This game looks awesome. It’s a combination SRPG, rythm game, and dating sim. Apparently it was originally a Wonderswan game, but it’s now being ported to GBA.
What? Where the hell do you get rhythm game and dating sim from? (Let alone SRPG???) Promised Land: Riviera is a really unique, beautiful and charming, well-made RPG, but it doesn’t have any of those elements, are you thinking of some other game? I practically flew through the air with a cry of exultation to hear it was being ported to the GBA a few weeks ago, but dude, get your game genres straight. :D
It was made by Sting, BTW, who is pretty hit and miss. They’ve done the wonderfully moody and sophisticated PSX dungeon hack Baroque (never came to the US) and also were responsible for Square’s neat and very fun late RPG Treasure Hunter G on the SFC. Of course, the flipside, is that they’re also responsible for the Evolution games (Dreamcast and GC dungeon hacks that are the very definition of subpar). Riviera, is, thankfully one of their good games. Come to think of it, I’ve never played their Wizardry game before, maybe I should check it out…
I was hoping you’d know about it, Kit. Insert Credit says this:
Sting has just announced that they will be porting their excellent fantasy RPG/rhythm/dating sim yakusoku no chi Riviera to the GBA. Check out some gorgeous screens here (only moderately updated from the SwanCrystal original), and anticipate. This game is wonderful.
I don’t speak Japanese, therefore I have no choice but to trust in what IC tells me.
But good. If it’s not an SRPG/Rythm game/Dating sim, I don’t feel so bad about never getting to play it. Looks like it’s not another Gunparade March after all.
Gunparade March was a rhythm/SRPG/dating sim? Did you play that or are you going by what Insert Credit said again? I have no idea this time, because I really don’t follow anime-licensed games very much, I just find that rather interesting. One would think it would be more of a mech game.
In any case, Riviera probably got that description through an extremely, extremely liberal interpretation of its movement system. It works much like those old PC adventure games with the first person views, like the Legend or Magnetic Scrolls games. The game world is divided into many different rooms and you can either do things in that room, or move to another room. What you can do in the room is accomplished (at least on the WS version) by pushing directional arrows that correspond to your choices. Sometimes when you do so, additional dexterity tests are required, for instance, if you try to disarm a trap or steal something. These are like the special attacks in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, or some of the limit breaks you’ve seen in the Final Fantasy series, another good example would be something like the Judgement Ring in Shadow Hearts or the special cutscenes in Shenmue where you had to push buttons at the right time, even the lock-picking in Thief is a good example. In any case, sometimes it takes the form of a button combination. Which is where the they probably misinterpreted rhythm game from, the directional arrows and action inputs.
Next, dating sim? Like a lot of modern RPGs, there’s a little aspect in Riviera that determines who you end up with at the end of the game. If that’s a dating sim though, then Fire Emblem is much more of a dating sim, because its much-more indepth in letting you pair up couples than what’s happening here. Its like what determines who you date at the Gold Saucer in FFVII or some of the dialogue of FFX, or how the next generations appear in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Dragon Quest V. Its just based on some of your choices from a dialogue list, almost the exact same way it works in something like Baldur’s Gate 2 and I’ve never heard anyone say BG2 is a dating sim. I don’t even think its mentioned in the manual and Sting certainly never advertised that part of the game, most likely, because its such a small part of the game.
Finally, there’s little in the way to distinguish it as an SRPG. The game is broken into different chapters and levels, but that’s probably the only resemblence. You don’t have a base, there is no kind of tactical map movement or such. You don’t command troops. You can only pick three characters out of a maximum of five at any one time to go into battle. Hell, the exp doesn’t even work the same as usual (its more like Dark Cloud 2). The closest it can be likened to is a dungeon hack (its battle system and overall game layout that stresses replays has more than a few similarities to Dragon Quarter) since there are things like random weapon drops and skill ratings and such. A lot of the time you’ll be spending at the town base, tinkering around with different systems to raise your chances of winning, since characters don’t level up in the conventional sense.
Now the game is huge, gorgeous, polished and very original. So it deserves attention for those reasons alone. I’d explain the battle system, but its been a while and I don’t really have the time to go into all its complexities. Suffice to say this: if Riviera got translated over there for the GBA, people would have less reason to complain that so far it hasn’t matched the SNES RPG library.
I didn’t play it because it’s in Japanese, but Gunparade March was a combination mech combat sim and dating sim. And it’s not an anime license, it’s the other way around.
Thanks for the info on Riviera though.