NOTE: I posted this elsewhere before… and this game was very enjoyable, and deserves to be reposted. Princess Concerto was made by Broccoli, and I wrote this review when the game was still for PC. The game had since been ported to PS2. …an interesting extra, when the game was first released for PC the limited edition cost way too much for a game. The reason? They included a dress/gown with the game… an exact replica of the white gown worn by the rose princess. Yes, you can specify whether you want the S/M/L size for the gown with the game. Yes, you’re essentially paying for the dress/gown and the game pretty much comes as an extra….
(I last played this game last year, so I would most likely miss some things… and I won’t attempt translating the country’s names, and will instead use the kingdoms’ alias. Name translations are most likely incorrect as well…)
A long time ago, an angel questioned god. Jealous of humans whom the god loved more, she questioned god. For this imprudence, she was cast off to the world of humans, her wings turning black. When she came to and realised that she was in the world of humans, she laughed happily. For now she can take revenge on humans….
It all started on a stormy night… the 3rd Prince of Lawdia, Alfred, was travelling with his trusted aide, Burnheim, when they witnessed a carriage being attacked by monsters. They rescued the carriage to discover that it carried Princess Flora from the kingdom of roses, on the way to Lawdia.
The princess brought with her a devastating news. Her kingdom had been occupied by demons, so she came to Lawdia to ask for their assistance in reclaiming the kingdom. Seeing what a threat the demons are, the king of Lawdia decided to send off his sons to other neighbouring countries, to warn them of the demon invasion and form alliance.
In the middle of it all, was a legend… of a sword and 5 magical orbs once used to seal a demon. The sword was given to Lawdia to keep, and each orb was given to a neighbouring country to guard.
Thus begins this tale…
First thing first. This game takes 4gb+ to install… so you pretty much copy the whole thing to your computer. With that comes 2 advantages: you don’t need the DVD-rom to play, and that gigantic size means you get smooth graphic quality. Nice opening song and movie too.
Character design might look familiar… because it was done by the one who did DiGi Charat. In fact, you’ll get a nice surprise after you finish the game and access the secret area….
The RPG part plays like your usual fare of tactical RPG. Characters can move in a range of squares, and their stats determines how many squares they can walk on their turn. Character with high speed will get more turns (I maxed out Alfred’s speed so that he got 3-5 turns before any other character/enemy gets a turn). When you level up, you gain the usual stat improvement, plus skill points. This is where this game shines… you can use this skill point to buy anything you want for your character. I used all my skill points to buy speed and accuracy for Alfred (being able to move numerous times and never missing a hit is awesome).
The other thing you can buy with skill point is, well, skills/magic. Characters come with some basic skills/magic, and to get more skills you have to buy them. Skills can be active or passive. Passive skill has effect like increasing accuracy, or increasing the number of skill points gained during battle. Active skill are ones you can use during battle, like special attack, magic or the ability to counter attack. The number of skills you can equip is also limited by the character’s stat. The bigger a certain stat is, the more skills s/he can equip.
Storyline is pretty forward-paced, meaning you can’t trace back your steps. Once you win a battle you move on to the next one and so on, meaning you can’t go back to a certain map battle to practice. This is compensated, however. Everytime the storyline is able to provide the characters a break (quite often), then the characters will camp. At this camp site, you can save, manage your characters and spend skill points, practice among your characters (and rack up skill points) etc.
The ADV part of it doesn’t come around often, to be honest, and the choices you have to make to get certain endings are quite easy. For example, at the very beginning, Alfred will be asked which country he’d want to go to as an envoy to break the news of demon invasion. Next, he’d be asked which country he’d want to go and liberate, when they had all been invaded by demons. At a dance party, he had to choose a princess to dance with, etc. A consistent answer will get you the ending you want. No ambiguous answer, although I think there are actually 6 endings… 5 being endings with a princess and another one.
Characters are pretty good… here we have a main character whom you can sympathyse with. (Alfred’s mother had been a commoner, the reason why his oldest brother despised him.) Each of the princesses have distinct personality, and to add to it… the orbs I said at the beginning? Each of the princess carries one. But it’s not just a magical orb… it also has a curse on it, and the curse affects the princess who carries it. When I played, I was going after the princess from the dragon country. The curse manifested differently in different people, and I was quite surprised at how the curse manifested itself in her.
All in all, a good game… if only it has a CG/Recollection Gallery….