By Steve Baltimore / June 22nd, 2019
|Title||Seinarukana -The Spirit of Eternity Sword 2|
|Release Date||January 26th, 2017|
|Genre||Visual Novel / RPG|
|Age Rating||18+ or All Ages on Steam|
For years I wanted an opportunity to check out Seinarukana -The Spirit of Eternity Sword 2. I was very interested in this title for its great artwork and deep RPG mechanics. The fine folks over at JAST USA gave me a chance to check it out and I jumped on it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into here. The journey was long, but let’s find out if it was a good one.
The story of Seinarukana follows a young man named Setoki Nozomu. He has been having some strange dreams as of late. These dreams are violent and he always feels stronger when he slays more people in them. He is faced with a very strong opponent that he defeats, but is then slain easily by a woman with a spear. He awakens in class groping his childhood friend Nagamine Nozomi. She is not too offended by this until he does the normal dense anime protagonist shtick and is very insensitive to her feelings for him. She slugs him good creating a mess to clean up when his best friend Akatsuki Zetsu enters the room. He generally gets him into more trouble than not, but he is always by his side.
After Nozomu and Nozomi make up, the student council president, Ikaruga Satsuki, makes her entrance. She has feelings for Nozomu as well. This puts her and Nozomi at odds with each other quite often. This leads to some very comical scenes since those two are giving their all and Nozomu is completely oblivious to how they feel about him. Akatsuki usually joins the trio as they walk home and they lead basically normal lives, expect Nozomu’s dreams that are starting to take a toll on him, and there are rumors of this strange black dog attacking people.
Soon the dreams become so intense that he begins have a something like a panic attack. Nozomu takes care of him, since his parents went missing a while ago. Of course this doesn’t stop the feud between her and Satsuki, who makes lunch for him the next day in another very funny exchange between the three. Meanwhile the attacks from that strange black dog have become more frequent. Nozomu and Nozomi are attacked by this beast heading home. The beast is about to kill Nozomu when he asks for the power to save her. A sword appears in his hand and he slays the beast.
Nozomu wakes up the next day very worn out from the events of the night before. He is also seeing a cute little fairy that he thinks is his imagination. He tries to go to school but that fails badly. He crawls to the shrine where he meets the shrine maiden there, Tamaki. She can also see his the little fairy with him, but he has no idea who she is. This shrine appears to be connected to this otherwordly beast and Satsuki lives here as well. The next day at school Nozumu is giving into his feelings of rage that started the night he used the sword. Suddenly the skies darken and the school is suddenly attacked by strange human-like beings from the skies. It’s in this moment that your best friend, Akatsuki, attempts to kill you. Satsuki tries to defend you, but she fails. Nozomi however blocks his blade with a spear of her own. The school and everyone in it is then teleported to a strange new land.
Satsuki soon reveals the creatures that attacked the school are called minions. Nozomu is the reincarnation of a God and this is why these creatures are out to kill him. The sword he wields is called an Eternity Sword. They hold the power of the gods. The little fairy is his familiar, so he names her Remme. He must now gather his strength in order to help get everyone home. This journey will take him and his companions to places they never could’ve imagined!
In each of Seinarukana’s worlds you will not only see the characters grow closer as they overcome the trials they face, but you will encounter new allies along the way. Some of these allies include a very regal knight named Katima Aigias. She is what you would expect a knight to be. Very brave and all about honor. She can be quite stubborn in some matters as well. Then there’s a girl named Ruputna who fights to save the elementals on her world from the humans. She is somewhat childlike, but is a very skilled fighter. You will also encounter my personal favorite, Naya Tactca Nanafe. This adorable cat girl is very smart and she runs a world of magic. Don’t let her small stature fool you. She is quite skilled with technical matters, but she is also a bit clumsy, which only adds to her cuteness. These are only a few of the allies you will encounter during this long but satisfying journey.
If Seinarukana having an amazing story wasn’t enough, Seinarukana -The Spirit of Eternity Sword 2 has a very deep combat system. It is pretty complicated and is a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it you will be slaying hordes of enemies in no time. I will give a very brief explanation of the basics here. The game has many tutorials that can be accessed anytime if you get confused about how something works.
Combat in Seinarukana takes place on a top down style map. You will move your fighters in units of three. There is maximum of six units. Each unit will contain an attacker, defender and a support character. The attacker in each unit is the primary source of damage, Defenders will absorb damage thrown at them by the attackers through a variety of skills. Depending on the attack some skills will work better than others depending on if it is a force or material attack. Defenders have some skills that can protect the entire party from harm. When your defender falls in battle you will take critical damage from all attacks. The support character will use indirect attacks on the enemy, use enchantments to counter enemy spells and maybe even give you some healing. Each character will have a set of skills for each of the combat roles and you will need to manage these properly. They can only use one role at at time, but they can be switched around in between battles.
Now you may be asking, how do I know which characters are best for each role? Well, there is an easy answer for that, by their color. Each character will have a color and this represents which element they are. Each one of these colors have different characteristics. For example white means protection, so this character would likey make a great defender, blue characters attack skills are more powerful, so units with low defense will be wiped out easily by them. There are more colors in the game and the picture below is from the in-game tutorial to give you a better idea of how this all works.
After the units are all set up it’s time to move along the map. You will note the paths clearly marked with lots of nodes along each. You can move one node each turn, and if you encounter an enemy and do not defeat them in the allotted turns, you will be sent back to the node you started on. You will also notice bases along these paths. It is very important that you conquer these and explore each one on every map. Not only are they a source of mana, which helps power your Eternity sword, but you will also find items that will give new skills to the characters. You can also summon artifacts on these bases that grant you even more combat or defensive buffs.
If you come into Seinarukana thinking it will be easy, you’re in for a rude awakening. While it doesn’t take long to pick up the basics of how it works, some of these stages are brutal, even on the normal difficulty. There are boss fights that took me quite a while to find a setup that would work well enough to beat them, and I’m not entirely sure you could win these any other way to be honest. I didn’t attempt the game on the hard difficulty that unlocks when you clear the game, but I would imagine it would be damn near impossible to clear some of these stages. The saving grace here is you can save anytime during the battle. This will help you correct mistakes if you get stuck or if you have to head out to do other things. Some of the stages here will easily take over an hour to complete.
In the end, although Seinarukana -The Spirit of Eternity Sword 2 is one of the most difficult games I’d played in a long time, it’s also one of the best. As a visual novel it excels in every area. The artwork is amazing, it has one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a long time, the writing is great and I felt the H-scenes were well placed. Each of the six routes only has a couple but they are tastefully done and fit the story well. You can always go with the Steam version if you don’t want the H scenes, since it has the additional content added to make up for this. The combat brings the experience here down a bit due to its excessive difficulty, but this is nothing you cannot overcome buy using the in-game tutorials and a few guides around the net. I played Seinarukana for 65 hours and finished two of the six routes, and since the common route is about 80% of the game, I could’ve done the others with a little more time invested. I have to say for the $39.99 asking price over on JAST USA’s site I feel this is a good bargain. If you’re into visual novels and don’t mind a bit of hardcore RPG combat this one is highly recommended.
Game provided by the publisher for review purposes.