I’ve been telling you about how I’ve been playing PSP games during vacation, yes? Well, after finishing Crisis Core *tears* I went through a fictional history with France’s famous heroine, Jeanne d’Arc.
Developed by Level-5 — yep, the same guys who brought you Professor Layton, if memory serves me right — Jeanne d’Arc is a turn-based strategy game where you get to control Jeanne. Yes, you should say that with a French accent. It’s like Final Fantasy Tactics with some added bonus and wonderful anime cutscenes. In the game, France and England are at war, with France getting the short end of the stick. To make things worse, King Henry gets possessed by the baddest Reaper of all, Gilvaroth. You won’t tackle him until the end of the game so don’t worry. For now. Anyways, Jeanne gets chosen by a magical armlet which transforms her from an ordinary villager to a badass warrior.
The whole interface is pretty much user-friendly so I doubt you’d have any trouble going around. You won’t be doing much exploring here like other RPGs. You just have an Overworld *ahem* then places would crop up as you progress through the story. NOTE: Once you enter a stage and then saved the game, you won’t be able to return to the Overworld until you complete that stage. So I suggest go save outside or prepare a separate file for your stages.
Oh, right, the armlet. There are a total of 5 armlet wielders whom you’ll have to find as the game goes on. Each armlet has 3 gems max, except for the strongest one which has 5. Gems are acquired after story-stages or as rewards on bonus stages. Since they wouldn’t want your life too easy for you, each gem may only be used ONCE per battle so choose wisely. Plus, they come with a price. But once you get the knack of using them at the right time, I swear it’s going to help you a hell lot.
Another nifty feature in game is Skill Binding. Each character has slots for Skill Gems which increase when they level up. Skill Binding opens up somewhere mid-game. It allows you to bind gems to form more powerful gems. It’s kind of a trial-and-error process though, since you wouldn’t know what one and one will yield.
Unlike FFCC, Jeanne d’Arc cutscenes aren’t CG but are in anime format. There are times that the drawings become a bit lopsided and just horrible but it’s okay to look at in general. The character animations are cute and the armor design is just…wow. Beautiful. All in all, it’s a wonderful, challenging tactical game with an engaging storyline with plenty of plot twists. I can’t say if they’re predictable ’cause I don’t usually predict but hey, the battles are awesome and it’ll give your brain that much needed work.