PSP Conundrum: Jeanne D'Arc or Dungeons & Dragons Tactics

I’m picking up BioShock tomorrow, of course.

But I’m also picking up a psp game. I just don’t know which one.

On paper, I think I’d like Dungeons & Dragons Tactics. It seems more in line with some of my favorite games:

Band of Bugs

But the reviews haven’t been so hot, so I worry.

On the other hand, Jeanne D’Arc is one of those cursed Qt3 games. I keep reading how you people are loving it and despite knowing very little, I’m already close to buying it. The Qt3 buzz is what got me into Puzzle Quest. And lord knows that was the right call.

So I ask the community - given that I love turn-based strategy games (especially games like Gladius [Band of Bugs for those who missed Gladius when it come out for the Xbox]) which of these two titles would you recommend?

I would go with Jeanne D’arc. It’s been getting much better reviews and is made by Level 5, which has made some good games in the past. For me it stands a very good chance of the GameFly Rent-Keep, but I am also drooling over FFT PSP.

That’s actually where I’m leaning. May let Best Buy’s/EB Games crappy selection dictate my buying decision.

DDT is great, but read the thread on it to see if the annoyances are enough to turn you off. Waiting on my copy of Jeanne D’Arc to show up, and minus people reviewing it so is everybody else. Probably should wait a week then ask again.

Or just get both. Maybe Jeanne in a couple of days, since it’s $30, and DDT later when the price drops below the $40 mark.

I am a huge NWN / BG2 / PS:T / etc, etc etc … D&D fan. Therefore I like D&D Tactics and am impervious to all of the logical and correctly reasoned flaws Hiro points out in the D&D Tactics thread.

That said, if I had to choose one, based on being several hours into each, it would be Jeanne D’Arc. The game is much more polished and developed than D&D Tactics.

What D&D Tactics has going for it is pretty much being a mini D&D simulator.

Jeanne is on some EB/Gamestop shelves today and I hope to snag a copy after work today.

My impression is that Jeanne is a faster paced game with battles that are turn-limited (this keeps the pace moving briskly, but those that prefer to take as many turns as they want to win a battle may not like that).

Also, Jeanne’s characters seem to be more cartoonish, big-bobble-headed things that you’ve seen in a lot other tactics games. The D&D game has more “realistic” characters on the battle grid and if you want something grittier and less cartoonish, you might prefer that look.

I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over the difference. I mean, if you have a PSP, you’re probably starved for this type of game, so why not just get both? :) (that’s what I’m doing). If you’re picky, then try to rent both, and if you’re registered at Playstation Underground you’ll supposedly have a chance to receive a free UMD demo of Jeanne.

I buy every goddamn SRPG from Japan hoping one of them won’t be a horrible mess with endless unskippable cutscenes and impenetrable gameplay. I’ve only enjoyed two of these in my whole life (FF tactics (though the cutscenes couldn’t be skipped, the game was great) and Disgaea (because who would want to skip those cutscenes!).

JD is great-looking, great-playing and you can skip the damn cutscenes! Head and shoulders above other console turn basers.

D&D is cool, but pretty unpoplished. Seems like very good developers with not enough time. However, it seems to be deep as hell, if that’s what you’re into.


Speaking of these two, is there a date around for Disgaea PSP? I have Disgaea on the PS2 but I’m never in the mood to sit down and play that when I’m at home. Seems like Disgaea PSP is just what I’d need to, say, motivate myself to start taking the park and ride so I could get some SRPG goodness on the way into work every day.

I think Jeanne is a stronger title from a pure gameplay perspective. Where it lacks in DnD fluff it makes up with far better mechanics.

Save your coins for the 40k psp game :)

I got it tonight. Jeanne’s a lot of fun. Very colorful, well animated, polished, brisk for a TBS and much shorter loading times than D&D Tactics. The characters seem genuinely appealing (thoughtful of each other even). And it’s $10 less. :) But I got both and have no regrets.

Instead of a long drawn out tutorial, occasional “quick tutorial panels” pop in that explain things using colorful graphics and caption balloons. I’ve spent about 3 hours enjoying it without ever needing the manual, so thumbs up on that.

If you don’t like clicking through gobs of dialogue (it’s a neat story but if you’re impatient you might be hitting the skip button a lot), the idea of a pink talking giant toad (!), or being a bit limited in each character’s look (something D&D Tactics has a bit more of), then it might not float your boat but otherwise it’s really fun, great stuff. And clearly if you’re impatient during combat, Jeanne’s a better bet (it just feels faster, and the turn # limits keep battles from becoming tedious, drawn out affairs).

From what I can tell so far you have a group of 3 main folks, and then other characters will join your party for a time, and then move on so someone else can slide in later.

The Transformations (Jeanne’s gives her some awesome armor and weaponry, along with ability to make multiple attacks and movements on a turn), Guard Link defense (characters in general vicinity of each other buff everyone’s defense), among other things, are cool to use.

