8

Amazing, flashy gun battles... challenging Arena... not your normal RPG.

This game will not be for the casual RPG lover, at least in my opinion. Although the story is very good, the game play and strategy aspect will have some gamers lost for a while. But I will get to that soon.
You play the part of 3 hunters, who are the main characters: Zeypher, Leanne and Vashyron. They take on quests from different clients and also from the Guild. These will be the main part of the many hours of game play as the rewards from these quests are actually very good and the EXP obtained from enemies encountered will help. The main storyline won't take shape until many, many hours into the game and even after I finished it, I was still not sure I understood it completely. But the chemistry between the characters is amazing. Whoever wrote this script should get an award because throughout the game you felt like these characters were born and raised together instead of only knowing each other for a year.
The battles are the meat of the game and you will you soon find that most battles are not quick kills. For the most part, even small battles will have deadly consequences if not played out correctly. This is how it goes, first you need to inflict scratch damage on an enemy and then follow up with direct damage to get a kill. This can be more difficult than it sounds because enemies will consistently attack you as you move around the battleground. Most of the time they will gang up on one character and make things very difficult. There are Hero actions that will enable you to build up the attack meter and attack multiple times on multiple enemies. But even that isn't easy because the Hero action meter can run out and then you are stuck in panic mode which basically means end game. This is where the strategy part takes place as you need to plan out where to use the Hero gages and which enemies to attack first. Very well done as I enjoy games that are not just a plain simple button pushing affair. This game will make you think and act according to the enemy at hand
Most enemies will also have shields that have to be worn down first or are large enough to take up half the screen. Plus there are some that are immune to some attacks or cause elemental damage.
Another good aspect of this game is the ability to upgrade and customize your weapons to make them stronger and attack faster. These pieces can be won from battles or rewards from quests. I spent a good amount of time making the best customizations for each weapon. It was both challenging and satisfying once the end result was achieved.
Now for the Arena. This is where I spent hour and hours, fighting battles and leveling up my characters. This was possibly some of the best challenges in the game (if you don't count Neverland) as you can do each rank 10 times to get the star and move on. The rewards are small but it's the leveling up that brings the most satisfaction.
The leveling system is unique as you don't level up the character, you level up the weapon by using it. So if you only use one type of weapon you will not be a high level character. Another challenge is to kept switching weapons between the characters in order to have a well rounded team. But once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.
One thing I read about this game was the lack of a lot of color in the buildings and environment. Who cares? The graphics are very good and lifelike even without the wide range of colors. Plus the mood is not at all cheery so why lie and use colorful environments when it wouldn't fit the mood of the game.
Overall this game was a joy to play, even though the battles were drawn out at times and some enemies will drive you insane. However, I would only really recommend it to the hardcore gamer who can get by the flashy game play for several hours in order to find the story finally revealed.

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