By Steve Baltimore / January 21st, 2015
|Title||The Sacred Tears TRUE|
|Release Date||September 25, 2014|
When I first saw some screens from The Sacred Tears TRUE, this rush of nostalgia filled me. It had the look of some of the classic RPGs I played growing up, but with a unique-looking combat system. The big question is, “Does it make me feel that rush of great games of the past or does it fall flat?” Let’s find out!
The story follows the exploits of a young man named Seil and his childhood friend, Seana. They are up-and-coming thieves working for the Thieves Guild. However, by day, they run a respectable business of doing odd jobs for the local towns folk. I mean up-and-coming thief doesn’t pay that well, after all. This leads them on many crazy adventures with plenty of twists and turns.
The story itself may not be the best ever written, but it is very unique in the way it is told. The game is divided into 24 main missions and 24 side missions. Each one will take you anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes to complete, but will make one big story arc at the end. I didn’t really like the fact that, when doing the side missions, you have to know exactly what to do to succeed the first time or you cannot complete them.
The sprite work here is pretty great, and would make any fan of 16-bit games pleased. The character art is exceptional, as well. It was done by manga artist Takashi KONNO, and the quality really shows. All of the animations are what you would expect for a 16 bit-game, and, although there are not a lot of environments to speak of, since a lot of this game takes place in one town, they get the job done.
The music was done by Hiroyuki Ojima, who worked on Accel World and the When They Cry anime. Shimotsuki Haruka, whose previous work includes Atelier Iris and the Ace Attorney Orchestral Performance, also worked on the music. With that kind of pedigree, you’d expect it to be great, and you wouldn’t be wrong. The soundtrack has some of the best 16-bit songs I’ve heard in a long time. From the battle themes to themes placed throughout the various scenes in the games, each one is pure gold and enhances this game a hundredfold.
The basic gameplay is that of a standard top down 16-bit RPG. You roam around town, taking various quests for those that live there. Like I said before, the game is divided up into chapters, so you will be doing different things in each, such as fetch quests or hunting monsters. Something that is really neat about this is that, even if they are simple fetch quests, there are usually multiple ways to complete them, so it adds a bit of variety.
Combat is a turn-based affair where you use cards to do battle. There are cards for magic, attacking, defending and dodging. This basically amounts to a glorified game of Rock, Scissors, and Paper. You will choose three cards each and so will the CPU, and combat begins. That’s not to say combat is not interesting. The developers spiced it up a bit with random events, such as a tiara that appears and upgrades your cards or random recovery magic. Additionally, when certain magics are used in battle, they may summon even more powerful magics to aid you. The combat isn’t really all that complicated, and is really quite fun due to random nature of it. If you want to really dig into it, I suggest consulting the tips found within the game.
You will see enemies on screen, so you can choose if you want to fight or not. You will find things to do battle with during the story quests, as well as when exploring areas outside of town. Just like with most other RPGs, post-battle results will net you some items and EXP. As your level increases and you find certain items, you will be able to increase your spells and abilities to perform even bigger attacks. So, yeah, that is all pretty basic, but it’s tried and true.
Although it is a little rough around the edges, and the story doesn’t really stick with you all that well, I still had fun with this title. For its low price of $9.99, you get around 20 to 30 hours of gameplay and a soundtrack I would put way up in the list with my all-time favorites. If you’re a fan of these 16-bit style games, I would say go for it, you won’t regret it.
Game was provided by the publisher and was reviewed on an Alienware 13 laptop using a PS4 controller.
JRPGNyu MediaRetroSacred Tears True