Switch – May 15, 2018
Other – October 7, 2017
Developer: Airship Syndicate
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: Win, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Switch (New)
Although it was released on PC and consoles at the end of last year we still appreciate the late release to switch. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is an epic JRPG that got a pretty good rating before and we don’t expect it to change much for the switch. Oh? You haven’t even played it yet? Well you are in luck because now that it’s out for switch we can observe it again and hopefully some bugs have been hammered out. Check out what the critics have to say below.
“Battle Chasers: Nightwar is an American made JPRG and dungeon-crawler, based on the best-selling Battle Chasers comic series by Joe Maduriera and inspired by JPRG greats such as Final Fantasy, Suikoden, Chrono Trigger, and Phantasy Star. It was developed by Airship Syndicate, funded through Kickstarter and published by THQ Nordic. The game features beautiful environments; a gorgeously animated strategic turn-based combat system; and hand-crafted dungeon rooms which are randomly arranged for a different experience each time. Players will battle enemies, find secrets, solve puzzles and explore the world.”
Metacritic – Rating: 79/100
Trusted Review – By: Simon Miller – Rating: 4/5
“Battle Chasers: Nightwar’s biggest problem is its name. Not doing the game underneath justice at all, you’d be completely justified in seeing the title and having absolutely no idea what to expect. If you’re into old-school JRPGs, however, you absolutely owe it to yourself to check this out.
Already out on the Xbox One and PS4, the real appeal with the Nintendo Switch version, as ever, is that you’ve got a very solid game you can take with you wherever you go. Based on the comic book series ‘Battle Chasers’ by Joe Madureira who also served on the development team, this is a throwback to the likes of classic 90s Final Fantasy titles when Japanese role-playing games were taking over the world.
The first thing you’ll notice when you jump into proceedings is how good it looks. Aping the comic style wonderfully, Battle Chasers sets the bar high from the off and keeps it up until the end credits roll. Clearly inspired by steampunk, every single environment has been painstakingly created with a clear sense of what developer Airship Syndicate has set out to achieve. If you need to be won over before you’ve even pushed a button, you absolutely will.”
GameSpot – By Justin Clark – Rating: 8/10
“The game’s overworld is dotted with opportunities to battle oozing slimes, vicious wolf men, and surly prospectors. Dilapidated little shanty towns pop up along the way, as well as occasional side quests, which usually impart a bit of lore before asking your band to thwart a high-ranking enemy in a dangerous place. The bread and butter of the game, however, is its major dungeons. Eight in total, the dungeons are procedurally generated. Despite the randomization, each room and its layout is impressively detailed, with smoothly integrated puzzles, that most of the time it’s impossible to tell every dungeon wasn’t meticulously laid out until you reset one, and re-enter to find an unrecognizable location.
From the outset, combat is fairly standard turn-based fare. Veterans of the game will find that the difficulty curve has been evened out in a way where early battles are still very doable, but don’t go too easy on new players. The first few hours are full of hard hits and unexpected deaths for those who don’t stay vigilant. Basic enemies hit for dozens of points in damage in a single wave, leaving debuff effects like Poison and Bleeding in their wake before you even really know what they do.
Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to turn the tables. Every character has a special skill to affect enemies within dungeons–proactively stunning, ambushing, or igniting them–just before a fight kicks off. The principal gimmick during a fight is the Overcharge system. Basic attacks contribute to a special pool of red mana points that can be used to cast magic and tech attacks, rather than actual mana points. The new balance of progression makes it much easier to gain a foothold in the world, where no fight feels too unwieldy. For the fights that do, the removal of level restrictions on equipment also means that the right tool for the job is never too far out of reach. MP still remains in short supply as the game progresses, however. One should still be mindful about whether to build Overcharge or expend mana when using abilities. This gets increasingly tricky, but in a way that keeps you engaged in every battle, no matter how small.”
NintendoWorldReport – By Neal Ronaghan – Rating: 8.5/10
“While overworld traversal is done simply on a mostly linear point-to-point map, dungeons are more expansive, complete with procedural generation, puzzles, traps, and more. In handheld mode, the isometric areas are challenging to navigate, as details are harder to make out, especially in darker environments. When you enter a dungeon, you can choose one of three different difficulty levels that have increasingly greater rewards. While this exploration might be one of the lesser aspects, the fact that you can revisit the areas for more experience, a slightly rearranged map, and greater rewards is excellent.
The absolute lesser aspect of Battle Chasers: Nightwar is the technical issues, though. Load times are long, especially when bouncing between the overworld and dungeons. Those often last about 10 to 20 seconds. Sometimes just entering a battle takes a few seconds too long. The game looks fantastic on Switch in general, but the load times are a drag on an otherwise excellent experience. I also experienced occasional audio hitches, but that never affected gameplay.
As long as you can deal with some longer load times and some hazy handheld dungeons, Battle Chasers: Nightwar is an excellent modernized take on the old-school JRPG. The combat system is deep and rich, packed with customization and variety. The overworld is nicely streamlined and the dungeons, aside from being a tight fit on the Switch screen, are fun to explore. To top it off, the Joe Mad art is excellent and the overall presentation is superb. Nightwar is truly a fantastic RPG, and if you could wipe away the minor technical woes, it’s one of the best available on Switch so far.”