Spectral Force Genesis
Good, but Sloppy Execution Prevents Greatness
Spectral Force Genesis is a game in a long series of games that have largely not seen a U.S. release for the most part. This game sadly suffers from issues that prevent it from going beyond good and into greatness and becoming a most play for any fan of the genre it represents.
Spectral Force Genesis is a turn-based game that utilizes real-time strategy combat. The game also boasts RPG elements, but this feels more like false advertising in my opinion since all of the items gained after conquering a nation can be used on any general in your employ. So, the game feels more like an action adventure game in terms of character development where it is based on power-ups rather than combat.
On of the weakest areas in this game in my opinion and in the opinions of many reviews, but I feel the need to defend this game. This game is a turn-based game which each month dedicated to specific tasks. These tasks are broken down into foreign affairs, human affairs, tax, strategy, and battle. This breakdown of your options makes the gameplay rather slow paced since you'll often be waiting for a chance to attack an enemy nation and bypassing your other options rather quickly. This especially becomes true near the end of the game.
During turns where you are working on foreign affairs you can forge alliances with other nations or recruit generals from other nations to your side. This can be a useful tactic early on in the game since it can allow you to pick-up powerful generals early on.
Human affairs covers recruiting additional generals that are apparently just wandering around on the map and handling your current generals. You can assign a tactician, envoy, representative, or dismiss a general from your ranks. Though, if you dismiss a general you'll be unable to recruit them again on your current play through.
Months dedicated to tax allow you to draft troops and assign them to specific generals. You can also invest money into the various currencies or sell them off into the market for profit. You can also collect special taxes to increase your cash reserves while increasing the chance that your citizenry will riot.
Strategy months are dedicated to building up your status in your various regions under your control as well as building up your walls in those areas as well. The higher the level of your walls the more difficult it is to successfully claim your nation is. And, the higher your status is the more troops you will receive during tax months.
And during months dedicated to battle you can loot other countries for money or engage with them in battle. The combat system of the game is in real-time and uses a rather simplistic rock, paper, scissor setup in terms of combat. Offensive units beat magic units, magic units beat defensive units, and defensive units beat offensive units. Of course, this doesn't take into account terrain advantages or special abilities.
Another problem this game suffers from is a rather weak AI. Often times during combat you'll be able to pincer an enemy unit and rather quickly eliminate them allowing you to focus on the other two units in a 3 on 2 combat strategy.
Though one of the major issues in this game is breaking down your enemies walls. This can be especially problematic later in the game where it can take you a year or more to take down an enemy's walls depending on how high the walls are leveled at. This is what slows the game to a crawl and can drive you nuts. Though, the walls also offer an opportunity in allowing you to let enemies attack you and lose hundreds of men in an attempt to take your castle.
Graphically the game uses rather simple sprites for combat, but you'll largely be focusing on the menu screen during combat, and most of the rest of the game is based on looking at menus as well.
There are also cut scenes with 2-D images of the characters and character portraits within text boxes. These scenes are rather nice to look at, and do offer some story to this game, but the story is so spread out poorly explained that it often feels like it isn't there.
The games sound track is rather lacking and is often times repetitive. The game would have been approved by a more varied sound track, but it never proves to be annoying either.
This game offers a lot of lasting appeal for a perfectionist. The game offers 40 unique countries with battle events, story events, a normal ending, and a true ending. And, this means that the game is going to take a long time to get through since you'll have to play each campaign at least once to see the true ending and each campaign takes around 20 hours.
Lasting Appeal: 9
A fun light warsim game
While I'm faintly familiar with the Spectral Force series, this drew my interest.
First off, the box over-hyped its RPG elements, which mainly refer to the plot and how your generals can get stronger.
The main bulk of the game is war sim stuff, mainly dealing with alliances, troop allocation, deciding to try 'stealing' away an enemy general. It's pretty simplified as you can do a certain set of task depending on what month it is, though it'll make you consider certain actions as you don't want to do heavy amounts of combat if your tax month is far away.
Luckily the game explains most of this to you on your first run (and you can view them again in the options, which also has a data base and scenes you've seen during your time playing.
These scenes are of two types: National (furthers the overall plot of that country) and character which shows that character talking with an enemy general they know. The latter are a good way of showing the personality of independent generals you might find.
