By Dalton McClain / May 15th, 2017
|Title||Xuan Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament|
|Release Date||March 23, 2017|
Xuan Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament is a CRPG, and is the 6th game in the Gaiden series of Xuan Yuan Sword games. This marks the first time that a game in the series has been localized for English markets, which is always a good thing. So with this being the first game to be localized for English audiences, and the twelfth game overall in the series, how does it play?
The graphics in this game are kind of lacking to say the least. I realize visuals aren’t everything in a video game, but this game just looks like an early PS2 game. Except for the creatures, everything looks dull and plastic-like. You would never guess that this game was released last year by just looking at it. The cutscenes improve on the look and feel, but that’s really about it. The rest of this game looks lifeless and devoid of spirit. The art style seems cool and really interesting, but it just isn’t fleshed out well. The textures pop in after a few minutes and it really takes you out of the whole experience. It looks horribly outdated, and that doesn’t really work in this game’s favor.
The mechanics aren’t really that spectacular either; they’re very run-of-the-mill. You get a wide variety of normal attacks to use, as well as magic attacks. The only problem is that the battles don’t really require too much thought. Every character plays differently, but most battles boil down to “stun this enemy and spam X”, which makes a lot of the battles seem really boring. The puzzles add a nice touch to the dungeons, but they aren’t really too difficult to figure out. The only thing that I really liked about playing the different characters was their field abilities. Each character has their own special move that they can do outside of battle, and most of them were actually really neat and helpful. The mechanics aren’t horrible, and the game runs pretty decent. However, the game certainly doesn’t do anything new or exciting.
The monster capturing is actually a really nice addition to the game. The basic premise is that you capture creatures to help you out. They will become guardians and either change the environment for you, or are straight out just summonable to to damage. Not only do you get basically another teammate, but you can also arrange the party differently to get better stat boosts. See, in this game you get both a passive buff from the members of your party, as well as the guardian that you have equipped. This can increase anything from your overall defense, to your wind damage, and so much more. This is a really awesome touch that I wish they’d done more with. It’s a neat concept, and not a lot of games really take advantage of it all that much.
I think that the music in this game is one of the best points about it. The tracks are absolutely gorgeous and really help suck you into the world. Even the opening bombards you with a wonderful theme that completely blew me away. I think everyone should listen to this soundtrack, regardless if you’re a fan of the game or not. It’s absolutely stunning. Even the battle theme is full of a lot of Chinese instruments, adding to the overall atmosphere of the game.
A big part of RPGs is the story, and this game excels at that. You play as Sikong Yu, a man who just wants to protect his village. Along the way, you meet a woman who claims to be from an ancient kingdom. Together, along with some others, you try to prevent the end of the world by the hands of a god and his followers. The only issue I had with the story ass that the character development seemed exceptionally dull. Other than that both the story and lore are excellently written. It’s too bad that the localization really hindered the game. It seems like it was very shoddy and rushed. There are not only a lot of spelling mistakes in the game, but a lot of grammar mistakes as well. This makes the game very difficult to sit through and read, as you have to try and decipher what the characters are trying to say sometimes through the broken English.
Xuan Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament is an okay game that is really held back by the shoddy localization and bland presentation. The game is only $14.99 on Steam and the physical release on the PlayStation 4 will set you back $39.99. This game has a lot of content; it took me about 40 hours in order to beat the main story. If you can overlook a lot of flaws, this game might actually draw you in on story alone. I would like to see more from this series in the future, but this game just didn’t really impress me like I hoped it would have.
Review copy provided by Play-Asia. If you would like a copy please use our link below:
domo studiosoftstar entertainmentXuan Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament