Riviera: The Promised Land - Used
this game is awesome
i love it Considering the fact that I own the Gameboy Advance version of this game and gave it a good review sometime back, I decided to rent this version to see how much better this version is compared to my Gameboy Advance version and give you my honest opinion on it. In some ways, I'm glad that I did rent it first. Yet, seeing as to how I'm a big fan of Riviera, I'll probably buy it at some point but not for obvious reasons concerning this PSP version. For the most part, the PSP Riviera is the exact same game I played on the Gameboy Advance. The noticable differences in the game are that they improved the graphics as well as the soundtrack, have more voiceacting in the game, added a few new cutscenes, included a dual language functional and reworked the controls all for the PSP port. You play Ein, a Grim Angel, who's been sent to Riviera to start 'the Retribution' that will destroy Riviera, and all the demons that have taken over there, once and for all. That's where the story begins. For those of you new to Riviera, Riviera is not your 'typical' traditional style RPG(like Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire or Golden Sun). Combat and Navigation in the game is alot different than your normal traditional RPG and that is what makes this game so unique & so much fun to play. I won't go into detail about it myself. I'd simply like to direct you to the Gameboy Advance reviews of this game as there are plenty of reviews there that will explain it to you. Either that or look back here later on as I'm sure someone will, eventually, explain it in these reviews. Depending on how you play the game, you'll get more than 40+ hours of gameplay and, as I stated in my GBA Riviera review, RPGs like this one only come along only once in awhile. It'd be a crime missing this one. Yet, I will have to say that if you already own the GBA Riviera- you're better off sticking with that game as there's not much new here to warrant a purchase. But, if you're new to the game, I would suggest you purchase the PSP version. I would have loved to have seen a new episode in the Riviera saga, myself, but Developer Sting thought it was necessary to do another port of the original for the PSP. Knowing our luck, next up will probably be a port of their next game after Riviera which was Yggdra Union. I just hope, at some point, they give us fans the game we want.
Riviera the Promised Land Review
While I found the basic premise relatively solid if a bit cliche I do feel that there were some noticeable issues with the plot. The biggest of these issues are the fact that the main antagonists just ignore Ein and his companions and only appear in the background a few times. While the game is relatively short and only contains seven dungeons the lack of an emphasis on the main villains definitely detracts from the overall plot line.
Riviera the Promised Land is sort of an oddball to say the least. The game is a cross between a turn-based RPG, strategy game, dating simulator, and game of chance at the same time. While, this is a weird combination the way exploration works in this game is a bit on the weird side as well. Instead of moving the character around freely with the d-pad you can either move to another screen in move mode or search points of interest in look mode. I will admit to finding this a relatively strange setup but it does work rather well. Though, I think I should go into some details about the combat system.
The game features turn-based combat that is influenced by your character's agility and the WT time on the weapon that they utilized on their last turn. Of course, the more powerful the weapon the higher the WT time. On the flip side of things the game also allows for more strategic planning by allowing you to view the WT time on your character's and the enemies by simply pressing the START button. This information can aid you in knowing when to utilize a powerful overdrive attack in order to finish the battle.
The overdrive bar fills as you land blows on the enemy and take damage from enemy attacks. Of course, the main reason that the overdrive bar is important is because finishing a battle with a powerful special attack increases your chances of getting a coveted S-rank and thus access to powerful weapons and items.
Sadly, this need to achieve S-ranks in battle is undermined by the fact that your character's strength in this game is tied to random chance. Unlike traditional RPGs all of the encounters in this game are planned out, but he biggest difference is how the leveling system works. Instead of gaining experience from fights and gaining levels you need to master various weapons and items, but this is plagued by the fact that items and weapons can only be used a limited number of times before they disappear. To counter this the game provides the player with a practice mode that allows you to utilize items an infinite number of times, but certain enemies can still lower the stamina of your weapons and items in practice mode. Though, getting back to what I wrote earlier the reason this system is tied to random chance is because the items you get out of chests is random. Almost every time you open a chest a roulette wheel will pop up forcing you to time your button press to get a specific item. So, if you are unlucky you may miss out on picking up an item altogether which means your character will forever be weaker by several stat points because of it.
