For a long time, UbiSoft looked invincible in the games market. With the Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell franchises, they were dominating in a marketplace saturated with either retro games, or more “me, too” games. So it’s been sad to see how recently, UbiSoft appears to be slipping down the slope of mediocrity more quickly every day. First, it was the butchering delivered to the current-gen console versions of UbiSoft’s most popular franchises, and now, UbiSoft seems dead-set on trying to parrot the success of NiS America, Sony and Atlus USA by jumping into the Japanese RPG/Tactical RPG business. Last month, they dumped the ever-so-average LostMagic DS on us, and now, we have the just plain dreadful Astonishia Story.
Astonishia Story follows the adventures of a young night named Lord, who plods around a cartoony 2D sprite-infested world having “adventures.” The adventures, if you can call them that, involve lots of killing things using a basic combat system which ensures your allies and opponents die quickly, though you’ll seemingly survive any onslaught. Of course, there are RPG elements, which include trips to town for supplies, NPC’s and other staples of the genre thrown in so you know this is an RPG. Top it off with a generic system of levelling up that leaves little of the decision making power in the player’s hands, and you have a game, and characters, that you could care less about after having knocked out an hour of play.
This is one of those games that is a complete waste of the PSP’s graphics processing and audio functionality. The production values are garbage, plain and simple. While you can get away with this sort of look and feel on the GBA, no PSP owner in their right mind would put down the 40 bones to buy this.
So there you have it, Astonishia Story, a feeble attempt by UbiSoft to bring a hackneyed tactical RPG to American shores. With a combat system that’s nothing more than “move, target, click attack” and a story that makes no sense, this all plays out like some horrible B movie. Heck, if there were “C” movies, it would be a more apt comparison. Don’t even touch this game in your local store, it might cause some sort of weird “horrible game voodoo hex” to spread to you and you might mistakenly pick it up.
- Gameplay: 4
- “Simplistic” is being kind
- Graphics: 3
- This is a great looking GBA title, oh wait, this is a PSP title!
- Sound: 3
- Again, why does this seem like a GBA title?
- Replay: 0
- No reason to play it through, much less ever again
- Overall: 4
- Avoid this, plain and simple
— Craig Falstaff