Review Code Provided
Asdivine Menace is classic 2D RPG, it looks and feels like playing something you might expect to find on a SNES. It has its weaknesses where the graphics are concerned such as the odd style mismatch with some items looking a little more blurry than others and the world itself doesn’t seem as well polished as it could be considering you can almost see each individual tile on the ground. The characters on the other hand are stellar, Izayoi and his friends are all very well drawn and detailed and even their little pixel versions look great. This especially applies to the enemies of which there is a good variety, even similar ones have little differences to distinguish set them apart.
You play as Izayoi, the deity of Asdivine who is still suffering the effects of a battle that took place a hundred years prior, those of you who have played Asdivine Dios will know this story well.
If you’ve played any 2D RPG before, you’ll immediately be familiar with the controls of Asdivine Menace, You can move around using the analogue stick but I found it much more fitting and comfortable to use the d-pad. You guide your character around the world through various dungeons and overworld sections all the while happening across random encounters, there are also items you can find that will either let you encounter every step for the sake of grinding for experience or will enable you to encounter less often. You have a mini map in the corner which is handy when it comes to finding where the hidden sections are because you’ll see a solitary mass and if you walk around near it it won’t be long before you see your way in, since the walls to the secret areas are slightly different. If you find that mini map isn’t enough, you can also press X to bring up the full sized one.
There’s a lot of menu options but nothing gets confusing thanks to the fact the things you’ll use most often have a button shortcut so you don’t have to go into the menus to use them, the map like mentioned above and also healing your characters has been simplified so that all you need to do is press RB. Healing doesn’t solve all your character’s problems though since you will still need to manually heal any status effects they have.
Battling in Asdivine Menace couldn’t be more straightforward, you have a timeline on the bottom left of the screen which tells you whose turn it is to attack and who’s coming up next, where characters appear on this is down to their speed stat so you’ll notice sometimes a particular character might zoom back to the front of the queue before another can even blink. It is possible to delay an attack and knock an enemy further down the timeline, giving your party more time to attack but this can work both ways.
Down the right side of the screen you have the command list for your party members with each one of them having unique skills and their own magic. I found that I used the skills the more often because they were the most effective means of dispatching my enemies than anything else. They require the use of BP and the better the skill the more BP you need to use it, but at the same time you’ll find that you probably won’t use the later ones all that much because your skills level up with use. All you have to do is use the same skill a set number of times and it’ll will level up, gradually increasing its effectiveness making it better, the amount of times you need to use it for a level up doesn’t increase either so it just gets stronger and stronger. Naturally the later skills need to be used more times before they can level up but the amount of BP you need to use them is so high, you likely won’t concern yourself with those ones too much.
There’s a limit breaking feature which happens randomly when your character deals damage past a certain threshold and allows you to repeat your attack or choose a different one, sometimes the repeat attack will also limit break again and again, allowing you to deal some serious damage. I only saw the limit break take effect while using magic and skills, though in all honesty since the skills were so effective, I barely touched the magic except for the odd occasion an enemy buffed itself to be resistant to physical attacks. If you’re using a skill when you get a limit break, it’s the perfect time to add some uses to the later skills for levelling it up, depending on whether or not they show up as one of the two choices of course, it’s like getting free turns and if you use it for a low levelled skill you could make it overpowered quite quickly. For me, Ratona had limit breaks the most often so her Head Smash ability ended up being incredibly effective. Of the two choices for an attack you get when using a limit break, one of them can be a devastating finishing move, all the ones I saw were good enough to wipe all the enemies off the screen and there were still others I chose not to use in favour of levelling my skills.
Oftentimes when fighting, you’ll come across enemies that have different colouring and these aren’t just the same enemy recoloured to make them appear different like you might see in other RPGs. In Asdivine Menace, that colour has a meaning and it makes these ones stand out as tougher than their standard counterparts, for example a red one is a titan and it’s much larger and stronger than standard creatures of the same type and you’ll get more experience and money for beating it. There’s a good variety of tougher, coloured enemies that add another level of challenge to the game, there are even metal enemies like you would find in the Dragon Quest series that are similarly hard to beat and offer massive amounts of experience for doing so.
