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Impression

Spectral Force 3

05.14.2008

Anna Marie Neufeld
Staff Reviewer

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Slices, Dices, Juliennes.

Spectral Force 3 was a game I hadn't followed, other than to know it was a tactical RPG for the 360. Being new to the system, I haven't studied thoroughly the upcoming library. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect after watching the opening video, but things got interesting very quickly. I was launched into a battle midway through the story, where my characters were already somewhat established. I think the thing that surprised me the most was despite being tossed unceremoniously into the middle of the game, it was very easy to pick up and play, and everything felt very intuitive. Though there were clearly deeper nuances I quickly picked up as the map progressed, I was pleased to find a tactical RPG I would feel very comfortable using to introduce players to the genre.

As I pressed forward towards the pack of enemies awaiting me, suddenly an ambush behind me appeared. My forces retreated to deal with those enemies first. It was interesting to see how large the variety of abilities was. Whenever an enemy was attacked, a gauge at the bottom appeared; light attacks would take one tick out of the gauge, medium would cost two, and the heaviest attack costs three. Though I didn't understand the system perfectly, occasionally while an enemy was being attacked I could call upon an ally to also move up and smack at the hapless foe, which often hung in midair while I performed some very interesting attack combinations.

It was interesting to note that even during battle, the characters' personalities shone through. One character, who was half demon, called upon her powers to unleash a terrible magical attack, pummeling multiple enemies with a single, strong attack. Another character, a lazy leader who had others run his kingdom while he drank and leered at women while travelling the world, had many small attacks that added up into a 30+ combo. It should be noted some of the 360 achievements include getting larger combos, as well as beating the game under a certain time limit.

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Smooth Battle System

Another interesting achivement mentioned was recruiting characters. In total, there are 41 characters in the game, and it will take two or more playthroughs to recruit all of them. It was heartening to know the game has heaps of replay value, as the player may chose which nation to ally with - or even none at all, which will not change the main storyline but changes all of the supporting and side content each time a different choice is made.

By the time summer ends, RPGamers will have more quality TRPGs than they know what to do with across a surprising selection of consoles. This is one players won't want to miss.


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Console:
· Xbox 360

Release:
· 07.29.2008

Publisher:
· Atlus

Developer:
· Idea Factory

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