Antiquia Lost Joins Nintendo Switch eShop
The Switch has been starved for a turn-based RPG, which is really what made me buy Antiquia Lost in the first place. As it looks right now, Pokemon is still a ways off and as someone who loves RPGs and turn-based combat, I decided to quench this thirst with the new RPG from Exe Create and Kemco.
One of the first things I noticed when I went to purchase Antiquia Lost, was that there were other “packages” available on the eShop. Upon further investigation I noticed that they were indeed micro-transactions which all enhanced features and attributes of the playable characters in the game. Micro-transactions tend to irk me in general, so I decided to ignore them and give Antiquia Lost it’s fair shake. On to the next part of the story!
The story takes place in a kingdom comprised of three main tribes: Erth, Fai, & Rutta. The main character, Bine (Fai), is a do-gooder who is always looking to help people out of a jam. While assisting a fellow towns-person in a forest, he stumbles across a damsel in distress named Lunaria who is trying to find someone who will help her sick mother. Bine is willing to assist, but just as he gets to Lunaria’s mother, she is captured by a demon.
After a short chase, Bine and Lunaria dispatch the demon, but not before Lunaria’s mother meets her end. A month passes and during that time royalty starts to disappear without a trace, causing the kingdom to sound the alarm. Lunaria is still shaken by the death of her mother, but she decides to leave the village on her own quest. Bine decides he should escort her on her journey and they seek out Jade, who is a traveler and a member of the Erth tribe to be their guide. He agrees to join them and the three set out on their journey to the castle. Along the way there is a multitude of side quests and new characters introduced, which we will not spoil here.
Like most RPGs, a large part of the story is told through conversations with NPCs and party members. Unfortunately, a lot of the conversations are simply over explanations of happenings and do not really enhance the actual story in any way. The exchange between the characters is pointless in parts and I got to a point where I was audibly sighing every time the group huddled up to talk about what just happened, or what was about to happen, or what should be happening. This is normally the area of an RPG that brings you closer to the characters, but it had the opposite effect on me. On to the next part of the story!
Antiquia Lost follows traditional turn-based combat game play. The open world experience varies based on who you have leading your group. For example, once Safira (Rutta) joins the party, you can put her as the lead and use her ability to squeeze through narrow places you normally wouldn’t be able to go. Bine has the ability to enhance the ability of others around him, which helps make the most of each party member’s traits.
Antiquia Lost gives you the ability to execute combat automatically by pressing “X” at any time. This completely removes any utility or strategy behind turn based combat, and was a real turn off for me.
Other features such as amalgamation of weapons exist, which allows you to enhance the base weapon of your choosing by disposing of spare weapons in your inventory. This feature feels a little choppy and I found myself just destroying all weapons I found without putting any thought into it. This made my weapons so powerful that there was really no need to cast magic in a battle, which again took strategy and enjoyment out of combat.
Combat in Antiquia Lost is boring, but there is one feature that made it somewhat engaging. The group has a “synergy gauge” of sorts that takes advantage of Bine’s ability. When this gauge is full you can do a number of things. My personal favorite is having Lunaria transform into a demon and unleash a devastating attack on your enemies. Another example would be casting a protection spell on the group, courtesy of Safira’s racial ability: resistance to physical attacks. This feature of the game is unique and it takes multiple battles to build up the gauge. I found myself mindlessly (and automatically) killing demons, but the second the gauge was full I got excited to use this skill.
One feature I wanted to call out was how Lunaria levels up. This is very unique to her character and to this game. In order to enhance her stats, she must “consume” a gem or gems and gain their attributes. Yes, you read that correctly. Lunaria must eat gems that are found in the world or from combat to progress her character. This is a nuance that is introduced very early in the game and it makes for a very cool and unique feature. (I wanted to end on a positive note) On to the next part of the story!
Antiquia Lost is a major dud for the Switch. The story is far from gripping, yet the concept and world that have been created are great. The “guts” of this game are the best parts. Unfortunately, the execution is lacking and what could have been a great game is instead a game I will likely never touch again.
RPGs are story-centric in nature and should give the gamer a feeling of attachment for the characters. The choppy dialogue and automated turn-based combat really take away from what is, at its core, a very well thought out game. The micro-transactions make me cringe and while this game is available on mobile platforms where micro-transactions are expected, there really should not be a place for them on the console. This holds especially true for RPGs where the “grind” of leveling is part of what really enhances your connection with the game and it’s characters.
The best parts of Antiquia Lost are either glossed over or ruined with micro-transactions: Leveling Lunaria with gems, team synergy attacks/spells/transformations, weapon enhancements, etc. It’s unfortunate that enhancements were not made to the game to make it more console ready. It’s rare that I have buyer’s remorse, but in this case I would rather have my $13 than a digital copy of Antiquia Lost on my Switch. On to the next part of the story!
Antiquia Lost is riddled with micro-transactions, lack-luster character development, and turn-based combat that is automated and void of strategy. Therefore Redonkulous Gaming gives this game a score of 3/10
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