Asdivine Menace has a feature where you can sometimes collect a small amount of Asdivine Menace Points or AMP for short to buy items from the in game shop. What’s in there are some very useful things, ranging from rare items and weapons to things that will give you boosted money and experience if you want to hurry things a long a bit. You can also use your AMP on a minigame called Barrel Busters which gives you random prizes based on which category you’ve selected, it’s not too unforgiving either as I was able to win two rainbow coloured ultra rare items in a row. It was an easy way to power up Izayoi and his companions and it’s available to play from the beginning of the game, it took me from getting defeated relatively easily to being a bit overpowered for the point in the game I was at. If you don’t have enough AMP, don’t worry you can still play Barrel Busters by using Buster Tickets which are far more plentiful than AMP, the only downside is that you’re limited to a version where the prizes aren’t as good as what you get for spending AMP
The weapons in the game have abilities that can give your enemies negative status effects and allow you to steal items as well as many other abilities, each weapon can only have four abilities though and are randomly assigned, the more rare a weapon is, the more abilities it will have as standard. Anything you get from playing Barrel Busters with AMP always has four abilities. The weapons also have associated skills based on the name of it, for example, a tufted or marshmallow weapon will allow your normal attacks to strike all the enemies on screen where as a bloody weapon would return HP to your character based on the amount of damage they deal. My personal favourites are the marshmallow ones.
If you have a weapon that you’re particularly fond of but you find something that has better statistics yet still don’t want to swap, you don’t have to worry because in Asdivine Menace you’re able to combine weapons to improve their stats. You pick a weapon you want to upgrade and then pick the ones you want to upgrade it with and as as added bonus, if the ones you’re sacrificing have the same abilities as the one being improved it will also improve your weapon’s abilities as well. This is a great feature that allows you to keep the same weapon throughout the whole game without worrying about it becoming obsolete and having to switch to a different one and losing out of your favourite skill. There is also a feature that allows you to take an ability from one weapon and transfer it to your current one if you have space for it, if not you can always get a deletion fossil from the in game shop with your AMP and make some room for it.
There’s plenty to keep anyone occupied for a decent amount of time, what it lacks in side quests it makes up for in optional fights. The side quests only seem to come around every so often and are easily completed. If you want more a challenge, going to the guild and facing what they have on offer there is your best bet, even if you pick one that’s the same as your current level you’ll still have a hard time winning. As well as the guild challenges, I also found there are some optional enemies dotted around, while they may look unassuming they will most certainly destroy your party in moments if you’re not prepared for it. I’d recommend saving before you take these enemies on and don’t do so until you’re at a very high level.
Luckily if you do happen to fall in battle but you forgot to save it, there are a few choices available to you. One allows you to spend AMP to have your party revived so you can continue fighting while the other will let you start the encounter from the beginning, minus any items and experience you collected during the fight, that way you can keep trying if you’re adamant about exacting your vengeance on the thing that defeated you or you can use your second chance to try and escape. If you do happen to run from any encounters, there’s a good possibility you’ll lose money when you do so, this wasn’t really an issue for me since I found money incredibly easy to accumulate and I only ever spent it on buying better armour for my party.
Asdivine Menace is as good an RPG you could want, it has all the traditional trimmings you could expect from a title in the genre while doing things that, as far as I know, are unique. Though it’s a little rough around the edges and has the appearance of a title made using RPG Maker, it’s still a game worth playing, so if you’re looking for a retro styled RPG that you’ll get plenty of play time out of then I’d definitely recommend this one.
Before you do dive headfirst into this one though, you should know Asdivine Menace is part of a series and constantly makes references to that fact. With that in mind, I’d suggest you play the others first before making your way to this one, particularly Asdivine Dios, which is the prequel to this one.
If you want to learn more about this game or one of the many others from KEMCO, then check out this link.