Excerpt: Another day on the PSP, another sub-par role-playing game (RPG). Seriously, people… it's getting a bit ridiculous. If I have to play another old-school game that starts with the main character waking up in bed and getting dressed for his "big day," I'm going to scream. After getting the main character ready, Astonishia Story proceeds to not amaze me with stereotypical RPG design at every turn.
Excerpt: Astonishia Story’s name would imply that its story is, well, astonishing, but a more apt title would be Generica Story. This game covers the basics of a Japanese-style RPG game without making much of an effort to add anything extra. It’s a very linear progression from one story event to the next without any side quests or much in the way of puzzles, items, or spells.
Excerpt: While there are exceptions, RPGs have never really taken off on handhelds the way they have on consoles – at least when it comes to the PSP. Astonishia Story , the latest RPG to show up on the PSP, is an odd mix of things that work and others that don’t resulting in yet another forgettable PSP RPG. At first glance, Astonishia Story is enough to get old school RPG fans excited. Rather than take the plunge into 3D, the game sticks to a 2D top-down view.
Excerpt: There's a supreme lack of quality modern handheld RPGs available at the present time. Though a handful exist, there's no single example that smacks of being an essential purchase for RPG fans who like to travel. Titles with supreme potential have been and gone of course. The likes of the tedious Tales of Eternia, and the poor Lost Magic, have arrived with little fanfare, and then disappeared into the bargain bins with little more than a whimper.
Excerpt: I have to be careful here. This line now represents my third attempt at a review draft and, thus far, all I’ve been able to do is list the serious flaws with Astonishia Story , then rant about them openly. Here’s a poignant one to open up proceedings: Astonishia Story first saw the light of day on Korean PCs back in 1994.
Excerpt: Astonishia Story has the old Shining Force style of game play, and the RPG Master has quite a weak spot for that kind of a video game. Sadly Astonishia Story ends the similarities with the game play style. The game has the player take the role of a knight guarding a magical wand. This wand was descended from the gods, and grants the wielder a lot of power. The convey gets ambushed partially thanks to the bishop who is portrayed as an ignorant meddler.
Excerpt: In Astonishia Story players assume the role of Lloyd, one of a group of honourable royal knights ordered to escort the sacred Wand of Kinan through many towns and villages across the kingdom. As the knights journey, they are ambushed and a ferocious fight ensues, during which an evil rogue knight steals the sacred Wand. Surviving battle, our hero goes in search of the Wand, seeking assistance from wizards, fighters, knights, and other mysterious allies.
Conclusion: I love me some old-school classics -- particularly RPGs -- but there's a difference between a loveably bad early translation and the efforts that go into games these days. With no real redeeming value beyond basic RPG truisms, there's just nothing here.
Pros: Simple, straightforward battle system is easy to learn, Visuals are dated, but feature some nice detail and nostalgic appeal
Cons: Relatively short campaign at 15 hours, Flimsy story and weak characters don't provide any incentive to keep playing, The world feels small and empty, Very linear campaign leaves no room for exploration or side-quests, The battles are frequent and can often take a long time to resolve