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This game has me on the fence. It's a product of both the creative talent behind the charming and entertaining Disgaea series and the infamous Idea Factory. For those not in the know, Idea Factory is often colloquially known as "Idea Fuck" in their home country for their ability to take a good idea and, well...
On paper, I do like it. The overall plot is that a monster with a trillion hitpoints (and boy howdy will this game make you appreciate just how big a number that is) is attacking the underworld, and since the main character died horribly trying to kill it, his friends and family members (who are mostly cute girls) have to take turns training up on a timer to take swings at it. That's it.
And it mostly works. If you increase their Affinity enough, you will very quickly get fairly attached to the seemingly-flat characters in the roster. You'll enjoy watching them train, and, when, almost inevitably, it's just not quite enough to carve through the massive block of health in front of them on enough of a timer, you'll feel it when they die.
For that matter, the very core of the gameplay is... decent, even kind of fun, in a way I hadn't experienced before. It's a turn-based game on a grid map, but the player can see attacks coming on the grid, and try to plot a course through the maze of blows and explosions flying at them to start carving at the monster. It rewards patience and thought without being impenetrable.
Unfortunately, well... while those things are good, they're surrounded by a progression system that's an overcooked, burnt, runny mess. A daunting array of stats and skills greets the player upon entering the level-up menu or using a "Death Skill," and all but a tiny fraction of them are not-very-useful "newb traps." Events are powerful and important, but their appearance and success rates are random and frustrating.
Worse, because the combat system's so full of noise and chatter, it conceals that a character is essentially forced to mono-build, buying a small selection of stats and skills rather than experimenting. Trillion's final form in particular punishes anyone who tried doing anything but stacking multiplier passives on high strength and speed stats and swinging with basic attacks like a maniac, only using movement skills to game a passive. And, if you don't consult guides on the Internet, good freaking luck.
I don't know if I can recommend the game. I do enjoy it, but I enjoy it having essentially walked down a road paved by people who've struggled through its frustrations first, and I know that that looking up stuff on the Internet isn't how everyone likes to play. Also, well, I got it on sale for less than ten dollars, which was a fair price, but its asking price is often much higher. I'd say that I hope these issues are ironed out a bit in a sequel, but... well, read that first paragraph again.
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