Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 03/09/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
There is a new trend that seems to have developed; releasing older games on the latest consoles. Mostly, it’s not bad, but now and then a classic is brought back. Is this one of them?
Here we have Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 1, a combination of two older strategy RPGs Soul Nomad & The World Eaters and Phantom Brave both originally released on Playstation 2.
Phantom Brave is the more Atypical NIS affair with loads of weird. The story revolves around a girl named Marona and her Phantom protector Ash. Marona lost her parents, who were Chroma (bounty hunters) Who both worked with Ash when he was alive. Before their death, Marona’s parents revived Ash as a Phantom, and he swore to keep Marona safe.
Marona is the only one who can see Ash and commune with the dead with her power, called Chartreuse Gale. Not only this, she can Bind phantoms to objects to make them solid again, for a short time. Marona has carried on her parents’ work as a Chroma. Even if she is shunned by most people that think she is possessed. She eventually gets tangled up with trying to stop Sulphur. The evil being who killed her parents and Ash.
Phantom Brave plays as you would expect from a strategy RPG. You start in a small square area with enemies and Marona on the field. The difference is that Marona cannot defeat the enemies on her own. She must ‘Bind’ Phantoms to objects on the map. Depending on the object, a Phantom is ‘Bind’ to will affect their stats. For instance, if it’s a rock, the Phantoms defence will increase but their mobility will be lowered.
On top of this, binding is a matter of timing, as each Phantom you summon will only be active for a set number of rounds. So for example Ash has high attack but lasts for five rounds. If it will take Ash two rounds to get in to range to attacks, we have wasted the rounds. But waiting for the two rounds will give two extra attacks.
Out of battle you can buy equipment, get new phantoms and take on side quests. Everything is fairly standard.
Phantom Brave is still an absolute classic of a game. There is a great twist with the battles making each move count. Not to mention the totally bonkers characters you will meet and the over all story writing.
You start your journey 200 years after the Shadow was defeated and the World Eaters have stopped moving. A gaint reminder of the terror that was. The protagonist starts life in a village that is isolated from the world. Along with the Sepp and best friend Danette, they protect the village.
One day, the village elder Layna calls the pair to her and gives them new weapons. Danette receives twin daggers while the protagonist gets a long black sword. The sword insults and swears at Layna,the pair are confused. Layna tells of how she defeated Gig the shadow and trapped him in the sword 200 years ago. The protagonist has been trusted with the soul of Gig to use his powers to destroy his World Eaters.
Soul Nomad plays mostly as a standard Strategy RPG. Again, there is a twist. Each character on the screen is a squad.
These squads comprise up to four classes. Depending on the placing, these squad members will cause a different attack or support action. In order to make a new squad, our protagonist must first buy a room to store them. Each room will have a different layout and buff to the squad. Like increased defence or better healing, and so on.
Soul Nomad has two path choices: the path where you control Gig and his powers and take on the World Eater and save the world. And the Demon Path where Gig and you destroy the world and everything in it.
These paths depend on how much you use Gig and his powers. In fact, you can finish the game really early if you use Gig enough, but it means ending the world. As Gig is as powerful as he boosts, he did make the World Eaters.
Soul Nomad is another classic brought to the Switch. Gig is by far the best character in the game. He is a totally love arse but so likeable, and some of his lines are pure comical gold.
Once you have gotten your head around the rooms and how they work and what suits your gameplay style but you have a really good game on your hands.
Overall, Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 1 is a fantastic double package with loads to offer Strategy RPG fans with a feeling for some old school no frills classics.
This has to be a must buy.