Feudal Japan meets Pokemon!
This is a side game of the Pokemon franchise. And is based loosely on a game called Nobonaga's Ambition. The style of play is similar to the Fire Emblem series but on an easier scale.
Not at all bad for the system it was made for, which was the DS. But I still think it could have been fleshed out a bit. Sprites are reused alot like with many of the Pokemon franchise's games. This is not too bad, but makes it hard to tell who you have recruited before and who you have not. Also some of the Pokemon's sprites are a bit awkward looking compared to the main series games.
This game has one of my favorite soundtracks of the Pokemon frachise. Now this may be cause I'm a huge fan of Japanese styled music both vocal and instrumental, but the fact still remains that it is done well. And if you listen closely, you can hear some similarites between the main series games and some places in this game. Like the start of the desert stage sounds like the one Pokemon left sound during a gym leader battle in Pokemon Black 2 & White 2.
I love this game but the fact that like all the rest of the Pokemon games, both spin-off and main series games, it only has one save file. So it makes me reluctant to restart. Plus it takes a long time to beat so that means that you lose all progress and Pokemon collected which is a pain to rebuild. Replay-ability is greatly aided by more then one file being available. That way you don't lose all the hard work you put into the game, because unlike the main series games trading is not an option.
Now the story is amazing simple, affective and sad. There is a bit of a twist at the half-way mark in the game. Obviously I can't spoil it so you will just have to play in order to find out what I mean. But the annoying part is that the main story is short. After the main story there is a slew of side quest like missions to play. There is also a rumor of something cool happening if you beat them all.
This is where my final comment in the story section comes into play. After beating the main story-line you unlock multiple after-stories. And what makes them so annoying is the fact that your main character only shows up in a few of them and you have to play as a pre-s
elected character for that story. And some are harder to use then others. Also the stories overlap and you end up playing the same part of the stories but as different characters. I believe there is a story for all of the major characters, like warlords and their direct underlings. I still have not beaten them all so I don't know yet. There is an area of stories based on a trio of kids that you meet, an area that is based on beauty, one about ninjas and then some that are seperate. Also some are just as long as the main game, while others are much shorter.
As a basis the game was not too hard after you learn the basics once. Now some might have more trouble if they don't understand type match-ups which is a big factor in recruiting characters and simply winning. Also strategy is a big component so that may trip up some people too. But as a whole not too hard or confusing. Annoying sure but not too hard. Simple mistakes can cause many problems though so I'm rating this higher then it seems.
Overall the game is well made and one of the best Pokemon spin-offs in my opinion and also by at least one other Pokemon fan who is on Youtube. JWittz, has a top ten on spin-offs that rates this one on top. I totally agree. The graphics while can be improved a bit are still good, and the music is one of the best points in the game. It's not too hard for the majority of the Pokemon fans and the story is well written. There is plenty to do so restarting is not necessary to get more out of it. All in all a beautiful game and I hope this will help more people to like the game as well.