Friday, September 21, 2012

Hexyz Force (game)

Platform: PSP
Developer: Sting Entertainment
Genre: RPG
ESRB Rating: Teen
Release Date: May 25th, 2010

The PSP has a fair number of RPG's, so it's easy for a lower key title to get lost in the shuffle. Hexyz Force is one I'd never heard of before I came across it and decided to play it. It doesn't stand out enough to really make a big impact, but Hexyz Force is unique enough to be worth a playthrough.

A long time ago, the Goddess of Creation descended with the Holy Vessall and created the land of Berge. But eventually, disaster struck and a group of the divine had to fight off Delgaia, the god of Destruction. The world was reborn under one condition; that one day an hour of judgement would come to pass and the chosen would choose the future of creation or destruction. You play as those tasked with this decision; only you can stop those who wish for Destruction over Creation.

One thing of note with this game is that you have some measure of choice here. There are two main playable characters and you will choose one at the start. Each has their own story to play through. This offsets the fact that this RPG is fairly linear; there's only so much to see and do - side quests in particular are few and far between - but it's easier to go along with this when the game offers you two twenty to thirty hour plot paths to play through.

The battle system of the game is unique. When you boil it down, it's a big old game of rock, paper, scissors. Each weapon has one of the three different forces, each of which has a strength and weakness. If you coordinate your attacks so the elements are used in order, the damage you do - and even the amount of health you heal - is multiplied. Monsters must also be taken into account, as their attacks add to the multiplier and they also get the damage bonus. Use the wrong force type and the chain will be broken, requiring you to start over again.

It's a system I welcome, because it requires some semblance of strategy. The key to defeating a boss quickly is proper use of this mechanic; if you just attempt to power through boss battles without keeping an eye on your multiplier percentage, there's a good chance they'll massacre you. Even some of the stronger common monsters can take you down if you don't keep an eye on things. You won't be holding the button down on "fight" like in other RPG's.

I liked the music in the game well enough. It's not on the level of an Uematsu, but each song fits the area it corresponds to well. You won't find yourself humming the melodies or anything but some might stick in your head. Pretty respectable overall.

The Score: 7.5 out of 10

A perfectly respectable RPG to kill time. There are several ways it could have improved - more to do in the world not related to the main quests is one particular way - but it's otherwise a solid game. Feel free to rent it from your service of choice.

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