Excerpt: The newest offering from Atlus for the Nintendo DS is a game developed by Success and Fun Unit known in Japan as Itsuwari no Rinbukyoku . Rondo of Swords is a strategy RPG, but it is not a typical one. Rondo does away with the classic control scheme seen in Final Fantasy Tactics , Shining Force , and Fire Emblem in favor of something completely fresh.
Conclusion: Rondo of Swords is a really excellent SRPG and probably the best game of the genre on the DS to date. Admittedly, it's certainly not for everybody; in fact, this game is clearly geared toward hardcore gamers. It's not a good introduction to the genre for casual gamers, thanks largely to its huge variety of gameplay implementations and its really punishing difficulty.
Excerpt: It's no secret that strategy RPGs are a niche genre. You either enjoy them immensely, or abhor them. It's hard for a developer to try and appeal to the mainstream without changing a winning formula present in games like Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem. Then there are those that break out of the mold and try new things. Rondo of Swords is one such title. It takes the fundamentals of classic strategy RPGs, but presents a new spin on the tried and true.
Conclusion: If you are up to a good challenge then Rondo of Swords is your game. With all its minor flaws I did find myself loosing hours of sleep whenever I played it. The story is strong and the new gameplay aspect in the game is note worthy. Make sure you pick this game up fast if you’re thinking about buying it, Atlus games tend to disappear after a month or two.
Conclusion: Which is a better game, Rondo of Swords or Luminous Arc? The former is certainly more interesting for the experienced SRPG gamer but both have qualities that make them appealing to different audiences. Just as a a hugely complex flight sim isn’t necessarily superior to a casual dog fighting game, there is no clear SRPG winner. But if you have put hundreds of hours into the genre and appreciate new ideas (even ones that don’t pan out) Rondo of Swords is a must play.
Summary: Rondo of Swords is a fantasy strategy RPG combining an epic narrative, a branching story and multiple endings, with an innovative combat mechanic that uses the DS touch screen and forces you to add even more strategy and planning to your attacks.
Excerpt: “Nothin’ like a hard day’s work” my grandfather believed, along with so many others. Trite but true, it’s usually more rewarding to indulge in victory after pushing your abilities to the limit. This principle, along with the gameplay’s fresh feel, is what makes Rondo of Swords so fun, and it’s a lot less unhealthy than working in a coal mine to boot.