Unlike most war sims, the countries are pretty diverse in personality, style and even money used as there's 4 money types and each nation uses one of them as their main currency. The general themselves have a nice bit of personality, enough to fill in the gaps of what the game shows.
The RTS stuff comes into the battles which use the stylus to direct them and use a Rock paper scissor system. While it's easy to learn, the hard part would be learning who is what type of unit as it's too easy to make a bad match up if you're reckless about your choices.
the battle graphics are rather simplistic but the general spirited have some personality. The character design art is pretty top notch. You will be looking at various menus and the map most of the time though.
The music while not exceptional, does it job in conveying its point.
And it has considerable replay value in terms of each completed runs adds more nations on top of the 4-5 selectable ones at the very start.
It's a pretty fun game if you know what to expect, and it is reasonably priced unlike many DS games today.
It's your war
When you first pick up this game you may think that it will be a quick walkthrough. But it is anything but, each action you take will have further consqunces down the road. You may send to many troops to try a take ove a nation and have another nation attck you. Or you may spare an opposing leaders life and end up with new fighters. You can tax your people to get money, but do it to much and your population will decrease decreasing the amount of new troops you will get. You also have many different starting pionts leaving with a good replay value because the different nations you can choose from put you on different spots of teh map. The fighting is a samller part of the game though, it is a rock paper scissor type of game play that is really only affected by how strong your general is, and you can recruit many generals, but only use three at a time, but the same goes to your opponent. You generals can lvl up, and do provide you with abilities off the battlefeild. The economy in the game is fairly simple, but effective. The only prblem that i really have with the game is that the fighting is layed back along with the leveling system, but i think that is to force to pick your attcks wisely to noot get overrun later on
horrible and boring game
If your looking for an RTS, turn away cause this game blows chunks. I was under the assumption that this would be a really fun RTS, but all it is is a war simulation game. I should have done more background information before buying it, but honestly this game was worthless. I played through it for about 10 minutes and i just stopped. The story line is somewhat interesting eventhough i played for 10 minutes. The cutscenes are very plain photos with dialogue, but some of the character designs are gorgeous. Never the less these can't hide the fact that this is probably one of the worst games in the history of mankind. I will never again just jump the gun and preemptively purchase a game without doing background information, and i suggest you do to if you don't want to waste ** bucks on a horrible and very unknown game.
A Great Game With a Few Flaws
Having played the European version of Spectral Force Genesis, I can honestly say that it is a great game. It has around 40 countries, all of which are unlockable. There are loads of characters, each with their own background and history (which get revealed during their country's story mode), and deep gameplay mechanics. Unfortunately, for all of its good points, it has some glaring flaws. First: The character stats displayed on their stat screens are inaccurate (unless the player appoints a high-INT tactician during the Human Affairs phase), the story events are very difficult to unlock (there is a website with most of them, just type "Spectral Force Genesis wikidot" into google.), and the amount of planning involved in Spectral Force Genesis may turn casual gamers off. Spectral Force Genesis is a great strategy game. It has deep gameplay, replay value greater than most DS games, and a massive story. If you enjoy strategy games and a challenge, consider checking this game out when it (finally) hits US shores.
Hopefully different from European release...
I've played the European release of Spectral Force Genesis and I simply have to say that I was highly under-impressed. Seeing as how the Japanese Spectral Force series is pretty obscure here in the States (the 360 game Spectral Force 3 is the only American iteration of the series I know and even that game was considered to be not that good), SF Genesis does absolutely nothing to bring players up to speed on the plot, story, characters, or their relationships. Additionally, the tutorial in the European release was beyond poor, failing to adequately explain the menus and numerous stats which is crazy because this is a game heavily reliant upon stats. It's kind of like Nobunaga's Ambition (SNES) in that you have to deal with things like lowering/raising taxes, purchasing equipment for troops, raising food, and creating a healthy economy for your country. If this sounds like fun (which it won't to most), keep your fingers crossed that the North American localization of Spectral Force Genesis changes some things up and makes the game a lot better than its predecessor.
Seems like a good game
I may not be able to speak that much about the game, since I haven't played the series, but it does seem like a really good game. The fact that it's real time strategy and you command troops is one reason its cool. Another is that it isn't all battles. You also handle diplomacy, taxation, and several other things that actually brings more strategy into the game.