Monday, May 16, 2016

Summon Night 6: Lost Borders Review

サモンナイト6 失われた境界たち
  Game: [Summon Night 6: Ushinawareta Kyoukaitachi]
English Title: Summon Night 6: Lost Borders.
Genre: SRPG.
Developer/Publisher: Mediavision & Bandai Namco.
Platform: PS4, PS Vita.
Official Site: http://www.summonnight.net/sn6/
Release date: 2016-03-10

I decided to write a review for Summon Night 6, I finished it a while ago
and I really wanted to write about it so here we go!

Ah yes Summon night that one game series that got screwed over in the western world.
As only three spinoff games were localized in the past by Atlus, two for the GBA and one for DS.
Recently the 5th main entry Summon Night 5 saw a western release courtesy of Gaijinworks
which had a hilarious weird translation choices, I also found 
certain renamings quite offensive and you'll know it when you see them.  
But lets not go deeper into that seriously let us not...
And as turns out Gaijinworks is back... to localize this game.
Well atleast it is coming, if it isn't GW who else? i'm sure Bamco themselves wouldn't do it.
I might not like Gaijinworks but I do appreciate the fact that they give this series a chance in the west.

 Summon night 6 is a crossover game it brings together characters from 
the main series (Summon night 1,2,3,4 and 5) together in a new game.
The protagonists of Summon night 6 are Raj and Amu along with Yst.
The first 13 chapters are basically the introduction the first five focus on Raj
and the next 5 on Amu, chapter 11-13 are with Yst after that you can finally select
which protagonist(Raj or Amu) you want to stay with, there are no major story changes
except for chapter 24 and the general POV but even then again its not that different.

Pro's
- Character interactions.
- Beautiful Graphic and Stable FPS on PS Vita, even better on PS4.
- Fun minigames.
- 300 hours of gameplay.

Con's
- Weak story.
- Partially voiced.
- Strategy elements could have been alot better with more interesting gimmicks.
- Characters and the world of lyndbaum might be hard to understand without having
played the main Summon Night games.

More ramblings after the jump and yes there are minor spoilers.

[Story] 
  Honestly its very weak, I still enjoyed seeing all the characters interact together though
but one should not expect much out of the story.
I do find it easy to relate to Raj or Amu and the world they live in which is a huge plus.
It's very clear that Summon Night 6 is a fan game for fans of the series, if you're
wondering if there is any romance between certain characters yes there is! 
The most obvious couple would be Toris and Nesty or Amil and Magna
but with the protagonist... well it gets difficult. 

Toris and Nesty
  Anyway it wouldn't be a Summon Night game without night talks!
 At the end of almost every chapter you get the chance to get to talk to one of the many characters
in this game and get to know them a bit more.
View all of them and you will get their ending, tho max affection is not required for endings.
Also the later a character joins the less night talks they have a few examples are Hayato, Touya and Aya. 
There are alot of characters and if you want that platinum you'll have to replay this game many times.
Again not all of the night talks are voiced but the most important ones are just
like the main events in the game, side events are not voiced in this entry which is a shame.
Rexx is a true sakupyon character, willing to protect you untill the very end ♥
Sorry if I am going to crush your hopes and dreams but there is no real romance between
 the protagonists and any of the many characters from the summon night universe 
even the story of this game makes it hard for such a thing to happen the only 
romantic future Raj and Amu have is with each other, their ending hints at that.
I find Raj and Amu to be very cute together and I see the heroes as a couple, their ending
 definitely hints at something more between them but I'll leave the rest to your imagination.
 D'awww aren't they adorable?
I don't find the overall story worth mentioning it wasn't bad per se and
its not like the it was all a dream since some characters do show that they've changed
for the better in their respective endings, some of the characters even die in the original game
they come from so here's hoping they learned from this fateful encounter and managed to change their fate.
Which is the best a fan could possible get, oh man there are so many games where I wish
I could save a certain character but alas that is not possible, so Summon night 6 makes me smile
because I actually can help out certain characters and help them change just a little.
Ruelly,Atosh and Pomunito get gaiden side chapters during  chapter 18 and 19
they don't join normally so you could miss them if you rush through the game.
~
I liked Amu/Raj's ending the most along with Yst's which is a variation of Amu/Raj's
and also the true ending of the game, it branched from the Karma ending which was too brutal
so they decided to add a happy ending for little old Yst via a patch which also 
made Erst, Melgitos, Scarle and Enishia playable with endings unlike other DLC characters.
There are also four other free dlc characters but sadly they do not have night talks or endings.
Like I said before the character endings are nice because they show that they did change from the
encounter with Raj and Amu, I can only hope certain characters make the right choices this time.
Sadly the story of this game doesn't do much for the world of Summon Night
which is actually kind of sad since the world of this series is very rich.

 I really like Summon Night 6 but its clearly a game for fans of the series and its so fun
seeing characters from throughout the series interact with each other it really makes
it hard to see if this game is ''fun'' or ''worthwhile'' to someone who doesn't know or cares
about the characters from this series, only Summon Night 5 got released in english
but even then it makes it hard for me to recommend this game to anyone
unless one just like JRPG and liked 5.

[#StopMelgitos2k16]

[Gameplay]
 The SRPG parts are hilariously simple there are a few stages that a bit difficult but then again
its still easy, there is also no difficulty trophy even though there are three difficulties, there is 
 Easy,Normal and Hard, I'm sure hard will provide a challenge for you even tho I never bothered with it.
 Like I said before there are a few stages that have a few interesting fields, but its just
not used to its full potential, I liked the canyon stage and would have loved to see
more like it but sadly I didn't get it there is much potential but the devs didn't use it.
Its such a shame really, for an SRPG its just too simple and easy in general.
 Summon Night 6 does not punish you for playing poorly at all it is very casual.

