The Revenant Prince (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 11.10.2020

Review for The Revenant Prince on PC

Debuting with The Revenant Prince as their first game, the small independent studio Nomina Games introduces this JRPG about a man who gains the power to control time. Made out of love for older RPGs by Darrel Wijaya (who Cubed3 previously interviewed here: http://www.cubed3.com/news/30390/1/interview-indie-rpg-developer-darrel-wijaya-discusses-the-revenant-prince.html ), this title made it to western PCs all the way from Indonesia.  Specifically founded with the values of wanting to expand the gaming medium beyond simply having fun, this studio holds the belief that gaming can tell stories other forms of entertainment simply cannot.

Normally this kind of game should tick all the right boxes: a good old school JRPG with pixels, anime characters and dark plots. The game starts with an incredible opening sequence where the main character proceeds to go to a town as a solider with the mission to murder civilians, but subsequently challenges his officers. It sets a novel and dark tone for the genre but then proceeds to largely side-line it.

While no stranger at all to indie games, this one feels like it is trying to do far too much with too little, resulting in appearing shallow. In addition to this, portions of the game feel incredibly disjointed, as if they were added because it seemed like a good idea at the time. As an example, the towns and backgrounds mostly look good enough, but the character moves very roughly (with no native controller support). Not stuck on a true grid, it is a weird hybrid system where far too often the character is not in the right spot to open a door or to talk to someone. It is not the end of the world, but it is another tally in a long list of problems that really drive the game down.

Despite its very cool opening, which admittedly was hooking, the game derails into nonsense and fourth wall breaks. The idea of a new solider being forced to kill civilians and subsequently questioning his orders was a cool plot that is fairly unique. Confusingly, the game describes itself as humorous and comical at times, which is an odd description given the opening. Unfortunately, strange tone shifts are frequent, such as speaking with talking bushes, characters with truly pointless lines, or hordes of NPCs with occasional fourth wall breaks.

Combat had the potential to be interesting but feels somewhat unfinished. As a result, it feels awfully like a bad RPG MAKER game. The player has an ATB bar that slowly rises and can switch between weapons to do some damage with one while the other is charging. Switching to a shield to guard at the right time is the height of the system's intentions. Each weapon has a different focus, such as light and heavy hits or guarding (with a shield), so the battle system offered some cool ideas.

Screenshot for The Revenant Prince on PC

The problem is that the game is dreadfully laggy for the 'precise' goal the developers were aiming for. Far too often it is not possible to select another enemy to attack while an enemy is dying and awaiting execution, and the character is instead forced to take some beatings for a few seconds. Additionally, for no clear reason, even with sufficient charge on the bar, some attacks simply do not activate. It would have been far more enjoyable if attacks could be spammed while there is still energy left, but again the lag and random hidden cooldowns on attacks reduce the game largely to a clunky turn-based game.

Like many aspects of the game, the sphere grid also feels like it was thrown in because it seemed like a cool idea. Hearing the words 'sphere grid' may make it sound as though there are a lot of options, but this is not so. There are three grids: attack, defense, and utility. When one is selected, the player is locked into it until they finish it. Such a harsh selection might be interesting if there were real benefits, such as maybe some double attacks or using items twice as fast, but most of them are pathetic '+1 damage'-type buffs that are not worth much.

Fairly rapidly into the game, it becomes difficult to care enough to keep going on. The character simply moves too weirdly, the plot falls away and all that is left is bouncing around areas that all tend to feel the same. Even the battle system, which seemed really cool, becomes a chore fairly quickly with how slow it occurs and how delayed inputs are. Every aspect of the game feels like a reminder of its own issues. In the first area alone the player can encounter creatures capable of one-hitting the character at full life - this was not a good idea in any capacity. Another example is the around 5 or more shop keepers selling potions in the first town for no apparent reason at all. This comes off as weird and unpolished.

It is always hard seeing indie games like this flounder. Clearly, time and love were put into the game at some point. At its base level, it seemed like it could have been great: a story about a wayward soldier forced to confront his dark past with a fun and fast battle system. Alas, it simply does not deliver. Maybe there will be a different title in the future that shows improvement. This one had potential, if nothing else.

Screenshot for The Revenant Prince on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Despite being a fan of the genre, The Revenant Prince is a tough game to recommend. Although rocking a stellar opening, the game is wildly inconsistent in its tone. Far too many things get in the way of simply enjoying the game. These range from incredible difficulty swings, simple movement problems, tone shifts, and odd design choices. The good parts of the story stall out, and the regular game is not enjoyable enough to really encourage continuation of play.

Developer

Nomina Games

Publisher

Nomina Games

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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