Jeanne D'arc is a good game let down somewhat by repetitive boss fights and generally unlikeable characters.
AzelKosMos wrote this review on .
The story begins in the hundred years war between France and England with the war waging accross France. King Henry the VI of England has been possesed thanks to his ward, the duke of Bedford. In so doing this the English have begun using demons to fight in their army and help weigh the balance of the war in their favour. Jeanne's village Domremy is attacked and wiped out by the English so with the help of a magical bracelet she found by a dead soldier she goes on a quest to unite France and take back her country.
The game itself does little new in the SRPG genre, and anyone who has played one before will feel instantly at home. Each battle in Jeanne's journey takes place using a grid overlaying the battlefield. Each character can move a certain amount on these squares in their turn, similar in many ways to a game of chess.
Each unit can attack for different distances depending on the type of weapon they use; a sword is one square, a spear two, magic and bows can reach accross half a dozen. Various skills that your characters equip also have various ranges and are weapon specific. Each character has a no of slots assigned to house these skills, with added slots granted with enough level ups.
There are also unique skills that characters holding the magical bracelets can use once they have used that power to transfrom. These skills cannot be assigned but are automatic depending on which transformation you choose. The transformations only last a few turns but will increase that characters stats tremendously enabling extra damage or magic strength. The right timing for the use of these can sometimes change the result of a battle.
After a battlefield is complete your party may go back to it to fight monsters for a chance to level up, get skills and gold. Between fights on the world map Jeanne can travel to towns to spend that gold on equipment and items, as well as comine skill stones to make new ones.
So far sounds good right? well there are problems with it. Firstly each battle has a certain amount of turns it must be won buy. Why? There is no reason. For most of these fights it is not a problem, just a pointless number, but alot further into the game when you lose purely due to time and frustrating map design it's not fun.
Also towards the end of the game, even after I had replayed several old battlefields to level up, Jeanne was the only character that was actually really worth using. Most of the characters you gain in your party also have very little development, and those that do I wish they hadn't bothered with as it just stuck me that all they do is whine. Basically i found most of the cast quite unlikeable.
The battle system itself is quite fun...except for all the enemy models get reused in a different colour; Orc, Orc warlord, Orc King etc. There is not really enough variety, though having said that when you have to fight the same boss 9 times in a row with no change other then his hp, who cares about the normal grunts. Repitition is a major problem throughout this title. This in itself wouldn't be so bad if I didn't feel that half the battles in the game were put in solely for the sake of lengthening the game time...
Graphically the game is really top notch. It's colourful, solid and detailed with some very high quality anime scenes thrown in. The camera angles used in this title are also very well done with a good control sceme thrown in.
I was really looking forward to Jeanne D'arc. But in the end dreaded going to play it again. It has some great ideas but alot of bad gameplay designs really let it down in the end. I can't really reccomend it unless you are a huge fan of the genre.