Certain characters can summon but I never found it to be useful except
for getting a few treasure chest that is out of the way in a corner of the map, then
there is summon burst where you can team up with another character and blow
all of your MP on a special combination summon that got quite the AOE and special effect.
All I can say on that is: Use summon burst wisely especially if you don't have many MP recovery items.

The variety of brave orders are nice and I definitely recommend to go for the BO first, there
is a stage retry feature later on so getting Sranks become easier, though I fear
levelling up too high is not a good idea because it might change the requirements
as to how slow/fast you have to be to clear the stage is a factor in this so keep it in mind.

The system is also easily broken by maxing out Ayumi's speed stat and lvling her to 99 
in the infinite dungeon on around floor 50 or 60 by grinding on a huge robot(seen below)
 who is suprisingly easy to beat.. there is also another boss who gives even more EXP there
but this is the earliest one you can grind on,the whole optional dungeon was pretty boring though.
A lvl99 Ayumi with max speed stat makes repeat playthroughs to get all the endings very easy.
And she's not even 99 yet...
The fishing minigame was fun though, its simple and can be a nice change of pace
from grinding skillpoints for characters its quite fun but other than that its just there to get
more summon night leafs containing information on characters throughout the series.
There is also a cooking system but the materials don't come easy they're mostly
from free battles and the infinite corridor, fishing drops some as well, comes in
handy for making MP items but then again using items lowers your rank.
The summon night leafs can also be obtained from free battles but they are mostly
from S ranking stages and gold chests,silver chests do give useful special skills 
but since there is a stage retry feature nothing is truly missable and the NG+ feature 
makes the game even easier as everything you have previously obtained 
including leafs,skills, levels and some other things all carry over.
There is also this quest mode, you select a few characters and let them whack enemies and collect
treasure on their own there is nothing more to it, the right combination of characters is key though. 
This video should help you see what its like, the early stages are easy you get items for 
completing quests but characters will get tired so you can't use the same ones over and over.
I think I covered most of the gameplay and this game sure has alot to do and sadly
it seems this game is a pain to platinum, it'll take around 300 hours for sure.

I have to be honest but I never bothered doing all endings, only did a handful which so far
are my favorite characters, I can only take so much summon night that I just cannot be
bothered to play the game around 30 times with each round taking about 5 hours.
Because there are alot of characters that have endings, many of them have the same CG background.
Common ones are a character standing  in a house looking through a window, in a forest,-
 on a street or outside a house at night, its kind of lazy but atleast they bothered to draw
a CG with the character so I guess its not all bad its just that the uniqueness is lost so quickly.
  
 I love Summon Night and I like this game but overall I cannot recommend it
to people who do not know this series, the SRPG parts are too easy so even
if you want to buy it for that you might be disappointed though hard mode
might be worth it but even then its still easy since it does not have much gimmicks
even though the stages and the general gameplay features allow for more interesting things.
Maybe I am harse but I cannot give it a high score for many reasons, its a fun game
but the story and gameplay are both weak  6.5/10 is all I can give it.
If it gets localized, nice! but I think its sad since you choose to localize a game that heavily
 relies on knowledge of past games and its many characters, sure there is an encyclopedia
so its not like this game is completely inaccesible to newcomers, still you have to work for it 
to complete it, the game expects you to know about Summon Night in general so
ones not familiar with its world and characters are missing out on things, I can't
put it any other way but especially the character endings of the game may come off as weird 
to those who do not know about what happened in previous games especially
considering the background of certain characters like Kanon.
Summon night 6 is not at all a bad game, its just something for long time fans of the series.
Long time fans will get the most enjoyment out of this game, others looking for a decent SRPG
might quickly become bored with it due to how easy it is compared to titles like 
Disgaea, Fire Emblem, Knights in the nightmare and many others.
Earlier Summon Nights prior to 5 used to be much harder, I don't know what happened
maybe its just that alot of games these days are much easier compared to 10+ years ago.
I'll say it one more time, this game is still fun but if you're not a long time fan
of the mainline summon night series you might not get the most enjoyment out of it.
Its still worth a shot, you might even get interested in the previous entries
just keep in mind that every main line entry except 5 is in japanese.

5 comments:

  1. Good review, this seems like a fun game but like you said its a crossover with characters from all of
    the mainline entries, even if its accesible to newcomers people might be missing out on some things.
    I would love more Summon Night games in english especially mainline entries, but other than this
    one it might not happen which is a shame, just summon night 5(Which was good in its own way)
    is not enough for me to appreciate this series, especially the strange localization choices like
    for example they named an enemy unit gangbanger like wtf vic ireland are you high?

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  2. thanks for the review i was going to buy it at elease but now ill just wait till the price drops since i never played any of the other games and only really wanted it for the SRPG parts which are weak.

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  3. ouch i was kinda looking for this game but now... not so much lol overall good review

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  4. Did you play on normal difficulty ?

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  5. I wish there was a wiki somewhere for it. I'm new to the series but love SRPGs. The maps are easy and I feel like there are too many characters that aren't needed on each map - making each map too simple. Also, when the maps are so large, having a character's movement range so small makes just getting to the mobs a waste of my life. The story is very basic. Written for a young audience, but surprisingly using the occasional curse word . I feel like what is said in the dialogue gets repeated 20 times and given its own event(a bland dialogue with some pictures) or two just in case you missed it. The characters themselves are bland, with females always "feeling" presences and clearly written to be separate and differentiated from the males. So tired of whiney, air-headed japanese female tropes. Luckily, I am just renting this from gamefly for PS Vita.

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