GOD WARS: The Complete Legend - Switch Review

God Wars: Future Past released last year on the PS4 bringing about one of the better Strategy RPGs that I’ve played in a long time, which says something with my love of both Disgaea and the more recent Banner Saga. What made this title take a step above the rest was not only the little mechanical aspects to its combat, but also its story which is more “realistic” than over the top fantasy like it could have gone. While there are still fantastical elements such as Gods, Oni and other spirits, this more down to earth and often serious adventure of both Lady Kaguya and Kintaro is even better that it was before.

God Wars: The Complete Legend isn’t just a “port” from the PS4 / Vita over to the Switch. Instead, it’s both Future Past as well as the DLC and new content known as the The Labyrinth of Yomi thrown in for even more to do. PS4 and Vita users shouldn’t worry as this new content is being brought to those respective consoles alongside the launch of the newest version on the Switch.

The Nintendo Switch continues with God Wars to show off exactly how well this “small” console can perform both inside and out of its cradle. I still maintain that this system is exactly what the “PSTV” should have, or could have, been. Keeping in line with the more “realistic” vibe, the maps that you’ll be fighting on are big and often have plenty of elevation factors that depending on where you start will either give you the advantage or make you have think how you’re going to make it through. Grid-based combat that takes into account elevation and the positioning of your targets? Not many go into these fine mechanical details and it changes the level of strategy drastically making you often have to re-think your plans.

Even in the realm of turned based combats, God Wars is a bit slower than the rest because of the added think time as to how you’re going to approach a situation. You can either move as a group with your “tanks”, units designed to take the brunt of the attacks, in front while they get healed from behind and others launch magic. You can move in a more swift group to knock out your enemies hard and fast. Finally, in my case, you can pull enemies towards you one by one as you pick them all off and adjust when they all come your way. One way or the other, battles will often take upwards of ten plus rounds until it’s over meaning there’s no real “quick battles”. Regardless of your approach, you're going to need to keep an eye on where you're facing.

When it comes to your units themselves on the field, positioning is key and the enemy AI is often on the same page never really giving you an easy time. Face to face with an enemy will deal the least amount of damage and in many cases give the opportunity to block some of said damage with a shield or evade completely. With physical attacks in mind, you’ll want to strike from the sides for more damage or from the back for the highest possible blow. While yes striking your enemy from behind isn’t the most honorable, it does the most damage and as your party is often at a 1-3 disadvantage? Take the shot because you can be sure the enemy will!

The above is based on an equal playing field before elevation is even considered. Attacking an enemy from behind while they are on a ledge above you? Your sure shot easily becomes a miss as they have more of a chance to dodge the blow. If your unit is on that ledge however striking from above? Be prepared for the numbers because your enemy really won’t last long. What was really neat with these elements is that if you’re too high above or too low below, you can’t hit within melee with shorter weapons allowing you to effectively hide even from ranged weapons like bows as there’s a clearance factor that has to be accounted for. A lot of these elements are introduced early enough on allowing you to evolve your strategies moving forwards.

Another factor in all of this that I often found interesting is that damage from physical attacks isn’t one-hundred percent. It can deal either more or less before even factoring in a critical hit. The only time you can be damned sure about the numbers is when it comes to magic.

God Wars has, especially for a Strategy RPG, one of the best magic systems ever as your spell casters never become useless fodder once their reservoirs are emptied. Instead of starting off with full Magic Points, MP, you’ll instead start off with a smaller number that is only a fraction of your full amount. Characters will then receive “X” amount of MP per turn which can be increased via passive abilities or by spells that grant that much needed boost to your melee characters for their special abilities. This was great especially for when fights dragged on as there was never that final moment of “oh no” as your MP ran out. It does increase the difficulty as your foes have access to the same systems for taking out the healers fast is a must but for me it’s a small price to pay to keep everyone in the game as long as possible.

Maybe the one negative point for God Wars that I can make is that the combat often takes the reins when all you really want to know is what happens next. For a lover of SRPGs and of grinding and experimenting with your units, this may seem a bit hypocritical to state but bear with me for a moment.

The reason for this statement is that often the story missions if you were to simply follow from one to the next, are way too damned hard as the difficulty spikes rapidly. In order to compensate for this, there are tons of side quests that come with their own rewards that can be taken in order to level up your units and their “jobs” such as Fighter, Priest, Magician, and the others that open up as you level up the basic three. Taking on these missions will prepare you both in regards to experience and in cash flow to buy new equipment in order to better survive your next encounter. The only issue here is that often several of these have to be done in order to increase your chances at survival so it could take upwards of half an hour if not longer before getting back into the story and what happens next because you also need to do that fight.

The job class system, like the magic, is among one of my favorites. Each character has the ability to choose two classes as they see fit which add onto a third that belongs to that specific character. Fighters are good with melee attacks, Priests are there to heal and Magicians are there to launch destructive magics. Once you’ve started to level these up, other classes in their veins will unlock like Monk, Samurai or Spiritualist as the second level before even more later on. In order to keep unlocking you’ll have to experiment with many of these as the later classes require multiple classes to be leveled up before being unlocked.

What’s great about this system is that you’re never penalized for experimenting or changing classes. With two that can be attached at a time plus a character's personal core class, any skills that have been learnt are yours to keep and can be used as long as the class has been selected for use. Up to three passive abilities can be equipped at any time, and in this case, the class that it comes from does not need to be in use. This lets you experiment as you see fit and honestly I’ve made every character level up Priest for both a basic, if not advanced healing for grinding purposes, and the passive ability to increase Job Point acquisition up to fifty percent making all new jobs that much easier to invest points into.

And this is honestly just the mechanics. Visually God Wars is amazing to look at both on the small and the big screen. Taking it on the go is just as awesome as putting your feet up on the coffee table or on your living room chair. The colors of the environments, the characters both as sprites and as 2D avatars are bright and pretty to behold. The music that plays in the background either on the world map or within battle is great to simply let play for a few moments and never gets old. I also quite enjoyed the voice acting as the characters work with one another and the battle sounds aren’t annoying even if you’ve heard them a hundred times.

Overall, God Wars: The Complete Legend is a great re-release of God Wars: Future Past. With all previously available content present and more added in upon this release, there’s more than enough to love while either at home or on the go and it has really found an amazing home on the Nintendo Switch.

Game Information

Nintendo Switch
Kadokawa Corporation
NIS America
Strategy RPG
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
Sony PlayStation 4

Provided by Publisher

Article by Pierre-Yves


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