Just when you thought the PSP was a dead platform, along comes Kemco and Natsume to prove you wrong. And they bring with them a turn-based RPG to boot. Considering that RPG’s are one of the main reasons I played (and continue to play) my PSP in the first place, I was all ears. Not only that, but it looks like the flavor of RPG I would’ve enjoyed growing up.
Mystic Chronicles is reminiscent of the 16-bit era of RPG’s where such titles as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI gained their traction. As stated before, it is developed by Kemco who has made such titles as Lagoon and the Shadowgate series, so they not only have some familiarity in the genre, but with that particular era of RPG’s as well. The battle system reminds me a lot of Dragon Quest or Lufia, as it has the same sort of first-person perspective that you would find in those titles. Characters can have a guardian beast assigned to them that function similarly to party members, but can’t be directly controlled. You can merely give them suggestions and they may or may not follow the orders that you give them, much like traded Pokemon that are leveled above what your current badge allows.
The story finds the protagonist Lux in the care of his grandmother, as he was orphaned at a very young age. At age 18, he decides to join the Holos Guild, an organization dedicated to ridding the world of evil. And as you might imagine, things aren’t exactly as simple as they seem. Lux realizes there’s more to his identity than he realizes and a meeting with a strange girl leads him on an adventure quite unlike what he’s ever experienced before.
Speaking of guilds, each town will house one not unlike the late Genesis release Phantasy Star IV. Each town’s guild will offer different quests from each other and completing them serve as the title’s main form of sidequests. Weapons can be found and subsequently upgraded into more powerful forms, with each having different branches that they can be modified into. Also present is a colosseum of of sorts that will allow your party to test their mettle in several rounds of combat against various beasts. The game is also reported to be about 60 hours in length, which at a price point of $19.99 is quite a lot of content. We’ll see if it’s worth the time when Mystic Chronicles releases this Summer 2013 for the PlayStation Portable (compatible with Vita also).