Langrisser Re:Incarnation -TENSEI- (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Eric Ace 06.05.2016 1

Review for Langrisser Re:Incarnation -TENSEI- on Nintendo 3DS

Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei-, published by Aksys Games is a reboot of a franchise that was once popular, many generations of consoles ago. It is a strategy RPG, and on paper looks like it has some potential, yet the game fails on so many levels that it will likely go down as one of lowest rated games in recent memory.

Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- is a bit like a roller coaster—everything ascends upward, then plummets spectacularly towards the earth, only in this case it derails and smashes into the ground. To adequately explain why it doesn't work at all, it must first be explained what, exactly, the game is.

Essentially, this is a clone of the Fire Emblem saga, which is not entirely fair, since this series has been around for a long time, but serves as a quick explanation. The player controls a few characters on a grid as they battle through enemies. There is a short story segment between each battle, a chance to talk to characters, a few choices that affect the ending, and a very small set of skills. The most unique thing on offer here is the ability to hire "mercenaries," faceless characters that follow the player character for one battle.

Screenshot for Langrisser Re:Incarnation -TENSEI- on Nintendo 3DS

SRPGs have always filled an important niche; games like Advance Wars are highly regarded, and Fire Emblem has gone from cult classic on the GBA (or an older system, technically) to having several major 3DS hits. These games keep the battles fresh, provide interesting choices, and don't prevent players from simply playing. Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- does not do these things.

From the start it seems pretty interesting: after a personality test that determines the main character's stats and class, the story ramps up quickly, consisting of various factions, all of them going to war with each other, and a main character stumbling across a holy blade. Some of this may sound trite, but it actually wasn't bad, and the multiple perspectives are interesting to explore—except the 'bad' side, which is really comprised of shallowness.

Screenshot for Langrisser Re:Incarnation -TENSEI- on Nintendo 3DS

There are cracks in the façade from the outset, however—characters just look…wrong. Faces are too round, eyes are set in unbalanced ways, smiles are crooked, and characters overall have rushed appearances. This is an important downfall, as most of the story is conveyed through these crooked, round-faced characters staring at each other through uneven eyes. Graphics have never been an important part of any RPG, but when it is apparent that little time was put into crafting character models, and when it also seems that time wasn't put into anything else, the game tanks.

The gameplay itself is simple and bad. The only "strategy" is to mob the enemy and overwhelm them, which works each and every time. There is a stat system of sorts, but it never feels like there is a difference; a mage has just as much attack as a fighter, and skills are wholly underwhelming when a magic spell does exactly two damage through the entire game. To compound matters, the AI is so terrible that none of it really matters anyway.

Despite containing voice acting, there isn't a great deal of it. The entire affair is topped off when a battle commences, which includes a scene that would have been unacceptable on the SNES. In a story that is supposed to be serious, the main character is a white blob of a hyper-chibi model on a pure green plane (grass) against a bland blue background (sky), and waddles towards brown blobs on bicycles with a cry of "Rahhh!" There is a jump and a flash of light, and some of the enemy blobs fall over. This is the battle. It is laughable how bad—how truly bad—this is.

Screenshot for Langrisser Re:Incarnation -TENSEI- on Nintendo 3DS

Yes, such battles are skippable and it's only an animation, but the knowledge, that this is how the game is, never escapes the player, even when they're turned off. Everything falls apart. The battles never are interesting, the characters never become anyone to care about, and the story is told so slowly and in such trite ways that even an incredible plot couldn't have saved the game Regarding the characters, none stand out as remarkable or remotely cool as much as "just there." This includes "unique" characters, such as Loli-like characters with postage stamp-sized bras. They're just more tallies in the "what were they thinking" column.

Even the UI is a wreck. It is often hard to tell what is currently being looked at, it is hard to find the information needed, and battles are unpredictable based on the numbers provided. Unforgivable glitches abound, like when a character talks or nearly anything abnormal happens in battle, the "next character" button does not work, or defaults to a character not selectable. This naturally increases the frustration of trying to figure out what indistinguishable blob is the one that needs to be moved, and the wrong selection gives a warning of "cannot be moved" before it switches the selection back to the original character that also can't be moved.

Fire Emblem shows what a game with good characterization can be like, whereas Advance Wars is an example of simple and good gameplay; either of these paths are successful for a SRPG game. Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- destroys faith and becomes such a drag that, when any of its many faults starts to show, it serves only to remind of the rest of its flaws, and then proceeds collapsing until there is no reason to press on.

Screenshot for Langrisser Re:Incarnation -TENSEI- on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- seems decent based on pictures or perhaps a short "on paper" explanation, but it quickly becomes apparent how rushed development must have been. Those who attempt to enjoy it will be stifled at multiple junctions with a slow, non-engaging story, strange-looking characters that can't be cared about, laughably bad graphics, and gameplay so simplistic that people will wonder why they wasted their money, or, perhaps, will see the multitude of bad reviews, heed them, and save the cash.

Developer

NCS

Publisher

Aksys

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I'm glad you got a picture of the battle in there, THAT picture is better than 90% of battles, the grasslands are completely insane in their lack of quality.

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