Release Date: 7/11/2007
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The Good: Voices, mini-games mix up gameplay, lengthy story, easy to use battle system, being able to re-direct your path is great, interesting story
The Bad: Voices can be grating and irritating after awhile, music isn’t anything memorable, not being able to move and level up in typical RPG fashion may turn most off, 2D sprite graphics makes the game feel really old, difficulty is widely unbalanced
Who would have known Atlus would be the one to finally answer gamers cries? I was really skeptical about this when I first played. I expected the typical JRPG setup but I was very wrong. This game feels tailored just for the PSP and portability.
This isn’t your average portable RPG though there are some very unique elements that make Riviera different from all the others. Of course, this doesn’t impress graphically it’s your usual isometric sprite RPG but what this DOES have is voices! Yes, voices everywhere not just in cut scenes or key moments. Of course, the voices aren’t top quality but they fit the characters and are charming. Another great feat here is being able to change your path and the outcome of everything. Instead of moving around and hitting random battles you move from screen to screen (YES NO loading anywhere!) then you can change to look mode which will highlight things in that screen such as items, treasure chests, people, key items you name it.
Now let’s say you open a chest and there could be a trap in it. This activates a timed button pressing mini game and these mini games are for A LOT of things. You can also look at a certain item and activate demons, or you will make the ground crumble and in turn, makes your path different. This game gameplay wise provides well. You’re probably asking how you level up? Well by acquiring new weapons you can gain experience (one point every time you use it) and when you do you earn an over drive skill which will level you up. The over drive meter lets you unleash powerful attacks according to your skill level which is one, two, three, and excelled. Excelled shatters the bar and you can no longer perform over drives but it’s very devastating.
You level up by training anytime in the game but what’s great here is any items you use are “dummy” items and you don’t really use them. The story is pretty good as well you have to save Riviera from the Accursed which are unleashing demons throughout the land…simple but interesting. There’s so many details here it’s insane just play the game and find out yourself!