What I want from an RPG is simple. Well designed characters, creative value, an absence of dialog like 'everlasting friendship', and no turn based combat. I hate turn based combat. And anyone who even remotely agrees with me but still wants the anime style action of JRPGs will love Circle of Doom. It has some of the best and darkest visuals I've seen in a game and possibly one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. Even the title screen has an awesome guitar riff that will prevent you from starting up the game for at least a few seconds. What can I say? I love this game. Its so dark and inventive. The enemies and the playable characters themselves look amazing, and the actions that they perform look so natural to the point that I believe there are no technical mishaps at all. The weapons and the range of weapons per character are just awesome. There is no other game available that lets you strap two boomerang claymores to your back and just go nuts on a horde of fat gelatinous zombies. It has great spells too, and although they don't do much until they are leveled up sufficiently, that makes both their success and spectacle that much more satisfying. One thing people won't like is the grind and another thing is the difficulty curve. If you choose to continue on to the third area without backtracking or leveling some more, you will find yourself surrounded by gargantuan possessed statues and armor knights that will kill you very VERY easily. (good luck surviving 3-4 stages of that). Although the story does take one for the team, in that there barely is one, I think its for the best. How many times has there been a great RPG that got screwed over because of its terrible story and dialog? Not this one, no sir. The story is completely separated from combat which also thankfully means you wont have to wish you were playing the game during a ten minute cut scene in which your character does a ton of maneuvers and cool attacks that you will never be able to do in-game. Its a great addition to the Kingdom Under Fire series and a worthwhile RPG that can be enjoyed by both strategists and gun blazers alike.
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