Battle Chasers: Nightwar - PC/Steam Review

I’ll try not to be too violent.

  • System: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC [Steam], Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic
  • Developer: Airship Syndicate
  • Release Date: October 3, 2017

Battle Chasers: Nightwar - Gameplay Trailer

Who it Caters to

There comes a time when a game that you immerse yourself in no longer starts to feel like a game but rather, you become a part of it. That deep experience is something not a lot of titles do nowadays since much of our society is one which is all about fast information, high speeds, and quicker uploads. It’s that time when a game like Battle Chasers: Nightwar rolls around that you start to appreciate the value in artistry, creativity, and a wonderful story that takes your mind on a glorious adventure. You’re on a mission to search for Gully’s father Aramus, and with the help of your team, you all wander the unforgiving world to search for answers. Anyone who’s played your quintessential JRPG will know that, for the most part, much of the experience will feel linear. The same can be said for Battle Chasers: Nightwar in some ways but what makes it more expansive is it’s illustrious story, and vast array of challenges that lure you back into things. What was once a popular 90’s comic has now come to life to reinvigorate the franchise, and bring new players into the fray to enjoy what’s arguable one of the best RPGs of 2017 we’ve touched yet.

What to Expect

When you load the game up, the first thing you’re greeted with is an amazing cutscene which uses a hybrid of western style comic book artistry with the very eccentric and explosive Japanese anime style, that most of us are familiar with. Meld those two into one and you have a spectacular title that’s not only visually stunning but the gameplay is enough to keep you hooked for hours. Expect to be greeted by a lot of challenging scenarios along with waves of voracious enemies who will stop at nothing to see that you don’t progress and kill you without hesitation. The multitude of odd yet intriguing characters you’ll run into will have you emotionally gripped and have this urge in wanting to know more. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is based off of the popular comic book series of the same name, which was created by Joe Madureira and spawned a huge following of fans who now are dying to know more about the lore within Battle Chasers. Since much of the series was left in a cliffhanger, Joe Mad had decided to continue the series through the game and allow players to truly experience the story hands on. So for those who are new to the series this is certainly a nice way to get to know the cast of characters, but we definitely recommend that if you truly want to know everything then be sure to grab the volumes that Joe Mad created before he moved onto bigger projects. With all that being said, let’s jump right into the good stuff. Oh and before we forget, there’s fishing in the game! Yes, that good old fashioned Legend of Zelda tradition of fishing after a rough day on the job is also in Battle Chasers: Nightwar!

Gameplay

Battle Chasers: Nightwar takes inspiration from the classic turn based style of JRPGs like that of Final Fantasy 3 and even the earlier versions of Dragon Quest where your characters stand directly across from the enemy and a beautiful backdrop is used as the location. When you first jump into the game, a lot is taught to you in relation to just how the game functions, and what important factors you’ll need to pay close attention to when engaging in battle. We’ll get into that a little later but for now we’ll talk about the fundamentals. Of course, with any RPG, you’ll be gifted with skill points (which in this game are called perks) which you can then allocate to specific skills so that you can strategically create a team that works for your playstyle. The more time you invest into Battle Chasers: Nightwar, those perks become even more valuable, since you’ll most likely run into a lot of obstacles that will require that you to do some tweaking. The perks we refer to are earned through engaging in battles with enemies, which are dispersed all throughout the map and when you level up you can earn points. You’ll also be able to take part in Alchemy which is used mainly to create potions to heal your team, restore precious mana, or to provide buffs for your characters should it deem necessary.
You’ll also be able to craft weapons or other important materials which will help you down the road, so making sure to organize your inventory is of utmost importance. The inventory is large enough that it can hold quite a number of items, which is something we really loved because in other RPGs, you’d often times need to increase your storage capacity by having to purchase say an extra bag or two. In Battle Chasers: Nightwar, everything is neatly organized and should you find yourself overloaded with the same item, simply use it as craft or alchemy material and voila, you’ve now got more potions to use. We almost forgot the most important aspect about playing Battle Chasers: Nightwar and that’s the characters themselves. The game starts you off with three of the main protagonists, Garrison the fearless swordsman, Gully the gauntlet wielding young girl who’s on a mission to find her father Aramus’ whereabouts, and Calibretto the gentle giant who acts as the protector and mediator of the trio. Each of these characters come with their own strengths and weaknesses and so, throughout the game you’ll need to figure out how to best maximize their perks in order to secure victory in dungeons. These skills are known as Dungeon Skills and can only be used while you venture through dungeons, which are a major factor in the entire game. So let’s start with Garrison’s.

