(http://www.nostalgiads.com/The word “nostalgia” means wistful sentiments from an earlier time of one’s life. Aptly named for the title, for every gamer who is familiar with RPGs from the 2 decades can’t help but become nostalgic playing Nostalgia. The developers had done an exceptional job as the music, the player party, the battle system, everything are reminders of the perfection and excellence of the originals of all those RPGs that are up to their nth entries in their respective series. The game itself tells of the tale of a boy named Eddie, whose legendary explorer father had gone missing in one of his adventures. Eddie leaves his hometown of London with the airship his father left behind in order to search for his father, and discovers some sinister plot in the process.

(http://www.nostalgiads.com/The word “nostalgia” means wistful sentiments from an earlier time of one’s life. Aptly named for the title, for every gamer who is familiar with RPGs from the 2 decades can’t help but become nostalgic playing Nostalgia. The developers had done an exceptional job as the music, the player party, the battle system, everything are reminders of the perfection and excellence of the originals of all those RPGs that are up to their nth entries in their respective series. The game itself tells of the tale of a boy named Eddie, whose legendary explorer father had gone missing in one of his adventures. Eddie leaves his hometown of London with the airship his father left behind in order to search for his father, and discovers some sinister plot in the process.

         

Presentation:

Nostalgia’s developers had aimed to make a standard console-style RPG from the past generations and that is exactly what to be expected while playing the game. From the battle system, equipments and gears, and to the boy-saves-world plot line, all those are reminders of the best of the RPGs back in the 80’s and 90’s. Nostalgia itself takes its setting from an alternate reality form of the 19th century, the Earth filled with airships, mysterious ruins, and magical artifacts. The cast of Nostalgia is designed to look their role in battle even though it appears to be commonplace practice; they eventually grow on the player as their relationship progress through the story.

 

Graphics:

Matrix Software, who developed DS versions of Final Fantasy III and IV, does not disappoint as this title’s graphics is comparable to the best looking of DS titles. The gameworld itself is completely rendered in 3D-style. While it is not close to being photo-realistic nor does it have any pre-rendered CG movies, it is reminiscent of the game world of Final Fantasy VII thru IX. The likeness to Final Fantasy VII is especially obvious while controlling the airship. The characters are disproportioned to emphasize their faces, and the game is definitely not afraid of showing close-ups – as they are stylishly animated and lively.

 

Sounds:

There is no voice acting to speak of in Nostalgia, but it is no surprise due to the amount of dialogue included in the game. It is also interesting to note the characters move their lips during the cutscenes even though they make no noise. The game is filled with detailed sound effects where they are appropriate, such that the effects are visual as well as audio whether it is showing airship propellers or ice cubes falling on an enemy. The game’s music uses a large variety of instrument sounds commonly found in a symphony orchestra. The music themselves have strong melodies along with appropriate yet well-placed harmonies. Once again, the fantasy-like quality of the songs is reminiscent of last generation’s RPGs.

 

Gameplay:

Nostalgia may not be perfectly friendly to strangers of the RPG genre. Lots of treasures are often hidden without any clues. It also features an extensive skill leveling system that encourages experience earning. Battles in the game are carried out in a turn-based style based on the characters’ speed stat, and it even conveniently shows the battle order on a bar on the bottom screen. In an attempt to spice up console RPG battles a bit, Nostalgia rewards strategic battling with various bonuses should the player finish off the enemies quickly without taking much damage. The ship combat is also somewhat refreshing; the characters rely on each other more as everyone shares the same health bar though each character still has their own set of attack and commands. Others have compare Nostalgia’s ship battle to an older title named “Skies of Arcadia”, but Nostalgia offers a customizable ship instead of strategic complexity.

 

Innovation:

Nostalgia is an exception to industry trend of either making something new, or throwing lots of ideas together, the team behind Nostalgia aimed for creating a cookie cutter game. The game is successful in a sense that it maintains lots of old-school RPG elements in it. Not that the game is effortless however, Nostalgia had shown itself to be a thorough project as the developers specifically addressed issues that make an RPG frustrating. For example, the minor option to allow the player to switch between pushing B to walk or to run, and the ability to obtain two equipable items that allow the player to change encounter rate to his/her liking would’ve made many games far more pleasant. The maps in Nostalgia are also intuitive and fun to use, having the ability to move the map on the touch screen by touch makes navigating much easier.

 

Longevity:

Being an adventurer in a mysterious world waiting to be discovered, having plenty of extra contents to find almost goes without saying. As if that is the ultimate purpose of the game, Eddie continues his adventure in locating all the secrets of Nostalgia after the main story is over. There are 50 World Treasures as well as 32 quests that will help the player understand the world of Nostalgia as well as the main characters’ story better.

 

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