So, today's ragequit is unique in the fact that not only have I haven't actually played the game for an extended period of time. And, in fact, I can't. Therein that fact lies the problem I have with the game. In all honesty, it's not so much that I can't play it, but I can't play it without losing which obviously just ends the game right there. Which wouldn't be so bad, if the reason I can't play it without dying was that the game doesn't tell you how to play it. I don't mean that in some sort of cutesy "The tutorials suck" sort of way because, in fact, there -are- no tutorials. You start the game, and it -starts-. There's a little story and then it throws you right into an all-out battle without telling you so much as how to attack an enemy.
From what I can gleam, it's a fairly interesting looking SRPG that's different in having actual troops and units to command over rather than a handful of named, important soldiers. Sort of like Ogre Battle in having units lead by an important trooper, I should say. Of course, that's the only comparison that can be made, beyond the whole fantasy thing.
It's honestly really difficult to critique the game considering I didn't play it too much, and it makes me feel a little bad that I'm doing this, but, really, if a game can't properly educate you on how to play it in some form, whether by tutorial, or by playing-as-you-learn and as such, being given 'easier' experiences to learn from, then you can't play it, and by that factor, you probably shouldn't play it. It's said rather well in this review by Juan Castro.
And no, it's not a simple matter of consulting in-game help, since it lacks the information necessary to make playing the game any easier. It does help a little, but for a game that cries for an in-depth, easy-to-read instruction booklet this just doesn't cut it. Once you get past the steep learning curve, you'll still need to contend with the dizzying array of commands and subtleties packed into this game. You will, eventually, come to grips with the system, but there's a good chance the average player's patience will run out before then.By no means is a game that (from someone who obviously got further in the game and didn't dislike it as much as I did) "cries" for such a thing as an "in-depth...instruction booklet" a game that has been thought-out properly. And I suspect that, even if the game was easier to actually play, that the problems with it wouldn't magically disappear.
The style isn't that great, as shown by the super-deformed presentation of the characters, which might just be more of a YMMV thing, admittedly. But I think what could be agreed on in a general sense is that the typeface is a thing of nightmares and would be on a console, much less the little handheld thing in your hands. It's not even the size that's the whole problem, but the fact that they decide to abbreviate everything which is also a problem in trying to ease yourself into the game. If you don't know what something stands for, how are you supposed to know how it's used?
Honestly, what annoys me the most about the game is how I came to get it. Way back in the beforetimes when GameCrazy was still around, I was hanging around in the one I enjoyed, I forget what I was there to get, but the guy behind the counter saw me eying the pre-orders and talked the game up. I figured, SRPG (I was on a FFT kick at the time) and it's a NIS thing, so it'll be rare, so I might as well get it while I can find it! So not only did I buy this game, I pre-ordered it. I still have the receipt around here somewhere. And I can't honestly fault the clerk, since he didn't have to push much; I was genuinely interested in what the game could have been. And rather than something interesting, I was just left with what the game actually was.
If you can find a FAQ that will tell you what you're doing and why so you can ease yourself into the game, more power to you, but I simply cannot recommend it in any fashion. Especially when there's so many other great SRPGs on the PSP now. That you can actually play.