Dungeon Skills: Garrison
Each member has a skill that they can use within a dungeon, and you’ll be able to swap them out once you acquire more and play the game.

Quickstep: This ability allows for Garrison to evade dangerous traps and enemies with lightning speed.

Dungeon Skills: Gully

Crush: This ability grants Gully the power to crush weak walls and stun enemies prior to battle (enemy will also take slight damage).

Dungeon Skills: Calibretto

Revitalize: Restores health to your team prior to engaging in combat.

The dungeons in this game really feel a lot like that of Diablo since you see everything from a top down view, and enemy engagement is quite similar in that regard. Things change however when you hop into battle as the screen changes to a more traditional FF-esque style battlefield where your team stands opposite of the enemy, and you’ll need to use your mana effectively in order to take them down as fast as possible. One important factor to pay close attention to is what’s called the ‘Overcharge’ which is essentially like an overdraft on your bank account. When your mana runs low and you’re in desperate need of it, using attacks with Overcharge will provide your character with extra fuel to use in order to take out the enemy before they kill you. Depending on the attack you use, some will grant copious amounts while others only grant you a little. So being very attentive to how you manage mana is paramount in surviving the dungeons in Battle Chasers: Nightwar and once you get to the Legendary difficulty, you’d better be holding onto that mana tightly. In dungeons, you’ll come across a wide variety of items ranging from common crafting items to rare treasure chests that sometimes provide you with very lucrative weapon upgrades. Exploring every corridor in every dungeon you encounter is so important but also very fun because you’ll run into some surprises along the way. Using the Bestiary is also a worthwhile thing to use as it gives you a detailed breakdown of the enemy, so you’ll be better prepared for when you bump into them again.

As you progress more into the game the other main protagonists such as Knolan and Red Monika will be unlocked, but we’ll save that adventure for you and not spoil too much of the excitement. Once you’ve acquired everyone then that’s when the game really starts to become interesting because, new strategies will evolve and being able to make tough decisions will motivate you to play harder. No one dungeon is ever truly easy and despite having quite a portfolio of completed RPGs under the belt, Battle Chasers: Nightwar still put up a great fight.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

With there being so much to dig into within Battle Chasers: Nightwar, we leave it to you to really explore and see just what lies in wait. This game will surely net you well over 50+ hours of action and with the solid story behind it along with completing all of the dungeons’ difficulty levels, that’s close to maybe 60-80. Replay value is massive in this game and the more you invest, the higher the return. This is certainly one of the better RPG experiences we’ve had for much of 2017 and we hope that more content will pour in since much of the lore behind Battle Chasers still needs to be ironed out. It’s strong visual appeal, great use of voice acting from very notable voice actors such as Scott McNeil, the man behind Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z, along with a truly memorable gameplay experience, Battle Chasers: Nightwar is one RPG title you’ll not want to ignore. Shoutouts to all the backers for the kickstarter because without you, we would not have had this pleasant opportunity to play an awesome title.

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Honey's Pros:

  • Incredible storytelling and awesome use of western and Japanese style artistry.
  • Fantastic voice acting from some of the industry’s best.
  • Glorious gameplay which draws inspiration from classics like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and more.
  • Stunning visuals in a very comic book fashion.
  • Amazing soundtrack.

Honey's Cons:

  • May not be for everyone despite its truly awesome appeal.
  • Dungeons may prove to be too difficult for some.

Honey's Final Verdict:

We had the opportunity to sit down with Battle Chasers: Nightwar for a very long time and we’re still playing through it all. Going back to revisit dungeons is a blast and being able to level up your perks, weapons and more just add a lot of long term value to the overall appeal. All we’ll leave you with is this: Be prepared for whatever comes your way because if you aren’t, then it’s lights out. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest gaming news, and of course follow us on Twitch to see us play our favorite games live! You just never know, we may play a game you like too!

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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