Natural Doctorine preview – Prepare to die a lot


In late September NIS America’s Natural Doctrine will be arriving for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The game will have a large single player campaign that will be like a combination of Fire Emblem and Valkyria Chronicles with a bit of chess. In Japan the game was pretty difficult that there was a patched released that added checkpoints which helped make the game easier. It wasn’t long before I realized just how difficult this game could be. Most importantly the game was created by veterans of the tactics genre created by members who worked on Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre.

I started off playing the single player mode of the game to better understand how the game worked and quickly realized the battle system can be both your best friend and worse enemy. In Natural Doctrine you live in a world where creatures are the dominant lifeforms on the planet and humans have had to fall back and create large defenses as their last stand. The only problem is Pluton makes the world go round and it is needed for items and magic. You’ll collect items that’ll award you small amount of Pluton, but how you use it is up to you.

The map sequence is a tactics game meets a game of chess. You can place three members of your team on a single panel or spread them around in adjacent panels. Your team would be represented by the color blue, enemies can do the same which is represented in red.

Now here is where the game gets a little interesting. Even though it’s like a normal tactics game, your players wait for their turns based on their stats. You can also have them act before their turn by linking, which you can use blocking or attack skills to initiate. This allows you to change up your strategies and attack your opponents, since you have can place three units in a single panel. The downfall of this tactic is your player loses whatever turn they had coming up, and your enemies can do the same. If you aren’t careful you might have a single character taking a beating.

I’ve tried quite a few strategies with some being successful. The checkpoint system was added because you will die a lot. The AI also changes its tactics as you do, so you might die some more as you spend time learning just how the system works by trial and error.

The game is by no means the prettiest tactics game, but it isn’t all bad as characters and monsters look pretty good. How well you play, take damage, and complete time are all added up to give you a grade. Remember to pick up all the items you can since most of the time you won’t be able to go back and open chests.

There is an online multiplayer mode also available which lets you play against other players across the different systems. If you have a PS4 version, you can play your friend who has a PS3 copy or even a Vita. The multiplayer mode is similar in style but is focused more on monsters you get via cards you earn, create an army of monsters of even one powerful enemy and play in multiple modes that allow you to work with your friend or face off against each other to prove who is the best.

Natural Doctorine will be available on September 16th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. 

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.