Stranger of Sword City Review
Long before the Xbox 360 slowly died out during the quick adaption of eighth generation consoles in the U.S., the console passed away sooner in other regions such as Japan. While exclusives like Infinite Undiscovery and Blue Dragon were developed and released to cult acclaim, they never really found a proper audience. This continued to be the case until even 2014, but one of those games is now being re-released to a Western audience thanks to the help from NIS America. So is the long wait worth it, or will this title only cater to patient and willing JRPG fans? Let’s find out.
Unlike other localized constructions, Stranger of Sword City is dutifully impressive in it’s broad appeal, which can be seen upon the vast variety of options in which you get to choose your character and their class. Even upon a first playthrough, the game makes it clear which aspects of these individuals have substantial meaning, adding ever growing depth. The same doesn’t go for what breaks the gameplay apart (dialogue) but I’ll move into that later.
After starting off, you’ll notice that Stranger of Sword City is a dungeon crawler, and a developed one at that. There’s of course surprise encounters, but unlike others of the same genre, you won’t groan upon having to perform it. Better yet, the combat systems are a lot quicker and more beneficent than your normal RPG, although the actual gameplay pace is a lot slower, making every fight count.
Story & Design:
A lot of video game role playing stories focus on outcasts, and Stranger of Sword City is no “stranger” to this. The story focuses on recovering from a disastrous plane crash, to awake in an unseen and unfamiliar world. It’s a bit tropey, and is undoubtedly my least favorite part of the game, due to the fact that there is so much exposition and context surrounding it, when I in fact wanted to learn more about the setting and it’s characters. While this does come to fruition, I’m afraid some gamers may scoff it as too little to late.
Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:
Stranger of Sword City has some of the most unique and aesthetically transpiring character designs I’ve seen in an RPG, the moment to moment graphics are not pleasing. I suppose this has to do with the game’s long history all the way to the Xbox 360, but it’s nonetheless disappointing, and fragile to the game’s otherwise engaging and demonstratively compelling core.
All in all, Stranger of Sword City is a far surpassing RPG in gameplay, but is brought down to lesser degrees by a majority of flaws found everywhere else. This does not discount the fun I did have with it though, and I would still recommend it to anyone willing to explore the more forgotten parts of JRPG lineage.
Stranger of Sword City gets a 8/10 (Very Good)
We’d like to thank NIS America for giving us a code!
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