Lord of Arcana #1 – Prologue
I have a plugin on my PSP that allows me to take screencaps of whatever is on my screen, which is essentially helpful for things like this. This’ll be my first time blogging a game, and I imagine that this post will be my first impressions of the game as the rest of the posts will probably be short posts. So, Lord of Arcana came out today in Europe, while it came out over in America a few days ago on January 24th. My best friend, Leevan told me about this game yesterday when he saw it at Gamestation and we went there to look at the casing. I was immediately drawn in by its cover art which was pretty damn amazing. I looked at a few screenshots and I immediately thought that this would be something among the likes of Bayonetta, Dante’s Inferno, Devil May Cry, etc. Turns out it isn’t like that. The game is more like the Monster Hunter, Tales of, and Phantasy Star series. More after the break.
Okay, so the reason why it’s similar to those 3 games mainly lies in it’s gameplay. When you start the game, you have to make your character as you would do in Phantasy Star (and maybe Monster Hunter? Never played the games). You get to choose the character’s name, gender, skin tone, face structure, hair style, hair colour and finally their voice. The voices clips are Japanese, by the way. So don’t expect anything along the lines of “TAKE THIS!” or “HAVE AT YOU!”. …Okay that last one was a little weird, but you get the idea. After that you have to choose a weapon type for your character (which you can change later in the game).
- Shortswords: These one-handed swords are the standard weapons. They’re the fastest weapons in the game enabling for fast hits and high-hit count combos. You can also equip shields with this weapon too and cast magic. They’re the weakest weapons out of the bunch but make up for it in speed and big combos.
- Maces: These weapons are rather heavy but deal a fair bit of damage. However, you cannot use magic or use shields with these weapons.
- Broadswords: These two-handed swords are probably the most slowest weapons in the game but deal really big damage. You can apparently equip shields with them too and use magic. It’s basically the inverse of the shortswords.
- Polearms: Polearms are about as slow as broadswords but they deal head-splitting damage and have amazing reach.
- Firelances: It’s easy to call this a Gunner class, but not really. It’s a long range weapons that fire shots at enemies. Attacks can be charged for greater wide-spread attacks. It’s good for supporting roles. However, we fight on our lonesomes so when faced with multiple enemies, things might get a little difficult. Good for supporting in co-op though.
So, I called my character Yurizan. Gave her slick red-hair, made her a black woman and gave her a semi-low voice. I also I forgot to take a screencap of what my character looks like up close, but whatever. The game begins with a tutorial-based prologue in which your character is already a knight in shining armour and overpowered (at level 45). How dungeon exploring works is that you move your character about and some passages to new areas are blocked by guardians (which are usually just normal enemies that have keys). When they are defeated you get, the gate they were guarding (or an entirely different gate) disappears and you can go through. There’s a helpful little mini-map that tells you which doors are unlocked and such. You can hold down the R1 Button to run, and you can hold the X button and move about to dodge roll. Doing these actions raises your Pulse gauge. Now think of the Pulse Gauge as your stamina gauge. As you run, it’ll start to go up slowly. As you dodge roll, a small chunk of it will go up. When you guard strong attacks a chunk of it will go up depending on how strong the attack was. It’ll go back down steadily when you’re not doing these things but of course when it’s full, you can’t do squat.
The similarity to the Tales of series only lies in the fact that the enemies are on field but when you touch them you go to a separate battle field, which is similar to the recent Tales of games (or any other recent RPG for that matter). Also when you’re in battle if you keep running towards the edge of the battle field (at the red lines) you’ll flee the battle. Now, in battle you can do a couple of things but each of them become available as you progress in this dungeon. In the first battle you’re taught how to attack…which is simple. Keep pressing the SQUARE button for combos. Not biggie. You can also block with the X button, but the game won’t tell you that you can do that until the second battle. In the second battle you learn to lock-on with the L1 button. Also you can perform a thing called Coup de Grace which is basically a cinematic kill. You can do it on more or less any enemy you come across, I think. You must be locked on to the enemy whilst the onslaught is going. When the time is nigh, you must press the CIRCLE button to unleash a Coup de Grace specific to that enemy type. You can’t do it with magic though, you have to be up close. Speaking of magic, you do get to use it from the third battle onwards. Press CIRCLE to use a chain of magic spells. In the fourth battle, you learn how to use an Ultimate Spell. You have Bahamut equipped and it uses Mega Flare. It’s area-of-effect attacks all enemies. Of course you must have full MP to use it and it more or less drains the entirety of it.
Sooner or later I reached an Otherworld portal or something. So after defeating the enemies and collecting the chests nearby I approached the portal to find the name Nidhogg written on it. I could only assume that a boss battle was waiting for me, and well…yeah.
Dragon of Murderous Rampage, Nidhogg
I had to face the Dragon of Murderous Ramapge, Nidhogg. It was a fairly easy battle with a few rough patches for me. Just so you know, you can’t die here. You have an unlimited supply of Sacrifce Charms which revive you when you die. Anyway, the boss has many parts to it that you can lock onto and attack. I made my first order of business to attack the dragon’s tail. That was a lot difficult than I thought. Not only is the tail constantly moving, it’s usually to high for me to attack it. And when it is down low for me to attack it, the dragon either turns around or it attacks with his tail that sends Yurizan flying. (REMEMBER THAT YURIZAN IS THE NAME OF CHARACTER).
When I finally got its tail chopped off, it got weaker and I focused on it’s stomach which I assumed it was his weak spot. Afterwards I got a tutorial prompt saying that when a boss reaches the half-way point of it’s health then you’ll go into what’s called a Melee Duel where you must rapidly tap the a button to win against the enemy’s strength and deal major damage to it. After I succeeded in doing that fell flat on the floor, and I immediately decided to follow up with a Mega Flare. Sooner or later it got pissed and summoned 2 Goblins to fight me. That would be perfectly fine if the boss wasn’t SPEWING FLAMES ACROSS THE BATTLEFIELD.
A final Melee Duel is initiated once the boss is more or less dead. You’ll engage in a button-minigame where you must press the buttons as they appear on the screen. Similar to Dante’s Inferno where you performed those finishers on the bosses. If you screw up just once, the boss will make work of you and you’ll have to try it again (the Melee Duel mind you, not the whole fight…unless you die). The boss then dies in a chunky meat fashion.
Posted on February 5, 2011, in Games, Lord of Arcana and tagged Bayonetta, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, Games, Gamestation, Lord of Arcana, Monster Hunter, Phantasy Star, PlayStation Portable, PSP, Square Enix, Video Games. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.