Reverie Knights Review (Switch)
Release Date: January 25, 2022
File Size: 6.1GB
Publisher: 1C Entertainment
Developer: 40 Giants Entertainment
Click here to view on the Nintendo eShop.
Version Reviewed: 1.01
We all have things that drive us in our lives. The pursuit of knowledge, improvement of oneself, or even spite can encourage someone to go down a certain path in their lives. Sometimes that path ends with good results, and sometimes it doesn’t. In Reverie Knights Tactics, the choice is yours in how you will guide Aurora through her excursion to find her father and seek out the knowledge of what exactly happened to his team that caused them to lose contact.
Reverie Knights Tactics opens with a backstory of the fall of Lenorienn. The goblins had been enslaved and chased out of their lands by the elves before they were all supposedly slaughtered. However, their forces soon came back stronger than before and waged war against the elves, kidnapping the princess and ravaging the city. From there, you are taken to the present day with the protagonist, Aurora, awakening from a nightmare.
She has been tasked with a mission to track down her father and his team after contact has been lost. Not quite knowing whether the worst has happened, Aurora jumps at the chance to trace her father’s footsteps. She must go out on an expedition to either rescue the team or recover their bodies so that their memories can be preserved. But of course, things are never quite that simple. With the goblin forces controlling the city of Lenorienn, Aurora can’t just walk into the city.
There are many dialogue choices that you can make through the majority of the game, most of which only result in slightly different dialogue from other characters. Sometimes however, a red and blue yin and yang symbol will appear, letting you know that the choice you’re about to make will potentially change your alignment. Your alignment can end up being towards order or chaos. Order choices can make characters trust Aurora more, or have her appear as weak to others. Chaos choices tend to be more dangerous and can have characters think Aurora is brave or reckless. Both have their ups and downs to the story and as you progress through the story, certain actions will be taken based on your current alignment. This is especially true towards the end of the game.
Reverie Knights Tactics is an isometric, grid-based tactics game where you can level up your units, teach them new skills, and manage their stats as you gain levels. There are two difficulties: story and normal mode. The difference between the two modes mainly deals with enemy strength, whether health is healed after each encounter, and the amount of items found during a battle. You are not able to change the difficulty once you’ve started the game. While story mode is understandably easy, with you barely needing to use items at all, normal is a lot more brutal if you’re not good at managing your items and thinking through every move. It is a bit unfortunate, as normal feels a bit too hard at times while story mode is a complete wash. It would have been nice to have another difficulty somewhere in the middle.
You move from battle to battle via an overworld map, where you can manage your units, save your game, or read some of the lore tied to characters, places, and monsters. There is no grinding to be had with Reverie Knights Tactics, so the experience and items that you gain from each battle is all you get. You do have the option to replay through battles that you’ve just finished, but only if you wish to clear through more of the objectives given to you each battle. If you choose to complete a battle, then you are not able to go back to try to get a better outcome later.
There are also some optional battles that you can choose to participate in, which can result in you getting more items and experience in the long run. And since there is no way for you to grind levels, those battles are a great way to get stronger and not lag behind.
The battles in Reverie Knights can open up one of two ways: you can either have the option to set up your units before going first, or your opponent goes first due to an ambush. There is no way to change the outcome of this first phase, as they are written into the story. The variety of the battles in this case does make strategizing more interesting, especially if you’re trying to account for the battle objectives. Each battle will have two or three objectives that you need to fulfill. It can be anything from collecting treasure chests around the map to hitting enemies with a specific obstacle on the map. If you fulfill these objectives, this can earn you more experience and cogni (which is used to purchase tomes which can be equipped to your characters).
Battles are completely turn-based and all units from one side move before the other team gets to go. Each unit has up to two AP that they can use per turn, which can be used to move your character, use a skill, use an item, or defend. Some skills and certain movement ranges will require more than one AP, so it’s important to keep the current tide of battle in mind before moving around. And unlike some tactics games, once you move your unit, you can’t undo that movement.
You will get up to four different characters that you can use, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. There is a split down the middle between melee based fighters and magical users, giving you a well-rounded team to end up with. Since these are the only four units that you gain, and you will often be outnumbered in battles, it’s important to keep on top of your upgrades for your units. And to encourage you to use all of your units wisely, there is also a Team Attack aspect. If any two or more units are surrounding an enemy, they can all attack that one enemy. These attacks can be very powerful and sometimes the best course of action against a strong enemy that may cause you issues later on.
Another thing that adds a level of strategizing to Reverie Knights Tactics is the fact that there are obstacles on each stage. Some of these obstacles contain items which can be used to craft back at your camp, while others can be used to your advantage in battle by dealing damage to your enemies. Sometimes your enemies will walk right into place where hitting the statue next to them will cause it to collapse right on them. Other times, there will be convieniently placed bombs that you can sling a spell at to explode. But keep in mind that your enemy can also take advantage of the obstacles as well.
Crafting and Unit Building
After a unit levels up, you have the option of increasing one of three stats: might, finesse, and defense. Might has to do with your attack stat, finesse deals with your critical hit, skill damage, and ability to take reduced damage, and defense has to deal with your actual defense stat. All of your units already lean towards a particular stat, but you can build up their stats however you’d like.
You can also equip items that you find in battle or tomes that you can purchase with cogni. These tomes increase certain stats, as well as potentially having other effects, such as increasing status resistance. Better tomes cost more cogni, but the rate that you gain it does make it so that you can continue purchasing tomes when you need them. You can also disassemble old tomes that you are no longer using for cogni as well.
Early on in Reverie Knights Tactics you will gain access to the camp. From here, you can craft bombs, healing items, and purchase tomes to equip. You gain enemy parts as you win battles, which can be handed over in the camp for different types of bombs. These bombs will often leave status effects, such as poison or burn spots. These can be very useful to take advantage of, as they both deal damage while also creating an obstacle tile that you can push enemies into if you’re positioned correctly. You can craft healing items with the cook, creating items that can heal your HP, MP, get rid of status effects, and give stat boosts.
There is a mix of 2D art and 3D models used throughout Reverie Knights Tactics. The 2D art looks pretty decent, with each character having multiple expressions. There are a few places where the character art looks a bit awkward though, such as Aurora’s Focus move. But for the most part, the art is polished and goes well with the setting. It feels like it comes straight out of a western fantasy graphic novel.
The 3D models do look rough, however. While their movement looks okay, Team Attacks can look especially awkward. Not enough that it entirely detracts from the experience, but enough to be noticeable at first glance. There is also the fact that movement is very slow by default during battle. There is a x2 speed that can be toggled at any time, which does help some.
When it comes to the music, it tends to be your standard fantasy game fare: soft wood instrument tunes that give the player a sense of calm and wonder, sprinkled with some hard rock tunes to carry you through battle. While there may be nothing in particular to write home about, they go perfectly with the game and blend nicely into the background.
Overall, Reverie Knights Tactics is a solid addition to the tactics game lineup currently available on the Switch. Its way of attempting to give some variety to battles is a welcome one, with stage obstacles and the occasional ambush. Team Attacks and Focus moves are very satisfying to use and really emphasize team synergy. However, the balancing between the two difficulty modes does leave a bit to be desired. It would have been nice to have another difficulty that fell right in the middle of easy and normal.
The storytelling is pretty straightforward, with you needing to defeat the goblin forces in order to find out what happened to Aurora’s father. The build up to the ending does feel a bit abrupt, with more questions left than answers given. It does make me curious if going down the other alignment has a completely different outcome, as well as whether other monumental choices actually change the course of the story.
All in all though, I would say Reverie Knights Tactics is definitely a title worth looking into if you’re a tactics fan.