Outside of exploring the dungeons and combat the game also includes some rather simplistic dating simulator elements where you'll sometimes be presented with choices after moving to a certain area, a story event, or exploring a point of interest on the map. These choices can raise, lower, or have zero effect on the women in your party. If you manage to please a certain girl enough you'll hook up with her at the end of the game.
Graphically speaking the game is rather colorful and tries to utilize colors to set the tone. The biggest example of this is the fact that peaceful areas tend to be comprised of lighter color palettes while dungeons are composed of darker color palettes.
The game offers the option to listen to the voice acting in either English or Japanese which is always a nice inclusion to see especially on a handheld title.
On a slightly less positive note I have nothing bad to say about the background music, but I don't have any compliments to give it either. The musical tracks are just average and neither take away from the game or add anything to it.
The game does offer some replay value in the form of alternate endings and a bonus dungeon, but the new game+ feature may disappoint fans of the title since it changes relatively little about the game. All it seems to do is switch out a few weapons that you can find early on, but this hardly something to make replaying the game worthwhile on its own.
Game Play: 7
Lasting Appeal: 6
OK game but not really an RPG
This game is certainly different from typical RPGs, but I'm not sure that is a good thing. The game feels more like a blend of action game with visual novel elements than a RPG. It has a lot of features I didn't particualrly like: You don't directly move your character across the screen, but you occasionally decide which way to go... but you cannot backtrack. Most of your magic weapons have limited uses. While the game has nice graphics and a decent story I was hoping for more of a traditional RPG...
Different fro other RPG's
The main reasons I get RPG's is cause I like having big areas I can explore, and a good story. Riviera goes against these things but its not entirley a bad thing. The map consists of screens, when on a screen you can simply choose to go to the next screen by pressing the d-pad in the desired direction or press the X button to go into look mode, allowing you to observe various things on the screen.Somtimes things popup that werent there while you were in movement mode so its always a good idea to check each area you enter. occassionally you'll enter a screen with an enemy/enemies on it and you can choose to fight or return to the previous screen.Each fight you encounter is, as I would say "part of the script" or in other words each battle is part of the story so you don't have to worry about random battles.the battles themsevles require a bit of thinking fist you have to choose three characters you want to use for the fight and in what formation. then out of your 15 iteam inventory(yes I really did say fifteen) you have to choose 4 iteams for your characters to use during the fight. even more of a problem is that just about every iteam (aside from a select few) can only be used a certain number of times before they break which can render one of your characters useless if they cant use any of the other iteams you have selected. You also have to be careful about how often you attack due to the "rage bar" the enemy has which fills up as you attack causing the enemy to use stronger attacks until its maxed out and one enemy uses a devastating special attack.You also have your own specail bar to that fills as you attack and take dammage and when filled to certain points allows you to use specail attacks with your characters that range from seemingly useless hit to one enemy to devastating blasts to all enemies.when you win depending on how the fight ended you receive a grade and some Tp which allows you to observe objects in look mode. I'd keep going but I know nobody wants to read anymore so ill just summarize everything else.You can get into relationships with one of the female characters helping you depending on how you act, the graphics arent all that great, you cant equip characters with armor or wepons aside from during fights,there are no shops or currency,you level up as your characters master weapons they can use (also allowing them to use a specail attack with that weapon), you can fight any previous non-boss enemies from the dungoen your in at any time and dont have to worry about using up iteams against them,lastly small minigames popup from time to time a few are: pressing buttons in a certain order in a specific time limit, pressing buttons at the correct time,mashing a button a number of times in a couple of seconds and a few others I cant remember. aside from its downfalls Riviera can be very addicting so I recomend trying it out.