As for the 40K game, it looks like it could be pretty limited in unit variety (just a bit too early to tell at this point). I wouldn’t wait for it if yer into TBS stuff. :)

Okay, so based on this thread and the other Jeanne D’Arc thread (plus all the glowing reviews) I decided to go pick it up.

Sold out at not one, not two, but three stores.

Argh. Puzzle-crack continues.

I believe it’s filtering into many Best Buy stores now (I checked in-store availability at the Web site and it’s all over the place here in Virginia, fwiw), so you might have a better chance of finding it there in larger quantities. Sometimes with Gamestop it’s not so much rabid demand as them getting in very limited quantities initially (like 3, 4, 5 etc.) - I think that’s why the first store I tried near me was sold out.

Actually in my case Friday, a rookie employee put the manual in the case but neglected to put the UMD disc in. :p I had to drive back later, and the apologetic manager rolled his eyes at the guilty employee as if to say “Newbie!” and gave me a shrink wrapped one instead. :D The lesson is, if they don’t give you a shrinkwrapped game at Gamestop/EB, check inside the box before you leave.

Dude, the lesson is, you pay Used prices for opened games, and if they try to sell it to you new, you tell them to fuck themselves.

Yup. And it’s even more fun to watch them get pissed at you when you refuse to pay full ‘new’ price for something that’s not only been opened and man-handled, but permenantly fucked up with that sticker bullshit that never comes off.

I’m really liking Jeanne D’Arc. DnD Tactics was cool, but you can totally see how unpolished it is.

yeah, I’m playing Jeanne D’Arc. I’m on mission 7 or so, and I must say, it’s great.

The obvious comparison is Final Fantasy Tactics. I think the only thing I like FFT better for is the job system, which is great. Otherwise, I like JD’A even better in every way.

I wouldn’t call it perfect, as it still has some minor interface annoyances. For example, you can ‘try on’ gear in the store, but you have to manually leave the store to put on the same gear you just tried on a specific person. Also, there seem to be limits on who can wear what armor, though I haven’t seen anything in the UI to make that clear, other than that armor just not showing up when you get around to equipping it.

So it may not be perfect, but it’s damn close.

I broke down and got Jeanne D’Arc too and it’s a fun little game. It’s got great cutscenes and atmosphere and presentation, which is hardly surprising considering that’s a Level 5 trademark. Still, the farther I get in the game the less satisfying I’m finding the tactical mechanics and character mechanics. I think the FFT comparisons might be a tad premature because FFT had awesome depth. It just got better the more you played it. The wonderful job system kept things fresh and interesting even very late in the game.

With Jeanne D’Arc I find myself somewhat disappointed with the growth of my characters and their abilities. I’ve got most of my party at level 20 and the characters still feel really vanilla. I basically wander my party around the map in one big clump and click attack a lot. There’s not a lot of interesting special abilities going on with the exception of the character specific transform ability and no real meaningful development choices for my characters. It’s all very bland. Heck, the only thing that differentiates characters is their weapon proficiency, which is locked and unchanging, and in the case of a few character their transform ability which is also locked.

I think Jeanna D’Arc is a good game and I’m enjoying alternating it with Dungeons and Dragons Tactics but it’s no FFT.

I think running around in a clump and attacking a lot is what I always do in these types of games. Should I be doing something else? :)

Seriously yeah, something similar to the job system would’ve been fun. They probably saw the transformation as a “temporary job” system but since only Jeanne and maybe one other character seem able to to utilize it, it’s not really the same.

Now that I’ve got a lancer guy who can wack everything in the 7 squares directly in front of him (single column), and Jeanne’s got Crescent Arc (3 wide in front), combat’s getting more interesting in terms of positioning. I had one free battle yesterday where I had all but two enemies wiped out and thought I had it easy – then I stupidly clumped three of my guys in a row, and they used crescent arc to almost turn the tide. Beyond that I spent a lot of time trying not to expose characters’ backsides, and keeping my lone archer out of harm’s way.

I’ve got one female character I’m trying to use mainly as a “medic,” but she just can’t take any damage at all (I keep losing her early on missions), and I gotta hope there is some ‘ranged healing’ at some point so she’s more useful ('cause if I have to keep moving her adjacent to buds in heavy combat to heal them, she ends up exposed).

Yeah, I’m using Jeanne’s friend from the beginning of the game (I forget her name) as the group healer.

As for ranged healing, you want the ‘heal’ skill, which I would expect you to have at least one copy of already. And if you haven’t gotten one as a random drop, I think it can be purchased from one of the stores. There’s also a mass-healing spell I got from the healer enemy mission 6, I think.

And when you start using that, keep in mind that mana regeneration is tied to max mana. (You get 25% of max mana each turn.) Since Heal costs 28 points, it’s best to get a max mana of 112 so that you can cast Heal every turn (or save up for other spells.)

That’s good to know.

I’m really enjoying the game (I’m on Mission 10 or 11) but I’m not a big fan of the way the mana works- or at least starting from zero and having to build up. It makes many magic oriented characters feel very useless in the opening portions of a level.