Publisher: Kemco Games Developer: EXE-Create Players: 1 Genre: JRPG Launch Date: October 16th 2018 Price: $39.99, £29.99
Do you ever get that feeling that you’ve been here before? There is a thing with Kemco Games about bringing older RPGs, which may or may not have made it across to other territories at the time, out a fair few years after their initial unveiling. They did it with Cronos Arc and that turned out to be a bit of a disaster. Has the same thing happened with Revenant Dogma then? Well, like a dodgy Facebook relationship status... It’s complicated.
I see an immediate improvement from what I reviewed before. The graphics are more cel shaded and at least DIFFERENT. I honestly cannot stress just how big a difference that makes. You don’t feel like you’re going to be sent off to sleep for a kick off, but the reason I brought up the point of wheeling old RPG’s out from the mothballs is that, well, as most role-playing fans will know, unless it is a classic, it will probably not age that well. Sadly, that is also the case here.
Revenant Dogma sticks to a tried and tested formula, much like most other RPG’s do. This one sways more towards two feuding races who have stayed on the right side of a peaceful truce for a while. Humans (who else?) make up one half, whilst the Therians, a lion/human hybrid, make up the other. It plays as a brother and sister dup who went through hard times, but came out stronger by becoming part of the Revenant Corps. Caine and Elize are their names, just in case you were wondering. The only problem is, Elize is stuck in bed because she struggled with the harder parts of training, so you must tend to her and run around with your colleague Julie, who kind of sounds like she works in accounts, but can certainly pack a punch when you’re in a pickle.
They discover an artefact whilst rummaging around a cave, as well as Lilith, who is an almost cyborg like girl, who then joins you on your quest. All this time you will be trying to thwart the evil Lionel (yeah, I’m not making this up. This is pretty much the main gist.
It doesn’t play horrendously bad, indeed it has a couple of nice touches, but at the same time it suffers from some classic issues that plague these kind of games. It also has one thing I thought we had got rid of AGES ago. If there is one thing I’d hoped to get away from, it was random battles that you simply can’t get away from. I am a fan of those games where you can see the enemy first and then take a choice, however Dogma has a traffic light system where you go from amber to red and then a battle. This happens a bit too often for my liking, but then FF7 did it back in the day and it was acceptable. Mind you, Final Fantasy VII is over 20 years old now, so make of it what you will. It just feels really dated and it can detract you from enjoying the game itself.
Time to Super Saiyan Up, Oh wait wrong game
Graphics - 5/10
It does look decent enough, but as much as the graphics have a nice retro style to them, the animation is more ancient than that and it results in a really judder filled game. Should this really be happening these days? Personally, I don’t think so. Again, if this game had been looked over and perhaps re-done in certain ways, almost like a remaster, we could have had a better result. I mean, the battle elements are not bad and are bearable enough, but when you know you’re heading back to a pretty bad feeling exploration section, you just don’t get any continuity whatsoever. That you cannot blame age for though because A Link to the Past did this so much better. The saddest thing is that this RPG is 2 years younger than Chronos Arc and yet this one feels older. Very strange indeed.
Sound - 5/10
A good way to judge the age of an RPG is by listening to the music and I have to say that the tunes contained in Revenant Dogma are actually not too shabby at all. There’s a fair bit of guitar usage and the Japanese rock style will no doubt be familiar to the majority of role playing fanatics. It does feel like the music has almost been lifted from different titles though, as the sound quality can be pretty hit and miss and you never quite know what you’re going to end up with. That isn’t a good sign and it again brings into question Kemco and their porting abilities. This feels rushed through for the console market and I do think if there had been more time spent on correcting the odd thing here and there, rather than just chucking it onto the marketplace then we would be sitting with a higher score. Never mind.
Madonna's Strike a Pose auditions were going well
Difficulty - 3/10
It doesn’t really feel that much more difficult than Chronos Arc and this is probably down to a very similar style of layout. This isn’t to say that the battle system is as bad, because it isn’t. It leans more towards Grandia, which I like a lot, as you can be more strategic when picking your enemies to kill, so as to give yourself a better chance against the baddies, but the fact that even on normal I was hitting fast forward and breezing through enemies did not make me think it was worth the brain usage, so I just cracked on with it and forgot about the intricacies because it just got boring. I wish this had been better. There’s even timed button press events as well. How can you get this to be so dull when there are different options? Honestly.
Achievements - 5/10
To be fair the achievements are bog standard. They’re not as easy to get as Chronos Arc and thankfully this game isn’t as BAD as it either, but I was tempted to give this a zero, but not for the reason you think. I will explain that in a minute. It does what you want it to do and you will end up getting a fair few of them because they’re all based around steps you take and labyrinths you enter. Hell, there’s even one for watching the opening sequence, so you’ll get enough to keep you happy and top up that gamerscore a bit more.
Gardner seems so lonely
This had so much promise and it just doesn’t quite deliver on almost all areas. It isn’t that it’s bad, but it has really not aged at all well. The animation on the main part of the game is almost prehistoric and the music can be a little irritating when it keeps changing in quality, but if you really need to scratch that itch for a JRPG, then you can always look into it, but the primary thing that REALLY confuses me and, to be honest, IRRITATES me, with Chronos Arc as well as this, is that if you have a smartphone and you can go to either the App Store or Google Play, you can pick both of these games up for FREE!!!!! Which begs the question... Why the HELL would you spend £25 on two old and boring role players when you can play them for free on your phone and have half the money in your wallet for something like Fallout 76 or Battlefield V? It defies belief to be honest, but hey, what can you do? This game has mediocre all over it, but it becomes bearable when you don’t have to pay for it.