Jeanne D’Arc (PSP)

Jeanne D’Arc / 2007 Level-5 / PSP / http://www.us.playstation.com/Jeannedarc/ / http://www.playstation.com /

Individuals may know the story of Joan of Arc, the French girl that heard voices and was supposedly (or not) burned at the stake. Well, this game, produced by Level 5 (who you may remember as the creative minds behind Dark Cloud) follows a little bit of the story, but adds some different types of monsters and events to make the story that much more interesting. Essentially, before there was a France and an England, five heroes in the War of the Reapers made amulets and used the power from these amulets to seal their enemies and demons away for what they thought would be an eternity.

Fast forward however long and England and France are fighting it out during the 100 Years War. A French girl, Jeanne, is told by God that the reason why the English are fighting the French is because the English are controlled by the demons previously thought sequestered. The overall style of the game is similar to Shining Force or earlier iterations of Phantasy Star, where going to new places on the map triggers new battles and events and items. Jeanne and her party move through a largely-untouched map of France from that period and attempt to draw the demons back into some form of subjugation. There are a number of interesting twists and turns in the character modification parts of the game.

Each individual has a focus in Sol, Luna, and Stella. In a method similar to rock, paper, scissors, individuals are weaker against one type of focus but stronger against another type of focus. Individuals can bolster the stats and abilities of their characters through the acquisition of skill gems, which can be either bought, found, or taken in battle. The game-play is something closer to a turn-based strategy game than most current RPGs; the player assigns actions to all of the characters and then gives control over to the game. Regardless of how much an individual knows about the (possibly) real life Joan of Arc, the storyline present in the game provides an interesting use of a day or two of solid gameplay. The amount of modification that individuals can do with the game’s characters further adds legs to this game, and ensures that individuals will be playing and beating Jeanne D’Arc a number of time. The fact that a game can meld solid graphics with amazing gameplay only bodes well for the PSP in the years to come.

Rating: 8.2/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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