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Review: Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 1

Publisher: NIS America, Inc.

Developer: Nippon Ichi Software

Release: August 31, 2021

Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch

One thing that I enjoy about the Switch is that older games are getting a new life on the system. Some of these games are remakes and some are direct ports. With Prinny Presents: NIS Classics Volume 1, we get a couple of games that were released on other systems and ported to the Switch. If you are a fan of RPGs, this collection might be something you may want to add to your collection, that is, if you don’t mind the dated graphics.

The games included in the collection are both strategy RPGs and are pretty unique in the genre. The first game is Phantom Brave. Initially released in 2004 on the Playstation 2, the game also found life on another Nintendo system, that being the Wii in 2009. The game revolves around a girl named Marona, a girl who has the ability to see phantoms. The interesting twist with Phantom Brave is that Marona doesn’t really fight the battles herself (although you could, but it’s not recommended) but instead she “confines” spirits within objects in the battlefield (trees, rocks, even weapons). Each spirit she confines in an object can only stay on the battlefield for so many turns, and Marona can only summon so many spirits during a battle, so part of the strategy is making sure that you don’t overwork your spirits and you place them in battle at the appropriate time.

The second game in the collection is Soul Nomad. This game was originally released on the Playstation 2 in 2007 and this is the first appearance of the game on a Nintendo system. The game allows you to create a male or female protagonist, and your character is given a sword with the soul of Gig, a really bad dude that wants to destroy the world. Your quest is to take down the World Eaters, creatures that Gig brought to life over 200 years ago. As you play, Gig is constantly antagonizing you, trying to convince you to allow him to take over your body and give into his powers, he’s a bit of a pusher. The unique feature in this game is that you can create different teams of mages, warriors, clerics, and other classes that you can place on the battlefield and control. Again this is a strategy RPG so there is a lot of planning on where to place your soldiers and where and when to move and attack your opponents.

Both games have interesting stories and fans of SRPGs will feel right at home with both games. And both games have voice acting and the voice acting is really well done. The games do feel very dated though. Graphically speaking, both games look muddy, especially playing on a new TV. This was pretty apparent when playing the games. Typically I’m one to be pretty forgiving when it comes to graphics, but this was pretty jarring. The other thing that is dated is the language used, especially in Soul Nomad. Some of the language that is used is certainly not acceptable by today’s standards, for example, Gig calling the characters rude names and terms that are not acceptable in our current vernacular. Unfortunately, this was a pretty big turn off, and made it difficult to play without constantly cringing.

Final Grade: B-

I’m a huge fan of RPGs and I really loved the unique gameplay that each game had to offer. Unfortunately, the games felt extremely dated. Graphically I can forgive, but the language used in Soul Nomad was to the point where it was unbearable. But it’s a good history lesson on how far we’ve come.

Review code provided by NIS America

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