Empire of Angels IV

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I’m starting to wonder whether or not I should continue writing these reviews immediately after finishing the game. Maybe I should stew on them for a few… but then I might forget about the game… blah

So Empire of Angels IV is a game about a bunch of grills on a quest to collect the four Lord Souls Whoops did it again. You collect the four Menhir (or attempt to anyway, spoiler) and you have zany adventures along the way. The plotline makes little sense, even when it’s explained to you and I can’t figure out how the characters wind up in the situation that they’re in. I feel like several situations were disastrously contrived. It’s almost like the developers had a checklist of things they wanted to shovel in. Here’s your rival, here’s your betrayal, here’s your feels trip, the list goes on. And as noted before, they don’t connect well. On top of that, it was hard for me to invest myself in the characters and I think that may be because of presentation. There wasn’t really much of an underlying story to connect me to them.

There are some fantastic CG shots that I just absolutely adore. Holy smokes, they’re beautiful. While the CG shots are beautiful, the rest of the game is far from it. Its graphics remind me of Tales of Symphonia in which the characters could make only one face. Granted in this game, the characters can make a surprised face, the graphics still look incredibly similar. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the class upgrade screen in which the already scantily-clad women became even more scantily-clad.

The game also thinks that it’s Fire Emblem but is a little worse for combat. Every attack has an element (even basic attacks which I found to usually be fire type) and if you happen to… I dunno, fight a fire type enemy, you’re going to have a bad time. The elemental triangle is up to the player to discover. There are many components of combat that had limited use. The lockpicking skill is used… four times(?) in the game and three of those times were in one level. There’s also a change terrain skill which is only really needed for like three levels in the game. It helps in the later stages when you’re in the volcano levels (because of course that’s where the finale takes place) but other than that, kind of a waste.

The level scaling is rather annoying, and you should expect to make a few grind stops later in the game. And I complain about this because my allies were level 35 (even with some grinding) around the time that the level 40 enemies started showing up. And it ramps up drastically over the last few story missions.

As you complete story missions you can upgrade your characters to advanced classes. As noted earlier, there’s a bit of eye-candy when that happens. However, referring back into battle, some classes are just useless. There are two types of mages, which for the purpose of this review we’ll call the lightning mage and the fire mage (I call them this because these are the skills I used the most often on them). Well, lategame enemies are fire type, so that sucks. And the third offensive skill on the fire mage is more situational and very difficult to use effectively. So why bother with it? Just use the lightning mage which ultimately was the better DPS. Units overall become incredibly powerful lategame, able to kill in two hits or with huge AoE that destroys enemies. It’s beautiful.

So what’s my call on this? Humph. I think the game drags on a little bit longer than it should, and I can’t actually invest myself in its story. I can’t invest myself in the characters. And maybe it’s my fault. This is the fourth game in the series (presumably) so I wonder if that investment I can’t come up with comes from those games. But that’s not really much of an excuse. I think I’ll have to give it a pass despite the fanservice. Certainly not for full price ($15 at the time of writing). Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

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Empire of Angels IV

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