Jeanne D'Arc Hands-On

Sony hands us the reins on a localized version of its PSP strategy RPG with historical roots.

Recently we delivered our impressions of a somewhat English version of Jeanne D'Arc, a stylized and fantastical strategy role-playing game from Sony and Dragon Quest VIII developer Level 5 that's based on the history and mythology of France's Joan of Arc. We finally got to play the game at Sony's recent press event at its San Diego studio and found that it treads nice, familiar ground for fans of the genre.

In short, Jeanne D'Arc played exactly like we expected, and it should be eminently familiar to anyone who's spent time with Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, and other similar series. The game offers two levels of zoom, one right down on the battlefield and the other farther out. You can rotate the camera incrementally with the shoulder buttons and move it a little more freely with the analog stick. You can select the characters you wish to command with a standard cursor, but you can also scroll through characters that have yet to take a turn with the touch of a button (which we found to speed up the proceedings considerably).

Unit movement and command all functioned just like you'd want them to, with indicators showing where a given character can move or attack, health bars floating over each soldier, and so forth. We didn't get a chance to try the transformation ability in our brief demo, but we found the unified guard system--whereby adjacent characters are granted a defensive bonus--to be in full effect. The game's text is still being localized right now, but the parts we saw that appeared to be complete spoke well of the potential quality of the final product. Final localization on Jeanne D'Arc continues apace, so any PSP-owning strategy RPG fan will do well to give the game a look when it ships in early August.

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Discussion

19 comments
TheCheat23k
TheCheat23k

With this, Brave Story, Dragoneer's Aria, Final Fantasy 1,2, and Tactics, Tales of the World, FF: Crisis Core, ....etc etc coming out, the PSP is getting some top notch RPGs :) Especially Brave Story, its the only must own along with Crisis Core for me!

therealapowers
therealapowers

wow this looks awesome. i haven't played any games by level 5 before, but this seems to be awesome. whew between this and FFT, im gonna be in tactical heaven! i wonder if they're gonna have any realistic and historical points in the story? or if they're just using some loose characters and stuff? either way, it looks way cool.

MaximumD
MaximumD

I hate all this waiting. C'mon, get this game out already.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I like the artistic style in the screenshots.

wyldcard6
wyldcard6

Any of the Christian history of Joan?

johnny27
johnny27

This game is going to be great cant wait for this and the new tales game to come out been waiting for a good rpg to play since i finished tales of enternia and valkrie profile

Ariolander
Ariolander

Or rather people might me might be tempted to blow the dust off our PSPs left untouched since Valkrie Profile... The question is are these new games worth the firmware update required to play them and sacraficing all my homebrew that has kept me from junking my PSP after I got my DS last Christmas...

Lightfellower
Lightfellower

With FFT remake and this, sales of PSP may just go up.

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

This game is making me touch myself in places.

-carrots-
-carrots-

nice to see that their impression is good

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Factor 5? LOL...lots of typos and other errors in Gspot lately, maybe a new editor's in order :D

OmegaOrtega
OmegaOrtega

"a stylized and fantastical strategy role-playing game from Sony and Dragon Quest VIII developer Factor 5 that's based on the history and mythology of France's Joan of Arc'' First, it's Level 5, second. Why not mention Dark Cloud 1 & esspecially 2.

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

Yeah, I noticed that too. It's Level 5, Brad. Not Factor 5.

SoccerDude28
SoccerDude28

Gamespot says: "Recently we delivered our impressions of a somewhat English version of Jeanne D'Arc, a stylized and fantastical strategy role-playing game from Sony and Dragon Quest VIII developer Factor 5" Don't you mean Level 5 Gamespot? LEVEL 5

Cmaptfon
Cmaptfon

It's can be interesting!

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Doesn't sound like it will break the Strategy RPG mold.

Red_Knight_Alex
Red_Knight_Alex

With this and the new screenshots up, this game keeps looking better and better. I can't wait for it to come out! And even though GameSpot is saying all the good things about it, I've got a feeling that it will only earn a mediocre score when the review is placed. How come GameSpot always does that?