you.

As you play through the game, you’ll basically be going through towns and dungeons and having to both solve puzzles to open doors and fight off monsters both in random encounters and in boss fights. Combat is the most intriguing part of the game as it is in 3D environments while the rest of the game is in 2D environments.

Combat has your typical turn-based battles. Your turn comes up and you choose commands, like Items, Defending, Attacks, Skills, etc. The main difference here is the Transform ability. In each battle, a character can Transform into a higher form. In this form, all stats are increased and you gain access to Transformed-Exclusive Skills. However, you cannot be healed or revived if you are in your transformed state, so if the boss knocks out a transformed character, they’re out for the rest of the fight.

This leads to later boss fights to be very strategic with whether you think you can transform everyone and take them down just by throwing constant skills at them or if you need to keep half the party un-transformed, in case you ever need to heal or revive. At the start of the game, you don’t need to worry about this, but the further the game goes, the more difficult bosses become.

As far as difficulty goes, it’s decent, but not really super hard. You can’t just set the game to Auto Battle for the entire game, but at the same time, as long as you watch what you’re doing, you’ll probably never lose a boss fight unless you set the difficulty to Hard. Enjoyable, a little casual, but not too casual. I think it’s a pretty decent difficulty scale.

With time, the advertised 30 hours of gameplay is not for just doing the story. I did a few side quests here and there and I managed to finish the game in a little over 20 hours. Still a decent amount of time. Just don’t expect that 30 hours advertised to be Just-Story. It’d be more like Story + All Side Quests as they become available to you.

Controls

First of all, Revenant Saga is compatible with the PlayStation TV, so you don’t need the PS4/PS3 versions of the game to play it on the big screen. No touch controls to speak of, so it’s fully optimized for TV Play.

Controls are pretty simple. The D-Pad and Left Analog Stick can be used for moving around areas or navigating menus. The L trigger can be used to use your skill points to heal the party while in a dungeon. The Right Stick doesn’t do anything, so all that’s left are the face buttons. X interacts with objects and NPCs, Square lets you zoom in and out of the current map you’re on, Triangle pulls up the customization menu, and Circle cancels options in menus or in battle.

Pretty simple, overall, and the game’s tutorial does a nice job of explaining how everything works.

Presentation

Graphics-wise, it’s difficult to really gauge the game, considering it runs 2 different game engines. In battle, it runs a 3D engine and outside of battle, a 2D engine. What I will say is that regardless of the engine you’re using, you’re going to see a noticeable blur effect over the sprites. I first noticed this at the beginning of the game, when the 2D sprites had a bit of a blur around their edges, but it’s also like this, to a point, in the 3D battles.

The second thing I’d like to criticize is the audio quality. For most of the game, audio sounds great, but during the Victory Scene in battles, the volume sounds really muffled. This could probably be easily patched out, but it’s noticeable that the audio quality severely drops during those sequences.

Performance is decent, overall. The load times aren’t terrible. Maybe 3 or 4 seconds a piece. The only performance issue, really, is the stuttering the game does during the first combat animation of a battle. Whether I use Auto Battle or manually input skills, the very first hit on the enemy has the game stutter and almost freeze for a second or two before actually going through with the animation. I’ve never had the game crash from it, but it’s very noticeable.

Summary

In conclusion, Revenant Saga is an interesting “Hybrid RPG” if you liked Kemco’s last Vita RPG, Asdivine Hearts. It’s got some issues with its audio quality and stuttering during combat, but if you’re into retro RPGs, this is a 20 hour journey that just might be worth your time.

7/10

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