posted by Geekmaster (NORTH ADAMS, MA) Jan 2, 2010
Member since Jun 2009
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
This game is perfect for: The JRPG fanatic who is looking for a unique setting in which to get their fix. Also for the gamer who loves 19th century stories - while this game contains no steampunk, fans of the genre may find the game's setting somewhere they are at home in.
Nostalgia is a pretty basic JRPG in its construction - follow a quest, go on side-quests, collect items, get special powers, save the world. There isn't a lot of innovation in presentation and production as far as the basic mechanics of the game. The story is pretty old hat too - every "surprise twist" you can see coming from miles away. If you're looking for something new and innovative, look elsewhere - there is very little that is unique about this game.
What is unique, and therefore oddly compelling about this game is the setting. Nostalgia is set in the 1800's, and presents an alternate history with elements of pulp in it. Part of you feels like you are experiencing one of the old-school comic books, as you play the part of an adventurer, flying the world in your airship.
What I find most unusual about this game is that it was compelling in some way. No, it wasn't new or creative. But it was comfortable, and enjoyable, and expected. It's equate it to beach reading for JRPG fans - something a little different, but nothing unexpected. Just a little bit of guilty DS pleasure.
Look. I'll put the entire summary of the game (or at least what I played of it before I sent it back) in two words. Cookie cutter.
Sure, the idea of an alternate 19th-century world is a good idea, but the other parts of the gameplay drag it down too much for it to be anything big.
The battle system is cookie cutter for sure, and offers no deviation from even the earliest RPGs' battling (aside from, of course, half-decent 3D graphics). The skills are nice and varied, but the massive amounts of MP required to use them, combined with a lack of Ether-style items, make using more than 3 or 4 skills per character in a dungeon a lucky shot. The airship battles, however trumped they are, are merely somewhat of a redo of the on-land battle system; with only somewhat major differences.
The dialouge is often very bland, unfortunately. Most of the people around you will blatantly tell you what to do, where to go; this makes it seem as if you were reading the summaries of a conversation, rather than the conversation itself.
One of the early dungeons is the London sewers. The rats there are hardly worth fighting; they do minimum damage and die in a single hit. In contrast, the next dungeon has you fighting insanely overpowered Mummies and Skeletons in the Great Pyramid. Expect several retries on that dungeon.
The music seems somewhat discoordinated. In other words, some of the chords and note choices sound wierd.
So... overall, this game might have a limited appeal to some, but in the end, it's not worth it to most gamers. Although I could be wrong; lots of good games have drab opening minutes, and then show their colors afterwards.
So, I suppose my title says it all... not really worth it.
The setting of Nostalgia is the best part of the game: like the Shadow Hearts series, you'll be globetrotting a Victorian world, fighting monsters and trying to restore balance. However, the pacing is generic if not sluggish, the optional quest system is time-consuming and dull (as if you'd ever want to backtrack), and battles are horribly unbalanced depending on how you develop your skill tree (or if you're in your airship).
As for story, there's hardly one: you become an adventurer after your father goes missing and rescue an amnesiac "princess," team up with a rough rogue, a sassy spell-caster, and continue through the cliches from there. What should be an homage--like an opening level in the sewers--quickly becomes a lame rip-off, and there's little incentive to trudge onward. You may have an airship from the get-go, but the game only plummets along the way.