RONDO OF SWORDS
Lately, I’ve been spending more time playing my Nintendo DS than my Playstation2. The game that’s been keeping my attention is called Rondo of Swords. It was put out relatively recently by Atlus. This game is a strategy RPG, like Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem. You play a series of battles on a giant grid, usually involving a ton of enemy units trying to destroy your units. What sets this game apart from the rest is its Route Maneuver system. You’ll draw a line on the DS over the squares you want your character to move, and if that path takes them over any number of enemy units, the character will attack those units. You could attack 6 guys with 4 of your characters in one turn! You’ve got to be careful though, because if you wind up in a vulnerable position, the enemy will do the exact same to you.
The setting of the game is the typical medieval setting with knights and princesses, etc. The music from this game is average at best, but that’s not a big deal since it’s a DS game, and you’ll probably be playing it in some noisy places anyway. Graphically, the game looks really old-school. Characters are shown on the top screen in 16-bit style, along with their stats. You’ll view the board on the bottom screen, and when any unit begins an attack or casts a spell, the top screen displays a battle sequence, complete with some nifty spell animations.
I think this game is an awesome SRPG, deserving of the 25 hours I’ve put into it so far. However, I should warn anyone who wants to try it out: It’s extremely difficult! This game’s battles will put you in very sticky situations on a constant basis. It’ll usually take me 10 tries or more to complete a battle and get all of the things accomplished that I wanted. Your characters earn skill points by leveling up, and in turn use those points to unlock and level up abilities. If you waste those skill points on useless skills, your characters will suck throughout the game and you’ll be at a big disadvantage. Often times during battles, success can hinge on one character missing a bad guy. If you’re up for the challenge, grab this game for the Nintendo DS!