Glorious Savior: Weapons/Skill system is annoying, but the story is top-notch

First of all... I regret to have to say that this game is NOT a sequel to Journey to Kreisia. (When I read about the Overlord and the Hero's Sword, I was really hoping it would be...)

You do fight an Overlord in this game - but definitely not the same one that's in Kreisia. And the whole rest of the world is different as well, so Boo! I WANT A SEQUEL!!!!!!!!

(Now that I got that out of my system...)

I've probably played around 15 to 20 Kemco games all the way to the end, and done all the bonus content for maybe half that number.

This game is in my personal top 3 - right along with Symphony of the Origin and the original Alphadia. (Even though Alphadia has a lot of things I don't like, I can't help but fall in love with the story. Glorious Savior is the same way.)

The Story

You play the game as Rain, a young nobleman who everyone thinks is a fool, but who in reality seems to know more about what's going on than anybody except for maybe the King. Three girls join Rain's party - but they're not all useless, falling all over themselves, hoping that maybe Rain will show them some attention (like some other recent games from Exe Create.) The girls are actually useful additions to the team, have their own distinct personalities, and a good sense of their own self-worth (they also all fall in love with Rain - because let's face it, the hero is supposed to get the girl at the end - but thankfully it's not in a way that their own self worth is dependent upon Rain "choosing" any one of them.)

Anyway, early on, the Overlord is "awakened" from a 300-year spell that trapped him in some sort of crystal, and of course immediately sets out to destroy the world. The King calls upon Rain to locate the Hero's Sword - the weapon that was used 300 years ago to trap the Overlord. Along the way, Rain and his girls wind up being the only ones who can stop the Overlord for good, and return peace to the land.

So, on the surface it's the typical hero's journey type of story. But the dialogue, and the twists and turns in the plot, make this story stand out above 90% of all other Exe Create games. (The only others I'd say that's as good as this are Unlucky Hero, Journey to Kreisia, and maybe Alphadia - but like I've said before the dialogue in Alphadia is really poorly written.)

Gameplay

If you're just coming from Revenant Dogma, the basic gameplay in Glorious Savior is basically a carbon copy. They made a few changes to the bonus dungeon, which you'll find out once you start exploring that part of the game. And, they gave us a mini map for this one, so exploring all dungeons is much easier. (Hooray!)

The other big change (and one that I'm not that excited about) is the weapon and skill system.

Weapons/Skills

This is the one part of the game that I just don't understand (and because I don't understand it, I don't like it! AT all!)

Every weapon in the game comes with one, and only one skill. In order to use that skill, you have to equip that weapon. Change weapons, and you also change skills (in other words you don't to keep it!)

Now it's not all bad, because different level weapons might all have the same skill (for example a medium-level sword and a high-level sword sometimes have the same skill), but it makes it hard to rely on a particular skill set for things like Boss battles, because the skill you really want might not even be on any of the weapons you have in your inventory, so you have to use something else instead.

Beyond that, there are four basic weapon types: sword, staff, bow, and axe. Each type has its own strengths, and each type also has its own skill set. (For example, staffs have magic skills, and are the only weapons that can possibly have healing magic, but not all of them do.)

By the end of the game, each character can equip four different weapons - either all four of the same type (like 4 swords), or one of each type, or some combination like 2 swords, 1 staff and 1 bow.

So, there are in fact limitless possibilities for which weapons you equip on each character, and which skills those weapons possess, so it can make for more customization but for me, it just makes my head hurt... (too many options in weapon selection just confuse me lol.)

Also each weapon can hold two added effects, and the system for adding/removing effects is exactly the same as in Revenant Dogma - find a "spirit" effect that you like, and add it to your weapon (Save and load your game each time, because the % effect it adds is entirely random, and you don't want to end up with STR 2%, when the next attempt could give you STR 26%.)

Likewise, if you get a weapon you don't care about, but it has an added effect that you want, you can go to a Fairy at the Weapons Shop and "dismantle" the weapon. These results are also entirely random, so again, Save and load your game each time until you get the effect that you want. Once you get the right "spirit" from dismantling, you can add it to the weapon that you do want.

This is probably a really cool feature, but like I said it just confuses/frustrates me to no end, so I give it two thumbs down.

Difficulty

This game is $#@!%#$%#[email protected]#[email protected]#!^$#%@#[email protected]#$ Hard. You HAVE to either: seriously upgrade your weapons, or: spend several hours grinding in the bonus dungeon, just to beat the final boss (and then there are 3 bonus bosses in the bonus dungeon, which I'm not even attempting at this point. Maybe someday, but right now I think it would just take way too long to grind to a high enough level.)

I played most of the game on Easy, always bought the strongest armor, and did my best to find/use strong weapons with good effects, and had to spend a good 3 hours grinding in the bonus dungeon before I could beat the final boss.

Perhaps some players with better strategies could find an easier way, but I have to admit I really struggled with this one.

Overall

Even though I don't like the weapon/skill system, it's certainly not a big enough issue to stop me from enjoying the game. (It's just a pain to spend all that time dismantling weapons, and adding spirits, and saving and reloading until I get exactly what I want - especially when I can just go level up 10 or 15 times in the bonus dungeon, and then the added effects don't even matter because I can beat the boss I was just stuck on without any awesome effects or skills - but leveling up takes a long time too, so.... what are you gonna do?)

Anyway, I honestly think this is the best Exe Create game I've seen in a long time. If they could maintain games with this level of story line, and such quality dialogue, and just do something to improve the weapons and skill system, I'd gladly buy every game they put out from now on, knowing it would be one that I'll thoroughly enjoy. (But then, I buy them all anyway - I just don't always like them all!)

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Posted in Kemco Games, Reviews