Preview: Riviera: The Promised Land

Publisher: Atlus/Sting / Developer: Sting / Genre: RPG / Release: 7-15-05

Angels are often viewed as chubby little cherubs that frolic through the skies naked and play on fluffy clouds. However, the angels players will encounter in Riviera: The Promised Land (GBA) are considerably different from these innocent, baby creatures that are far removed from warrior status.

Based on its WonderSwan Color counterpart, Riviera: The Promised Land’s story begins long before the game begins; when war broke out between gods and demons, the land in which the gods lived was almost entirely overtaken by their foes. As a last resort, they sacrificed themselves and created Grim Angels, extremely powerful warriors that successfully sealed away the demons. The gods themselves soon met the same fate, but stored away their power in Riviera. It is now many years later and the demons are beginning to return to Asgard. The Seven Magi, in fear for their own lives and their homeland’s, decide that the best thing to do is to destroy the demons and Riviera once and for all. However, they are unable to do this alone, so they call on the Grim Angels for the first time since the last war. Two of these angels are sent to Riviera, but the outcome may not be what they intended if they complete their mission. The game also boasts at least thirty hours of game play, as well as multiple paths and endings, which should make some people thrilled, but not OCD people like me, because I would not be able to rest until I knew everything.

There is not a great deal of available information at the moment about the game, but apparently the control will consist of an easy trigger system, allowing you to put in trigger commands by using the directional pad. There will also be an abundance of mini-games in more than five varieties. These will be useful for obtaining rare items, as well as opening secret paths that you would not have access to otherwise. Speaking of items, the function of these alter according to which character equips them. You may also carry as many as four weapons and items into battle. Standard and overdrive attacks will also be used.

The graphics appear quite lovely, and Atlus asserts that they are hand-drawn. More than 100 event scenes and character expressions will appear in the game.

I will let you in on incoming details as soon as I receive them and as the release date creeps closer.