Spectral Souls [12/20/05]
Game Info
Platform(s)
PSP
Publisher
NIS America
Developer
Idea Factory
Genre
Strategy RPG

Slated for an October 2005 release in America, NIS America and Idea Factory have their second Strategy RPG (SRPG) planned for the PSP. The story features a conflict between mankind and demons in the land of Neverland (no Michael Jackson jokes, please). After the Royal Demon Army put an end to the peace process with a wave of attacks, the separate human forces had to come together to repel the demons. To get the most out of this story, players are given the opportunity to switch between main characters on opposite sides of the conflict: as a member of as the Imperial Army, Royal Demon Army, and the Liberation Army.

Fans of the SRPG genre will find the game setup runs pretty familiar: You have an opening Event Scene that furthers the story and then sets up the stage. From there, you can prepare your characters in towns and even enter battle contests to earn money (or the ability to change you job class). Combat is played on a grid-based stage and turns are taken based on speed. The hint that there's a job-based system (as found in the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea) is always welcome.

Game Shots

Combat features some of the following:

  • Skills that can be learned through shops or specific skills for certain characters.
  • Multiple attacks on an enemy from a character and their allied units.
  • Combining attacks to create new attacks during the heat of battle.

Some of the more interesting features include the ability to synthesize items and perform custom blacksmithing. For those who loved item synthesis in Atelier Iris, this opens up all sorts of options to you. But, the one feature that really looks great is the fact that you can alter how the story plays out depending on your actions with each of the different military forces. This should lend to multiple paths and even multiple endings.

From a visual standpoint, Spectral Souls shows some promise as the character art looks excellent and has a dark style to it. The locations look pretty good and should be just perfect for the PSP display screen. Visual effects are bright and flashy and the menus, while complex looking, feel pretty readable.

With this title and Generation of Chaos in development, Nippon Ichi looks to be making a solid impact on the PSP. Considering the level of quality they've given fans for the PS2, I can only expect from the best from this offering.

- - Kinderfeld

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