I finally had a chance to sit down and properly play the next game in the SRW series, although I say that with a pinch of salt since, as well as not being developed by banpresto, the game has almost no connection to any of the other SRW games aside from a few character names and some plot threads.

Most people who know of this game have probably purchased it already but if you are one of those on the fence, I would say rent first, else give it a miss.

Bit harsh but I was rather disappointed with it when I played it.

The good/neutral

  • Nice graphics. Plus lots of fanservice in the battle animations
  • Voice acting!!! Lots of Engrish!!! YAY!!!
  • Battle themes and dungeon music are all remixed versions of popular SRW tracks.
  • This game doesn’t use any touch screen features at all!!! Kudos to the developers for not using a feature just because it’s there!

The bad

  • This game is a 100% traditional JPRG. That means wandering about on a map with random battle encounters. Not exactly a game breaking problem but I wish they did something different. A valkyrie profile system for the map would have been good (but then, i say that about a lot of games since VP is all kinds of fantastic). But even a simple system where you could see the enemies would have been preferred.
  • The combat system! This is where I get the daggers out. Endless frontier was co-developed by monolithsoft, who are famous for their Xenosaga series but they also made Namco X Capcom, a game which, while severely flawed was great fun and tried to do something different with the combat methods by getting the player to interact during the actual fighting. While some of their idea does come out in endless frontier, the execution is sorely lacking. And a good combat system is the basis of a good rpg. If the combat is rubbish, nobody wants to slog it out for the whole game!!

Going into more details regarding the combat system, for namco X capcom (which was a strategy RPG), once combat started, the player had a single attack button to start his attack with the chosen character. once that attack has hit, he could press the attack button again and chain them together to form a combo. The player could also mix it up a little by pressing one of the directional buttons with the attack button to perform different attacks which presented different chain opportunities. This kept the battles fresh (somewhat) as it altered the timings for when the attacks were most effective. The game also got players to use all the different attacks by allowing the player to use a super attack once they have used all the different attacks twice.

Going on to endless frontier, they have kept the idea of choosing the timing for the attacks, and not much else. All attacks are done in sequence using a single button so all the player has to focus on is the timing, which is very lenient.

The player has 2 options during his combo. Either let the attack finish completely, in which case the enemy is pushed back or up and bounced back to the player for another hit or he can cut the attack short and gain a boost for the super attack bar for later use. The super attacks themselves are the ones
seen on the promo vids with all the cut-ins and they end the attack immediately, so you can’t chain anymore after that.

To try and compensate, the game allows the player to call forth a support character in certain situations (usually enemy is up in the air and can’t do anything) to attack or call forth the next attack character to continue the combo. But that just ends up feeling like artificially extending the attack more than anything else. It doesn’t make the battle any more interesting…

Personally, I think they should have kept the NxC battle system more intact but there’s no point in crying over it now. I’m still trying to get through the game but I’m already getting a little bored of the game, which isn’t a good sign. It may improve later but looking at the foundations I have already seen, I don’t think so.

It’s not a particularly bad game, it’s just not a good one…