Knights in the Nightmare
Knights in the Nightmare is a fairly new game for the PSP available on PlayStation Store, and it comes with a game called Yggdra Union. Now, I haven’t played Yggdra Union, nor is this review about it, but it was requested that we mention it.
In Knights, you control the Wisp, which is the soul of a long-dead king known for ferociousness in battle. Each stage involves setting up to four weapons, setting your knights, and ordering your knights to attack, both with and without the set weapons (or key items, which are one-shot items used to recruit new knights), in order to slay enemies. However, there’s a little more to this game than just slaying enemies. There is a board for each stage called the Enemy Matrix, and you have to select which enemies appear in each turn of combat. You need to slay enemies whose spots on the Matrix go four in a row in order to clear the stage. Now, while I’ve only played a few stages, I can already tell that the gameplay doesn’t change much. If anything, the boss battles let you skip the slots, because you need only slay the boss.
And that brings me to turns. You get a minute of real time for every turn, but it’s only used up when you’re using the Wisp to activate a knight’s attack, charging that attack, and unleashing it. In other words, a single stage can literally last months… If you do nothing. I wouldn’t advise doing nothing, however, because the other way to lose time is if the Wisp is hit by enemy attacks, which could be anything from a few leaves dropping down one half of the screen to a spider web taking hold of a corner of the screen and spreading. Some of these attacks you can interrupt with the Wisp, however.
There are elemental weaknesses and resistances in this game, possessed by both weapons and enemies. You basically have a few pairs of elements that oppose one another, similar to the four elements in Final Fantasy X (fire, water, ice, and lightning).
As for the story, the heroine, referred to as the armored maiden, awakens you, the Wisp, from your long confinement. You then need to fight your way through the gauntlet of stages, each of which is preceded by a story scene. Basically, there’s some dark evil threatening the world, turning people into souls (like your knights), and thus a soul must be awakened to combat the darkness. The armored maiden, therefore, breaks into the castle of her own kingdom and releases you. The first few stages give away this feel of mystery, because you don’t know who your enemy really is.
The graphics of the game are very similar to the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift for the DS, except for certain scenes, which are much more like Japanese anime. When you’re playing the game, you might get the idea that the armored maiden is a very cold woman, but if you leave the game idle instead of loading your save file on the title screen, it shows you a beautiful anime-style opening movie that shows the armored maiden as much more feminine. The game even features a little voice acting.
The Final Word
It is a fun game, and I’d love to spend more time playing it, but I honestly prefer Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts more. That’s probably just my personal bias, though. This game is worth most of the $32.08 (including tax) you’d have to pay for it, but you may want to try out Yggdra Union, and see if you’d rather have both or just one game.
– MonsterVine Rating: 4 out of 5 – Good