By Jenae R / May 16th, 2022
|Title||Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden|
|Developer||SQUARE ENIX, Alim|
|Release Date||February 17th, 2022|
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC|
I never played the original Voice of Cards game which released last year, but I tried out the demo and found myself quite interested. Sadly with so many games constantly releasing (especially this past year) and always having to prioritize certain titles above the numerous others, it’s not one I had gotten around to picking up. Fortunately, the powers that be here at oprainfall provided me with the opportunity to check out the second entry in the series, The Forsaken Maiden.
The Forsaken Maiden begins with the main character, Barren, living on an island that’s destined to be destroyed relatively soon. They have no eligible maiden to save them. In this game’s world, each island has their own maiden who performs a ritual to keep the island safe. The residents of Omega Isle have ultimately accepted their fate and the leader of the town refuses to try. He instructs Barren, our main character, to not do anything. But when working on his ship, Barren runs into Laty, the voiceless would-be maiden of Omega Isle. Through traveling with her a bit across the island, he finds out from a spirit at the local spire, Lac, that they can actually save their home by acquiring all of the Maiden Relics and bringing them back, thus finally turning Laty into a true maiden who can perform the ritual. Refusing to let Omega Isle be destroyed like the mayor demands, Barren sets out on a journey with Laty to save their home.
Just like the first Voice of Cards title, The Forsaken Maiden plays out like a tabletop RPG. The world is made up of a bunch of cards you traverse across, the story is narrated by one voice and displayed on cards, and, of course, the characters are featured on cards as well. Battles are randomly occurring and when you enter battle, out comes a little wooden tray where the battle will take place, along with a box of gems. Also displayed on the tray is your party of characters and your enemies. You take turns performing attacks, some of which have a variety of effects you’ll roll dice to enact. Each turn you collect a gem, and those gems are required to perform better attacks as somewhat of an MP replacement. Like a normal RPG, though, if your characters run out of HP and die, it’s game over.
I enjoyed all of the charms of The Forsaken Maiden, which mainly includes how it plays and looks like a tabletop RPG. Although, the charm comes from not only the look of the game, but also the sound effects and atmosphere. It all comes together to create a nice, chill RPG to relax with. What makes it a more relaxing game, is the fact that the pace of it is slower than your typical RPG. Waiting for cards to turn over and act, rolling dice, slowly moving across the world one card tile at a time, it’s definitely not a game for the impatient who want something speedier and a little more exciting. One thing that did bug me, though, about its pace was the smidgen of a delay when exiting the menu or finishing a battle. It always seemed like there was a slight delay moving from one thing to the next, which wasn’t any kind of glitch, just a small annoyance in the pace of the game. However, there was one actual legitimate glitch I occasionally ran into. I chose to play the game with the English spoken narration (you can switch to a Japanese dub if you’d like) and every once in a while the narrator would stop mid-sentence near the beginning of a text card they were narrating and completely start over. Whenever the narrator started over mid-sentence they would then fully narrate the whole card, but this happened a good handful of times throughout the game and I imagine was not intended. Once, there was even a strange beep of some kind right before the repeat narration. It certainly seemed like an unintended glitch.
The music in Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden was alright. It wasn’t anything that significantly stood out to me, but it was fitting and added to the atmosphere. The game itself is extremely linear. I only noticed one point where I could go out of order, with there being two different chapter 3’s, though you do have to complete both of them. Also included in this game is a card minigame which you can either play by yourself, against AI, or enjoy with local multiplayer. When I played against the AI, after the first time I beat them in each different mode, I unlocked customization options for the game. In The Forsaken Maiden, you can change out certain things appearance wise, like the design on the backs of the cards and how the dice looks. This was a nice little addition, there aren’t a ton of options (some are even paid DLC additions), but it was an enjoyable little extra option to have nonetheless. In the end, being such a linear game and with the minigame only having local multiplayer, there isn’t a ton of replay value.
Overall, I spent a little over 20 hours on Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden. It’s not the most difficult RPG, until near the end at least, and as I just stated above, I don’t feel like there’s a ton of replay value. Despite all this, I did very much enjoy the time I spent on it. If a short but sweet RPG without a lot of replay value is worth the price for you personally, then I do recommend it. Just don’t go into it expecting anything fast-paced and high energy.
Review copy was purchased by oprainfall. A copy of your own will typically cost $29.99 for the standard digital edition, or $37.99 for the game bundled with DLC.
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