NIS America Soul Nomad and the World Eaters
Eating the world gives you bad gas
- Engaging characters and passable story line
- Poor graphics, weak battle mechanics
This game is not for the faint of heart and should be reserved for those that enjoy repetitive battles and watching badly built sprites bumble across their television screen.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
I play a lot of RPG titles but Soul Nomad takes the prize for having the zaniest lines of dialogue I've ever encountered. "She just makes me want to punch kittens," "Why can't you get that through your thick bovine skull," and "who can compare to my indestructible ass," are just some of the more eloquent utterances you'll encounter.
But in the end, all of the witty banter in the world can't save Soul Nomad from it's poor graphics and terrible gameplay.
The young hero of our story is, naturally, charged with saving the world. He is given a sword that has the soul of a demon god named Gig trapped inside of it, and once you touch it he merges his soul with yours, giving you the power to kill anything and everything. It's a nice twist on a tactical RPG, but I found myself wanting the game to end in five minutes because of it, because once you kill anything taking on the power of Gig, the game ends. You restart the game with all of your characters saved data so at times it is a wise choice to do this, but backtracking through the entire game is not particularly fun, particularly because of the game's weak and anemic tactical RPG system.
It's too bad because the characters' dialogue had me in hysterics, and it's the one thing that made me want to keep playing. I found myself caught in a loop of listening to character dialogue, moving around on the map, and fighting battles that had little to no depth. I rarely had to reorganise my troops or consider anything about the enemies when making decisions. When battles began the game went on autopilot, and if it weren't for my DS keeping me company, I might have gotten bored.
Creating troops and arranging them in battle formations is enjoyable, but not as robust as it could be. Building troops up is done through dominating other people's souls and arranging them in rooms. You can acquire different types of troops but the problem is that there aren't enough choices or any real customisation options. As a result, the units feel as stale and uninspired. What makes other tactical RPG games, like Final Fantasy Tactics, enjoyable is the complex character development, so it's a shame that Soul Nomad can't compete on that level.
Soul Nomad falls short on many levels and if it weren't for the antics and personality of Gig this game would be buried in the back yard with my Turbo Grafx-16.
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