Knights in the Nightmare Review (PSP)

Knights in the Nightmare (PSP)
Publisher: Atlus
Out Now
Price: $29.99

Originally released on the DS, Atlus brings back the full time strategy title Knights in the Nightmare to the PSP with updated graphics, extra bonuses, and even an added character exclusive for the PSP, which includes Princess Yggdra “The Sword Maiden” from Yggdra Union, another Atlus release.

Created by Sting, Knights in the Nightmare relives the tale of a destroyed Kingdom in scenes that introduces the player to bits and pieces of the story as you continue. The story specifics come from the deceased people located in each map about how they died and slowly puts the pieces together of the mysteries surrounding Knight in the Nightmare.

The game takes some time for players to get familiar. As you take control of a wisp, which has the ability to give commands to your soldiers to attack while dodging enemy’s attacks. It may sound difficult but as you progress it only gets worse, which is the challenge in itself. Each stage is surrounded by enemies and soldiers of different classes up to 3 per stage, to proceed to the next scene you must defeat a row of enemies using a roulette which shows you the row the enemy fits in, only by filling 4 bars will you proceed. Do note that you only have a set number of turns to do so; boss stages only require you to defeat the bosses while also have a set number of turns to complete.

Once you have enter the battle you will have the ability to set up, early on as you start you will be given a set of soldiers placed in pre-determined locations. You can switch positions of the soldiers that suit what you think would work out best but most classes of warriors cannot move from that position so everything they do will be from the same spot they are in. There are certain classes that can move with certain conditions. The wisp doesn’t take damage but for every hit it takes time is lost, enemies will toss out attacks at your wisp to a point where you must constantly dodge or lose all your time, and while the wisp highlights a soldier they can take damage. After a certain amount of damage to a soldier they will disappear permanently. When a solider is highlighted he can attack in either Chaos or Light mode which affects his attack pattern and MP is needed to use your skills which are obtained by attacking opponents.

Right before battle you have 4 boxes in each corner which you can equip key items and weapons which are class specific and with the right class equipped special killer techniques which can deal devastating damage to opponents. What makes it more important are items surrounding stages which house weapons or key items, key items are items exclusive to a character in future stages which recruits soldiers or have NPC’s give you weapons, so organizing and planning is key to all this.

As for your soldiers you control how you work with them. You gain experience for enemies you defeat which you share between characters to level them up. The game also allows you to go back and redo a map to collect more weapons and experience, keep in mind thou that your weapons have durability so they will break with enough use. So to help with this you can fuse same weapons together to increase the durability and upgrade weapons. As for characters, they have Vitality which is drained by getting hit by enemies, attacking and using special skills and when it reaches 0 they disappear themselves, but by leveling them up and fusing souls together with “Transoul” you can increase vitality of the characters.

Overall the game is complete battles over and over which requires you to think on the spot, and move around constantly. Your time limit only decreases with hits to your wisp, and attacking/charging your attacks so you can take your time to plan out while dodging enemies. This game gives you time to learn but after the 15th stage the speed picks up, especially with the boss fights, but your heroine gives you the edge with compatibility with all weapons, movement ability. However, she lacks in Vitality which resets every stage. Don’t get frustrated when you keep losing because you will find your rhythm after dying a bunch of times and it’s what makes this game really fun.

Hope you pick up your copy soon because both the PSN download version and the PSP retail copy come with a copy of Yggdra Union as a gift but supplies are limited, so 2 great games for one price is something you can’t beat when Yggdra Union free.

Grade: A

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