A 2017 game was recently released again, this time on the Nintendo Switch, and I decided to give it a shot…
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a Western take on a Japanese role playing game (JRPG) based on the 90s cult-classic comic book series, Battle Chasers. I’m hardly a know-it-all when it comes to the source material, but something just took my fancy when I saw it pop up on the Nintendo eShop. I’d also heard a little bit about it back when it was Kickstarted in 2015…
I have been craving a low-maintenance RPG after some of the bigger action games I’ve been playing of late (God of War etc.), and I struck gold with Battle Chasers: Nightwar. I’m only half-a-dozen hours in, but I’m really enjoying it. I already know it’s not a classic, but it is ticking all of the right boxes for a great little handheld adventure.
It looks and sounds great, but also plays well with the sound off and a podcast on in the background – it’s that kind of game. It doesn’t demand 100% of my attention, which is sometimes perfect after a long day of work and all I want to do is watch some TV whilst I get my daily dose of games.
The comic art-style has been retained from the printed books, and whilst I can’t comment on it’s authenticity, it’s a joy to look at. Some performance optimisation would be welcomed as there are occasional stutters when playing in handheld mode, but it doesn’t really affect the turn-based combat gameplay.
The minute-to-minute experience is fun enough. It’s traditional JRPG stuff, but with a couple of twists that stop the combat feeling redundant. Battles are varied and occasionally offer a serious challenge that stops the game feeling too passive. Traversal is a let down though, and feels underdeveloped, but each location and dungeon has been interesting enough to sustain the dull (but necessary) exploration bits.
The writing is solid for the most part, but unfortunately the voice-over is poor. A shame, too, because the game probably could have survived without it. It’s commendable when indie developers involve voice acting, but someone should have pulled the plug on this one.
There’s definitely enough to Battle Chasers: Nightwar to keep me coming back, and I hope the game can keep up with it’s promising start. There seems to be a lot of content, too, so I wouldn’t mind a long train journey or two to really crack-on and make some real progress.
Best wishes y’all.
My Two Bottle Caps
P.S. I wouldn’t mind other indie devs looking at comics as a source of inspiration… there are so many rich worlds yet to be exploited in the comic-verse. It’s not all zombies and super-heroes…