Knights in the Nightmare (Nintendo DS)

Knights In The Nightmare is the third-released title in the Dept. Heaven series of games, and it was preceded by Riviera: The Promised Land (originally released in the US on the GBA) and Yggdra Union: We’ll Never Fight Alone (GBA). Knights in the Nightmare is a great title, or a number of reasons. First off, the graphics that players will confront here are sharp, clear, and really seem to push the DS to its limits. Furthermore, the music seems to capture perfectly the action, inviting in nuance rather than seeming as if the composer made the score independent of the title. The game play style of Knights in the Nightmare is unique in terms of its richness.

Hints of Shining Force can be found just as the wide-open customization of Pokemon can be picked out. Few games deals with death the same way that Knights in the Nightmare does; as players are tapped to redeem the souls of those that have fallen, they begin to learn more about the events that have taken place before the action starts. The different genres that Knights of the Nightmare uses ensures that players will be on their feet throughout; aside from traditional RPG elements, there are mini-games, real-time use of characters, and players are given little in the way of warning before they are taken up into these deviations. Take, for example, the bullet dodging sections; players that are familiar taking their time trying to make the optimum attacks will have to quickly ascend the learning curve lest they be stuck.

This is not to say that the game does not provide much in the way of context to the different sections of the title, but just that the experience given players by Knights in the Nightmare is so much more engrossing than any other recent title that I’ve played. While the quality of games coming from Atlus should never be questioned, Knights in the Nightmare may just be the best Atlus title that I have had the pleasure to cover. Check this title out today, preferably while listening to the music CD that Atlus has stashed within as a free extra. Keep an eye on Atlus and the Dept. Heaven series of games as well; there seem to be quite a few installments, of different game play styles and genres, that will undoubtedly keep players interested throughout the next decade (at least).

Rating: 9.3/10

Knights in the Nightmare (Nintendo DS) / 2009 Atlus / http://www.atlus.com

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