Between my normal work duties and writing up mini-reviews of every single Mega Man game to date for a future project, I’ve had a little more hands-on time with Revenant Wings. This is actually more of an accomplishment than it sounds! I have been looking forward to the Final Fantasy XII sequel for quite some time, but no one warned me it would arrive while I was ensconced in the likes of Pokémon D/P and (dreamy sigh) Odin Sphere. I’ve written quite enough on the former and should have more on the latter posted soon.
But what of Revenant Wings? Not enough info, says I! Now is the time to
make your story rectify this situation.
The more I play Revenant Wings, the more I like it. This is a marked contrast to, say, Yoshi’s Island DS, which after two stages at E3 looked pretty much like the greatest thing ever and after five worlds for review was revealed to be about as appealing as a plate of pus-filled lesions. The first chapter is insultingly easy, but once you get into the real game things step up and you have to make use of the rock-paper-scissors balance more carefully. The learning curve is just right — you move from one section of a stage in which all the mobs are neatly segregated by type (so it’s easy to pick them off with the proper batch of summons) into an area where they start mixing together, requiring actual caution. And then you start seeing NPC leaders (who have high resistance to all attacks, like your main party) in the thick of things, and it gets more complicated from there.
It’s definitely not a hardcore RTS, and thank goodness for that. I can’t think of a less appealing genre. Besides maybe the punches-your-mom-in-the-face genre. No one likes that one. Especially your mom.
The real draw, though, is that I finally unlocked the License Ring. Don’t be fooled by the name, because it’s actually just the FFX Sphere Grid… but instead of unlocking abilities or passive bonuses, you’re unlocking new monsters to summon. I do take issue with some of the rankings — a Goblin is more valuable than a Cactuar!? Since when! — but whatever; the ability to build custom “parties” made entirely of enemies familiar (Bombs, Tonberries, Giza Rabbits) and somewhat unfamiliar (Aquarius? A non-GF Quetzalcoatl?) is downright intoxicating. Or something.
The interface still feels a little lame; while it’s nice to have an entirely stylus-driven game, I wouldn’t mind seeing some bonus button functionality grafted in for the U.S. version. For instance, it would be great if you could hold down the shoulder buttons as a sort of shift-modifer ability that would let you tap multiple individual units to create a joint group. Or things to that effect. Also, a map rotation ability would be completely boss, especially in situations where background elements obstruct your view.
So yeah, on the whole: Pretty good! You should get it. You know, when it comes to the U.S.