Thursday, October 27, 2011

Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari (PSP)

I quit Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari (Final Promise Story) after about 5 hours.  It's the first game self-published by Imageepoch and was supposed to be the first game in the next generation of JRPGS.  As you imagine that wasn't really true.  It captured my interest with those lofty aspirations and the amazingly bad reviews it got. It definitely fails as a piece of media to distract me from my mortality.

It's a pretty great premise as anime plots go.  Your small kingdom is invaded by an impossibly large force of robots.  The prince just killed himself to save you and the princess with a blood sword.  That makes you commander-in-chief of the whole army against a beautifully melancholy soundtrack.

Then you start wandering about Persona mazes.  The battle system is -granted- kind of neat.  Enemies target the last thing that hit them or the last person that cast a healing spell.  So there's sort of a nice balancing act.  The problem comes that your homebase helper announces everytime the enemy changes target.  That gets really annoying really fast.  Each time you level up you get points to unlock various skills, you have the ability for the cost of money (in a kingdom under-siege)  to completely reset your skills.  

When you first start playing there's a clock on your screen that is terrifying in the way the moon in Majora's Mask is terrifying.  Then you realize it's only moving forward as you do quests (in a kindom under-siege) at every hour it moves on to the next story bit.  

The quests you get from your helper and almost entirely consist of going to an arbitrary point in the maze to meet someone.  Then you and the person you "rescued" get magically transported back to headquarters.  You are then told you rescued 30 civilians in the same way you rescued dalmatians in Kingdom Hearts.  This number never goes down and you never get the feeling that you are being invaded as everyone in your little base in the center of the castle is fine.  You even get plenty of dumb anime subplots and stereotypes!  

As a dungeon crawler it's mediocre and as the next generation of JRPG it consists entirely of things you've seen before.  While the chance of it coming out in the West is zero, it's not something you should learn Japanese over or be sad that was skipped.  I'm sure it was planned to come to the US as imageepoch signed a publishing deal with Nippon Ichi America and then just made PSP RPGs.


  1. That music is stunning, and even though the game sounds mediocre I'd have liked the chance to sample it in English.

    The PSP seems to have become the spiritual home for JRPGs in the west, just a shame that no one (in the UK anyways) is bothered.

    Great stuff anyways.


  2. It's truly the best niche console out right now. So many amazing games, so little attention. Only Japan seems to fully realize and appreciate the PSP's potential.

    Shame, that.

  3. Man, even the music is just Jpop to a canned piano/strings. Ick.