Stranger of Sword City PS Vita Review
By Ramon Rivera On 23 Apr, 2016 At 08:37 PM | Categorized As Featured, Playstation Vita, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Picture this: You are travelling in a plane without a care in the world.  Suddenly, the plane crashes, and you wake up as the only survivor.  You search for an exit, but instead of finding the world you know, you find yourself in a strange land.  Why are you here?  What happened?  A torrent of questions goes trough your mind.  Alone and scared you search for answers….This is the premise of DRPG Stranger of Sword City.

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When you start the game, you follow a little prologue.  You wake up and are naked and afraid.  Upon searching you find some clothes, and after moving forward, you find an old man.  “He means no harm” or so he says.  He kindly offers to guide you out of the maze in which you are….only to be greeted by a giant monster!!!  Suddenly the kind old man is not a friend but a fearsome foe that wants to take your life (for fun and giggles when he asks to stay still I answered “sure”).  It appears is game over for you, but in the blink of an eye, one of the wyvern’s necks is slashed clean by a girl called Rui who chases off the old man. She briefly explains that like you, she got stranded on this land called Escario, the city of swords.  Here you are called “Strangers.”  She then guides you to the Stranger Base for further explanations. There you learn that humans for a odd reason can wield more power and become a mighty city-defending hero.  You are a rare case (yep), and you are “The Chosen One.”  The only one that obtain crystals from powerful monsters called “Lineages.”  That is the story in a nutshell.

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Now one of the strongest traits in Stranger of Sword City is customization.  Right from the start, you get to customize your character’s avatar, race, class and even voice from the vast choices made available.  However, these are just related to aesthetic since these choices won’t affect the game play.  Another nice customization that the game offers is the choice of changing the NPC art, which basically modifies the look of the whole game since you’re interacting with NPCs the whole time (and the title screen art changes accordingly too!). One cool feature is when customizing your avatar is the Age, if you create for example a 15 year old it will have the bonus trait that it heals quickly,(ah the perks of youth) but since its young it won’t be to strong.  However, if you create a 30 year old, he will be stronger and will have more experience (the perks of a responsible adult).  It is a nice change of pace from typical DRPGS.

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Graphically, the art of the NPCS the Avatar and monster are awesome.  However, they feel kind of static since the characters don’t show much motion, but the narration is done in an engaging way.  It is partly narrative and partly descriptive, setting the mood and leaving room for your imagination to picture the scenes. The soundtrack also perfectly help to set the mood in the various situations you find yourself in.  I personally like games with good story and the narrative aspect of Stranger of Sword City kept me interested in the story. I liked the pace in which the game moves.

Concerning the game play, other than interacting with the other characters during the narrative parts, it revolves around exploring unmapped labyrinths in a dungeon crawler mechanic to face off boss creatures (Lineages), collect blood crystals, and unlock abilities. As you advance in a labyrinth, it gets mapped automatically, and you encounter creatures which you can evade but some are mandatory to face with your guild. The latter has to be strategically built.  The members are positioned depending on their abilities and class for the turn-based combats.  Another cool feature is the “Ambush.”  Here you can choose a ambush point and wait for monster carriers to appear (special type of monsters that carry valuable items).  After defeating them, you claim their loot.  However, if you take to much time to do so, they can flee and take their goods with them.  Watching your comrades grow and gaining new skills and spells as they level up is a rewarding process, especially since dungeon delving can be risky business.  As you unlock more abilities and gain access to better equipment, the release really opens up as an increasingly tactical affair. Depending on enemy formations and the type of foe that you’re up against, you’ll quickly start to form strategies for each battle.  The turn based combat system as a whole ends up having a satisfying amount of depth to it, so for grinders like myself, it is a field day.

Bottom line: Stranger of Sword City is a solid DRPG.  It has a great customize system, an engaging narrative that keeps you enthralled in the game, beautiful art, and a great soundtrack to boot.  If you love challenges and dungeon crawlers, Stranger of Sword City is a recommend game that must be in your library of games.  I give Stranger of Sword City a solid recommendation.

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