Stranger of Sword City released on, well actually quite a while ago now, June 5th, 2014, on the Xbox 360. Stranger of Sword City was created by Experience Inc. and was published by the same company. HOWEVER, NIS America published the upcoming PS Vita versions for the US and throughout Europe. Same goes for it’s second release, which was on August 22nd of the same year for Windows. BUT NOW, we’re talking about the PS Vita here. This game came out on the PS Vita on January 22nd, 2015, in Japan, and it was only in Japan for all the time previously mentioned, 2 years almost actually. THANKFULLY, on March 22nd, 2016, it was released in North America for the Xbox One, 24th of March for Japan. Technically speaking, the version of the game I am discussing today, is not out yet. This title, in North America, for the PS Vita, will be out on April 26th. Hopefully I pieced that together as well as it was in my head, which can sometimes be misplaced. ON WITH THE REVIEW!
Stranger of Sword City first and foremost is a dungeon-crawling, labyrinths without maze running type game. Obviously it isn’t just that, it’s much more than just that. I want to mention before getting into the core of it’s gameplay – this game can be a bit tedious at the start. I learned quite a bit from all the tutorials, which truthfully I give them an applause at explaining it. It’s very well explained and can be understood, I’m not gonna say quite easily but it’s not a game you’re meant to pick up and just get right into it. It’s complex in a way that isn’t frustrating, is what I’m trying to say, which they did an excellent job on that sort of “genre,” if you will. The reason I mention all this is because, I played a good 2 hours, in the car actually, and forgot to save the game. I didn’t die in a battle or anything like that, but I forgot to save it. I’m not aware, apologies if there IS an auto-save but I couldn’t seem to find one. That might be user error on my behalf there. That’s not my gripe though, my gripe is with how long it does take to get INTO the game. I don’t mean “enjoying” the game, I don’t mean “understanding” the game, it just takes quite a while overall really. If you die in battle, you go back to the main screen and load your previous save, which is actually fine. That’s totally fine. After my screw up there, it took me almost an hour of, literally speed-running through the game. The only thing that took me a while was creating my characters, as I love those things in games, which I’ll be getting to in just a moment. With that being said though, I am quite impatient, probably more on me than not.
OKAY, now onto the entire gameplay aspect which, I hope I don’t shock anyone, BUT there is GAMEPLAY in this. I apologize to anyone who got absolutely stunned by my news that a game has gameplay in it. After my, whatever you want to call what I thought was “clever banter,” I must digress to more pressing matters; you can do a lot of customization. You can pick from over 50 different character models, 5 different races and 8 different classes. I’m not gonna do the math because I failed that back in the 2nd grade anyways, but I know a lot of numbers when I see them, I promise you that. Just kidding about failing! Like I said not too long ago, I literally probably spent a good 50 minutes in the car ALONE just making my characters. The models have nothing to even do with the game, I don’t mean to say that as a downer AT ALL, I think it’s genius. I want, you know, some samurai lookin dude and name him Ryu, you know, that’s just me. I have to do that, I HAVE TO DO THAT! Sorry, I got carried away there. Anyways, where was I….AH, yes. All of the classes start you off with a different set of weaponry and stats, for example, the ranger, which is basically an archer, starts you off with a bow. You do get some bonus points to use and depending on what race you are, you may have different options if you went with say an Elf or Human. There are also talents in there, which I would suggest just as I would say about the race and classes, use diversity. It won’t most likely help you out to go with 6 samurais, that would be COOL, but most likely that’s not gonna work out well for you in the long run of things. You can make, pretty much as many characters as you want really, but you can only have 6 on your team, so good luck with that for yourself. I myself had very many troubles there, just like I would in Pokemon. Those dang 6 group limits.
After all that, we are at the wait, I just realized I lied earlier. I said I was getting into gameplay and I talked about character creation instead. That’s nice of me. On to the, actual, game, play, yeah. The fighting is laid out in a turn-based, Final Fantasy-esque layout which, I myself am quite used to, but others may not be. Naturally speaking, you choose to attack, defend, use an item or maybe a skill and then what you did gets displayed on the screen, adding on damage or saying you are defending yourself this round and then after all that, the enemy attacks or uses a skill. It’s not really that complicated and it’s simplicity, personally, works very well for this game. I love the aspect of exploring and realistically, that’s what you are doing a lot of. Your plane crashed and you’re the only survivor from that plane and you’re a, well, stranger for that matter, literally. The story is great, the gameplay isn’t repetitive. The only other problem in the entirety of my review here is that, if a player gets wounded too much in action, you have to send them to one of the main characters in the story to get revived and it takes time. The coins you earn in the game can restore your character faster, but it’s quite pricey, and probably isn’t worth it. That stinks and can be pretty frustrating so be VERY careful with that.
All in all, I think it’s a great game. I mention pace of games a lot these days, and it truly is a great difference compared to even a game like Fifa 16 or Madden 16. I get those are sports games and OF COURSE this is “different,” not even in the same realm realistically speaking, BUT it’s nice. I play sports games a lot. When I don’t want to play those, I honestly have a tough time leaning on another game. This is one of those games. I’m not saying it’s a side-game where you play 10 minutes of it when you get tired of your other titles, NOT AT ALL. On the contrary, it takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s worth it for the enjoyment you get from the finished product you’ve created for yourself.
Disclosure: We received complimentary materials. All opinions are our own.
- In-depth character creation
- In-depth, just about everything actually
- I love the gameplay of it
- CAN be a bit tedious but only for the first little while
- Characters being wounded can lead to long waits