I was going through my 'My Documents' folder... You know, the catch-all drawer for files you never plan on seeing again? When I found a video game review I wrote about a year and a half ago when I was planning on building a video game review site. Might as well put it up.
I started this game amidst a period in my life where I simply hated turn based rpg's. I had been so fed up with playing 'FF tactics' for GBA along with 'Legend of Dragoon' for the PS1 because of the lack of constant activity in the games. Sure, turn based RPG's have been around since day one, but with all of the newer style rpg games coming out (Valhalla Knights, TOW Radiant Mythology, Crisis Core FF7) I was more into the whole "constant hack and slash" scene. In short, Jeanne D'arc renewed my faith in turn based RPG's.
The game starts out with a story about this dreadful evil and how it was locked away by 5 people weilding armlets of power. The graphics in the cut scenes are excellent quality. Something akin to yuor typical anime that you would rent on dvd. The story progresses, and our simple Jeanne winds up with a magical armlet of power that allows her to transform into a sword weilding, magic toting, mobile blonde death machine. Along with her friends Liane and Roger, and their new pet frog, they set out to help save France from the clutches of the Evil british army, which is being ran by a young king who is posessed by none other than the original evil being that was locked away. The story progresses and Jeanne finds new allies, some of which wield armlets like Jeanne's. There are several intriguing plot twists which help keep the story fresh.
As for gameplay, the combat part of the game runs a standard turn by turn fighting system much like that of the original final fantasy tactics for the GBA. You have a certain square move speed, you can attack or cast spells from a certain distance. One of the things that adds spice to the game is called burning aura. When you attack an enemy with a normal attack, the square adjacent to your foe becomes covered in a flaming circle. When one of your allies attacks from that circle, they get a bonus to accuracy and damage. When one of your armlet wielders has enough SP, they may transform into their special forms. Each of five of your characters will eventually have armlets with mutiple types of transformations, which are enabled by finding certain gems in your environment. Each character that can transform has one special attack that they may employ so long as they have enough magic power.
Items in the game are quite complex. You have your standard apothecary supplies: Herbs and potions and whatnot that heal and give temporary bonuses. You have quite a selection of armor and weaponry at your disposal that you can either find as drops from enemies or purchase in the store. But you also have another type of gem... These gems provied bonuses to stats or special abilities so long as you have them equipped. As you find out about a quarter through the game, your frog can eat two of the gems and combine them into more powerful skills or attribute bonuses. there are over a hundred combinations and different formulas to acquire each end result. This makes your character truly customizable.
All in all, I would rate this game with a 9/10. And as I said, the game gave me a new love for turn based RPG's, which is something I thought no game could do. I trule reccomend this game to anyone, as it is addicting, intriguing, and has a high replay value.