[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/phantombrave/cover.jpg[/floatleft]I remember when strategy role-playing games were the gems lost in a mass of first-person shooters and platforming action games. Now the SRPGs are coming in mass, and I cannot be too happy. Of course, leading the wave is Nippon Ichi, developer of Snackbar favorites, [i]La Pucelle: Tactics[/i] and the critically acclaimed [i]Disgaea[/i]. Nippon Ichi’s third installment is [i]Phantom Brave[/i]. What you can expect in [i]Phantom Brave[/i] is more of the same over-the-top (read wonderful) voice acting, beautifully simplistic graphics, and deep tactical gameplay. [i]Phantom Brave[/i] delivers in aces.
[heading]A Dangerous cute, dangerously deep[/heading]
A funny aura hangs over most of the Nippon Ichi games. It is that cutesy but deadly anime feeling. To build that vibe, the storyline revolves around a young Chroma named Marona. As a Chroma, Marona can summon forth phantoms to help out during the battles. However, in a unique twist, your whole party is phantoms, and did I mention the phantoms only last a certain amount of rounds?
Marona is the only party member who starts each battle. She can then confine the phantoms to certain objects on the battle grid. With each confinement, the phantom gets certain attribute bonuses depending on the object to which it is confined. For example, flowers and most organics give a boost to your Intelligence, making them perfect with which to confine mages. Hard objects like rocks are perfect for any fighters you have in your phantom party. It works out brilliantly, and timing when and where to confine your allies is essential to winning a matchA