Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle Review

Published by: NISA

Available now


NISA sets out again on the island hoping tactical RPG Phantom Brave, following the tales of a young Chroma named Marona young girl who makes a living doing odd jobs which including, protecting people, finding items or even fighting ferocious monsters.

Marona is an orphaned girl who parents died a few years prior, as you start the game you play as Ash and Marona’s parents as they slice down evil monsters. A large demon looking monster eventually appears and kills Marona’s parents and Ash but before they die a prayer is made by Marona’s father hoping someone would take care of Marona, soon after a swordsman defeats the creature with ease and walks off.

Marona is the only one that lives on Phantom Island but she isn’t alone, she has a special power to summon and talk to “Phantoms” one being Ash who after the prayer live between life and death. Marona with the help of Ash and other phantoms are able to succeed in her jobs, wanting to save money to but the island and live in peace, but usually receives hate mail with the occasional job offer. The one problem Marona has is that she is feared and hated by everyone, with her powers she wants to help people and complete jobs but others see her as cursed child and have labeled her “the possessed one.” Many people treat her  horribly once she completes a job by paying her much less than offered or try to snub her all together and while she has a strong heart a young girl can only take so much, but she won’t give up.

As with all other NISA tactics game you can create multiple characters once you meet certain conditions, which in Phantom Brave usually is defeating enemies, including random humans/creatures with a different life bar who don’t attack you, doing so unlocks: classes, abilities, and monsters which will help you progress since many abilities like weapon fusionists, dungeon makers and such won’t join you until defeated, and becomes a phantom to use.

Leveling up is key as with all your RPG’s, each chapter offers multiple islands with a storyline you proceed to uncover surrounding the demon Sulphur. The ability to revisit any map at anytime gives great locations to level up, which is done by defeating enemies or having your characters on the map at anytime point even if they are knocked unconscious they receive experience……sounds like every other game doesn’t it? Well Phantom Brave fixes that and gives you a tougher than normal game with some restrictions.

Phantoms do not appear with you at the start of the level, instead only Marona appears on the field and she must “confine” the phantoms she created to items on the map, which can be tricky because different items increase certain stats, like a rock can increase defense and attack but lowers HP and Speed, other items give different status boosts and status decrease’s requiring you to think what characters you want to confine to an item, sometimes items aren’t always close by and Marona will have to venture out into danger to reach more items, one she falls she will not be able to release any more phantoms unless she is revived. That doesn’t sound so bad does it well there is more….Phantom’s can only be on stage for a few turns usually 5.  Every phantom in their status bar shows how many turns they have, when it hits 1 the phantom will be flashing red and after their final the Phantom’s return to nothing and can no longer be summoned but it does open a space for another phantom to be summoned so splitting your team around is very important unless you can wipe out all enemies before your team leaves the stage. When your phantom leaves the stage they have a chance to take the item confined to them back to Phantom Island.

Phantom Island gives you plenty of options, you can organize your island anyway you want allowing you populate it with 50 items or characters. You will need to have your important characters like healer, weapon shop, and weapon fusionist ready on the island and your weapons or items for increases in mana. Mana plays an important role being able to fuse characters or weapons together and carrying over stats and abilities, as you play through stages characters everything on the island gets mana points or money to help give you a nice lead for the later stages.

I thought the game was pretty fun and harder than the other NISA tactic rpgs, I remember buying the PS2 version back on release after enjoying Disgaea but after about 30 minutes the game got lost in my collection of games to play alongside La Pucelle. I bought the Wii version but with so many games it also sits on my shelf but still sealed, but the portable copy made it easy to play on the road or on my free time, but i am usually not a fan of buying the same game more than 2 times, but NISA has released their titles a few time which can be ok when it’s long scale of times.

The script on the game is really well done getting you to relate with Marona who goes through so much hardship until the moment she starts shining, the game play can be tough but after a bit of grinding or dungeon creating leveling up can be done fairly easy reaching the max of 1000, and the dual voice track is something I enjoy from NISA and want more games to allow.

Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle appears for the 3rd time, first appearing on the Playstation 2 in 2004 as just Phantom Brave, with a return debut on the Nintendo Wii under the name Phantom Brave: We Meet again and now on the PSP portable system and while owning all 3 versions of the game this is the first time I have played the game, the Wii version added a few new characters from Hero Prinny, to unlosing ranger from Zettai Hero Project (Z.H.P.) and a mode titled “another Marona” which gives an alternate storyline where Marona is the only human alive but don’t know it until the game progresses, this is a nice add on which NISA has been adding with Disgaea giving you an Etna mode when it was ported to the PSP and DS.

Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle is available now for a great price of $19.99 on UMD or via the Playstation Network, which for a new game even being a port is awesome for people who never picked it up, and for those who played the original PS2 version the addition of new characters and the “another Marona” story makes it a nice pick up.





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