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REVIEW: GOD WARS: Future Past —’ Past Over Future’

 
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2884430-god-wars-future-past_2016_09-13-16_014
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Overview
 

Published by: NIS America
 
Developed by: Kadokawa Games
 
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita.
 
Genre(s): Tactical role-playing.
 
Mode(s): Single-player.
 
Game Type: , ,
 
FG RATING
70%
70/ 100


User Rating
6 total ratings

 

Raves


Great visual art style illustrated by Mino Taro and Sawaki Takeyasu. An entertaining story inspired by Japanese mythology. Fun and versatile multi-class system.

Rants


Average combat system. Uninspired map designs. Sub-par graphics. Uncommon technical issues.


0
Posted July 2, 2017 by

With so many modern RPGs making the jump to real-time combat, It can be such a breath of fresh air to see new titles sporting the classic turn-based format. But whenever a Tactical RPG shows up, it’s a damn picnic. GOD WARS Future Past is the latest from Kadokawa Games, the same people behind the atrocious Natural Doctrine. Given how horrible their last attempt at a tactical RPG was, I thought this was gonna be a tough sell, but surprisingly, early screens and footage showed a promising game. Did GOD WARS Future Past redeem the studio’s reputation or does it just bury them deeper?

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S T O R Y

The story is loosely based on ancient Japanese folklore, particularly in the aspects of the Kojiki concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan. It takes place in the mythical land of Mizuho, composed of the nations Fuji, Izumo, and Hyuga, where humans and myriad gods coexist. Angered by man’s unsympathetic destruction of nature in pursuit of technological advancements, the Gods have set in motion a series of natural disasters. In an effort to save her nation, Queen Tsukuyomi sacrificed one of her own daughters to Mount Fuji. The game follows the story of Princess Kaguya, youngest daughter of Tsukuyomi, who was imprisoned for 13 years following her sisters’ sacrifice and the Queen’s disappearance. Rescued by her childhood friend Kintaro and his myriad god companion Kuma, the three set out to search for her mother in hopes of finding answers.

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Throughout your journey across GOD WARS‘ story, you’ll come across a variety of notable characters, many of which eventually joining your roster of playable characters. The majority of story sequences are in fully voiced text dialogs accompanied by in-game scenes. Occasionally, though often brief, we’re treated to fully animated scenes reserved for some of the more important scenes in the story’s milestones.

G A M E P L A Y

Perhaps the strongest facet of GOD WARS is in its Job and Skill system. Each character can equip one Main and one Sub Job. The Main Job determines the type of weapons you can equip as well as how well which attributes will benefit the most when you level up. The Sub job doesn’t affect your stats and weapon preferences but will allow the use of skills from that class. Apart from the main and sub jobs, each character also has a unique third job. These jobs reflect the characters, offering up a set of unique skills. Tinkering with combinations of Main, Sub and Unique Jobs that best complement each other is incredibly fun.

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Each job class also has a passive skill or two which can be equipped regardless of whether or not you’ve set the class as your main or sub job. A melee focused character may want to invest a little in the Priest Job early on just for the Persistence+ passive that increases the number of Job Points you gain. Leveling up job classes will often lead to unlocking more advanced classes.  These advanced classes often possess valuable passives and powerful skills, enough to encourage players to cook up a grind.

Under the hood, is a deeply fascinating Job and Skill system, but on the surface is a shallow combat system. Kadokawa Games must’ve been seriously rattled by the bad reception of Natural Doctrine and it’s inexplicably tangled combat system because GOD WARS‘ is the complete opposite. It’s not bad and the combat system is incredibly easy to get into, but it just doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Units move in an isometric grid, taking turns attacking, defending or using skills until victory or defeat conditions are met. Like in most tactical RPGs, character orientation is key(i.e. attacks from behind deal more damage), but in GOD WARS, so is terrain orientation. Attacking from high-ground is advantageous and vice versa. Besides that, it’s pretty much a standard tactics game.

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Ideally, this works for me, as I prefer a simple combat system over one that’s riddled with unnecessary gimmick features. I also really enjoyed tinkering with the amalgamation of jobs and skills, but the grind is made boring by uninspired maps and repetitive sidequests. Sidequests consist of just replaying the same maps just with different sets of enemies. Initially, it’s fine, and the promise of loot, money, and experience is pretty enticing, but by the time I got around halfway through the game, I started to feel like skipping them. Soon, I started to feel the same with everything else.

V I S U A L S  &  P E R F O R M A N C E

Perhaps the grind wouldn’t feel too much of a grind if the visuals were dialed up a bit. Skill animations are too simple and generic, many of the skills even shared the exact same effects. Not even halfway through the story and I already ticked the option to skip fight animations as it was more a waste of time than anything else.

Similar to the story being inspired by ancient Japanese mythology, the game’s art style is also inspired by traditional Japanese art. The characters are beautifully illustrated by Mino Taro and the monsters by Sawaki Takeyasu. Though as good as their illustrations are, the in-game design doesn’t quite live up to them.

View

It’s probably no coincidence that the game is also available on the PS Vita, as the visuals look more appropriate for a handheld, but its overall graphical fidelity is hardly the issue. The character and monster designs weren’t quite as charming when translated in-game and the skill animations leave a lot to be desired. Maps are also quite bland and the same battle music plays for the majority of your battles. Whatever charm this game had over me had eventually died down after 10 or so hours.

V E R D I C T

GOD WARS Future Past is medium. Not good, not bad. Just. Medium. It’s a tactical RPG that you can genuinely enjoy but does nothing to surpass or be among the genre’s greatest. The combat system is basic as hell but passable thanks to its deeply intricate job and skill system. Newcomers may find GOD WARS Future Past as a good entry to the genre while veterans may find a passable experience here while waiting for the next big Tactical RPG. I would recommend PS Vita owners to get the handheld version instead, as many of this game’s visual shortcomings mostly just apply for the PlayStation 4 version.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


Dian Raval

 
Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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