La Pucelle Tactics – an excellent tacticool RPG from Nippon Ichi, basically a predecessor to the Disgaea series. Extremely wholesome, greatly enjoyed it; it’s as they say the whole package. The story’s nice, it’s characteristically cutesy mixed with surprisingly dark moments. Somehow when bad shit happens to cute chibi characters it feels even more impactful, although, sadly, the game is heavily censored but at least there’s Japanese audio option so you don’t have to suffer through horrific dub. Learn nip.
The visuals are overall superb with exquisite sprite work and gorgeous hand-painted backgrounds. It is however very much a PS1 game running on PS2, it even came out on CD originally. As such, 3D backgrounds, while still pleasant looking, are rudimentary and 2D backgrounds are static to the point where you have to be content with a motionless fountain. There’s also this weird thing where you can rotate the camera on certain areas but not the others for some reason. But it never bothers you, really. Well, maybe the fountain thing. I mean, just don’t draw a fountain if you know you can’t animate it. The music was one of the highlights for me, it's extremely good and I wish there was more of it… perhaps also a downside of using a CD.
Gameplay wise it’s a pretty standard nip SRPG. Good shit. Notable gimmick being the ability to convert monsters to your side so your party ends up being 50% monster based. I found it generally too easy tho, mainly because the game screens are so small there’s just not enough room for grander strategies so it feels more like comfy chess matches. In fact, some battles get so tight you actually have to accommodate meta elements like spawn and exit squares that enemies can’t step on into your strategy, which was interesting. On a side note, I know it’s characteristic of the genre but the whole not being able to select your target when facing multiple opponents and missing the enemy with 1 HP remaining is ass splitting.
The game just radiates that carefree 5th gen atmosphere of better days; it’s now one of my favorites in fact. Would very much recommend it.
Haven't played the Disgaea series yet, largely because of the NIS cancer, but if it's as good as this I'll find a way to get to it eventually.