At first glance, Battle Chasers: Nightwar brings a sense of nostalgia and intrigue. The game is based off an American comic book that game developer Joe Madueria wrote in the late 90s. Sadly, the comic series had major scheduling issues and in the end was left on a cliffhanger. Although in many ways, Battle Chasers: Nightwar is his way of sending a love letter to the fans and the JRPG genre. Bringing the franchise back from the dead and even paying homage to JRPGs with its gameplay. However, it does bring into question, does this comic franchise transit well to the video game industry?
Battle Chasers Is Back
Battle Chasers: Nightwar was developed by Airship Syndicate and is the continuation of the 90s comic series. In addition, Joe Madueria who is known for making Darksiders is leading the development on this game. He had goals of finishing the comic series he started many years ago but with time constraints and large projects, it was held off until now. At first, the company didn’t know if the game would be something the fans want so they went to Kickstarter to test the audience’s response and to fund the project. Eventually, they achieved their main goal and even reached every stretch goal, Unlocking more content as the Kickstarter continued. As a result, the company worked hard to bring a quality game with characters feeling like their comic book counterparts, and the story feels on point with the comics despite some dull dialogue. Combat can be fun, but at times can feel repetitive. Also, there is a lot of grinding involved in order to progress through the game.
The story introduces familiar characters, Gully, Garrison, Knolan, Calibretto, and Red Monika. They set out on a quest to find out more about mana which fuels the magic and technology in the world. Their quest begins at the legendary Crescent Isle which is rumored to have a vast reserve of mana. The main obstacle is that the land mass is famous for being mysterious. For the most part, the story was good, interesting lore to the world, Captivating side characters, and the bosses were effective villains. But at the same time, it wasn’t the best story from this franchise. They try to capture the magic of the original source material but the dialogue holds the game back at times. Characters can feel out of pace and the dialogue can be flat on several occasions.
The art style and graphics of the world look fantastic, it feels like if you were transported into one of the Battle Chasers comics. At the same time battle backgrounds can look boring and flat it doesn’t add anything new to the game. The only thing that redeems this is that the enemy and character models are top quality, distracting you from the backgrounds during fights.
Music in Battle Chasers: Nightwar is done beautifully. Composers Jesper Kyd and Clark Powell capture every moment of this game. Inspiring the fantasy aspect, capturing what it feels like to be in this comic universe.
Battle Chasers Gameplay was modeled after classic JRPGs so it copies a lot of the established mechanics while adding onto it. Additionally, the game is a three-party based system meaning you always have a party of three people. One unique aspect of the combat is overcharge, which essentially lets you use spells for when mana is gone. This can be very useful because mana can deplete quickly and will only recharge if you die or drink potions to bring it back up. Another aspect of the combat is Bursts, which are your ultimate attacks they vary depending on the character but offer abilities that can do massive damage or support party members. As a result, Combat is enjoyable you have to think about when to use what spells and when to go all in.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar offers a wide selection of extra content and even has high replayability. Side activities are everywhere in this game, participate in the arena prove you are the strongest on the Isle, go on hunts for the Beastmaster for unique rewards, farm materials for the unique crafting system they introduce in this game that will let you modify weapons and armor this is very useful as leveling up in this game can be a big grind. Dungeons will even offer you more content since every time you replay a dungeon it will have a different layout for the three difficulties it offers. As you do these dungeons you will start earning chests which offer good gear. Another interesting fact about the dungeons is that there is a fishing aspect to this game and is done mostly in the dungeons.
Leveling in this game can take a very long time it’s mostly just grinding enemies for experience. And unless you are completing the dungeons, it takes way too long to level up so you’re only option is to do the last dungeon over and over again until you level up. But most of the time you have to level up several times if you want to actually progress through the game. Since being below the level for the next dungeon is pretty much pointless the difficulty spike is way up there. So about 80% of the game is grinding and that can feel tedious this is the worst aspect of the game in my opinion and can weigh the game down,
While playing I ran into several technical issues. The game crashed on me about six times at first I thought maybe it was the PlayStation but that was not the case as I tested it with several other games to see if I got the same crashes. One thing to note I did run into one crash that corrupted one of my save dates for the game and it was a PlayStation error that Sony hasn’t really fixed yet but besides that. In the game, I experienced a few freezes couldn’t move my characters or pause the game had to close the game. Another issue was before you enter into a cutscene in dungeons the screen tended to turn pink not showing the cutscene. Not so much a problem if you are just grinding and already seen the cutscene but it is something I found odd and could get annoying.