Classic turn based RPG’s are now a “remember when” type of game. Mostly, RPG’s have replaced these systems with a focus on action, trading turn based combat for a more fast paced style of gameplay. However, every now and again a game comes along that adopts this “old system” and breathes new life into it.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a gorgeous, stylised homage to the classic RPG’s of the 90’s but with a modern twist. For starters, the game is absolutely breathtaking. Every asset, from the giant rocks and wood structures that build the terrain, down to the tiniest details like foliage have all been noticeably detailed and carefully placed. Every nook and cranny has been built with a story in mind and it all helps the world around you come alive.
The story isn’t bad it just isn’t new either. While it is based off the 1999 comic series developed by Joe Madureira, knowledge of the series is not required to enjoy this game. What is nice is while at first the story seems pretty cut and dry, the final third of the game delivered some welcome twists and surprises that made the overall 40-50 hour experience well worth the grind. However, the story fails to deliver worth while characters.
Yes they all look badass and have their own talents that make you appreciate each one of the battle field, but they don’t have any emotional charge to them. They all prove time and time again that they’re all seasoned fighters, but you never get a chance to care for them because none of them ever have to risk anything to gain the moral high ground. The most interaction they get with each other is random minor dialogue scenes when you rest at a tavern or visit a town. Any back story you find out about the characters in your party never truly has any payoff. You learn it, you’re supposed to accept it and the game goes on.
The over-world is a beautifully drawn map that resembles that of a game board. Annoying random enemy encounters have been replaced with randomly placed markers. When traversing the map, you can see which nodes come with a fight and which ones don’t. This allows you to either plan accordingly for the enemies you’re about to face, or lets you try and find a way around them.
Instead of constantly spawning enemy encounters, players instead have a choice of how often they want to fight or grind. Resting at inns respawns enemies on the map, so essentially, you can blow through all of the monsters you find or just clear a path to your next destination and not have to worry about more fights than you’d prefer to handle. While you may initially think that this prevents grinding, it really doesn’t. There are enough encounters throughout the map and the dungeons you visit to keep you more than occupied with enemies.
Speaking of dungeons, these well crafted labyrinths offer great bits of lore as well as replay-ability. Each one has three different levels of difficulty, with each growing in risk and rewards. I found that heroic, the second difficulty, offered a solid challenge while not proving overly difficult my first time through.
When it comes to the combat, I don’t think any other RPG of this time has offered the kind of itch this game scratches, except for maybe Persona 5. Battle Chasers takes the classic turn based system we vets are used to and throws in some modern twists to make things feel new and fresh. The over charge ability lets you stack points on top of your MP bar, allowing for interesting strategic moves during combat.
Certain abilities even reward players for cashing in a ton of overcharge at once by means of heavy hitting attacks. If you’re running low on magic its a good way to stay in the game without having to back out of a dungeon to go rest at an inn.
From it’s incredible environments to it’s remarkable turn based battle system, Battle Chasers: Nightwar offers everything and more for fans wanting to play an engrossing RPG. Anyone that grew up with classics like the Final Fantasy franchise or Chrono Trigger will appreciate this game for what it is, and instantly fall in love with what is has to offer. This game bring the classic RPG genre into the present and promises long time fans of the genre hope for future gems like this one.