Astonishia Story feels like a parody of old school rpgs and that's what makes it so amusing.

User Rating: 6.5 | Astonishia Story PSP
First off, let's start with the graphics. Astonishia wins in this department. It's still so beautiful despite it bearing graphics similar to old snes rpgs. Everything is alive in this game; you go in a forest and you'd spot the birds flying across the screen, rabbits passing by and the trees and bushes will be swaying with the wind. The attention to detail is amazing. The animation is clean when it comes to casting spells and even better when it's the rare fight scenes between characters. I say it's one of the best 2d sprite animations you can get from a game designed like this.

When it comes to the plot, Astonishia is quite laughable. You get whatever it is that's usually found in age old rpgs: saving the world, falling in love, forming a party, saving people, huntings things (HURR) … so on and so forth. There's nothing new and you can pretty much guess what's going to happen next with a 95% chance of getting it right.

The characters are bland and are hardly fleshed out. No one experiences any real character development, except Akra (once evil, now good) but then even her growth is too quick to be believable.

The gameplay is oddly fun. It's grid-based but not in a way that you need real strategy. Think of it as a turn-based strategy with grids because that's just what it is. It's simple and easy to learn. BUT what makes it difficult is the level of the monsters they pit you against. It won't be long until you realize how dependent you are on pots that you grind not to level up but to earn money just to buy them. It's like a simulated drug addiction!

Overall, Astonishia is your typical cheap rpg game that you buy when you see it on sale because you have nothing better to do. The campaign is around 15 hours long, around 20 if you're a grinder. You can save anywhere you want too, which means you can pick it up and drop it whenever you feel like it.

It comes out as a very casual rpg for people who don't really want to immerse themselves in the game. But for all the hardcore rpg gamers out there who would even bother to give this a try, think of it as a parody of other similar games and Astonishia will be a hilarious and a nice change of pace from your usual mix.