Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics Review
Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: GungHo 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Aksys Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 15, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

While most of this gameplay is rather standard, or sad in the case of the brain-dead A.I., I do have to commend HSLT for a few of its gameplay elements. One is the abilities that different weapons can bestow upon their carrier. Each character will have an ability that they can use up to a specific number of times during a match. These can range anywhere from healing a nearby teammate or yourself to boosting a character's movement ability, allowing for more steps to be taken. Since they are limited, you'll really have to think about when to use these abilities, but they definitely come in handy if you make good use of them.

Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot

Another thing that HSLT gets right is its combat. Instead of just having one character wail away on another once engaged in battle, each character has its own little army. Players can choose from different formations, each with their own specific strengths and weaknesses, in order to try to take out the opposition. For example, choosing a charge attack will potentially increase the damage you do to an opponent, but it's also less accurate and leaves you more open to damage while the phalanx formation will lessen the amount of damage you deal but will put you in a better defensive position. Even more strategy is added by your ability to target either your main enemy or his soldiers, which seems to be the best course of action most of the time, since it helps to make your real opponent weaker.

Unfortunately, while the rest of the gameplay may work for the most part, and in some cases fairly well, HSLT has one more feature that pretty much breaks the entire experience. I'm speaking of what the game refers to as your Valhalla gauge, which fills the longer you're in battle. Once full, you are granted a super attack that can wipe out an enemy and his entire army when used. Sounds great right? Not so much when your opponents have this ability as well. So, if you are systematically beating the life out of one opponent, but they happen to survive with one hit point and no soldiers, it is very possible that they'll walk up to your strongest unit on their next turn and obliterate them from the map. This gets extremely frustrating very quickly, especially since the scenario I just described isn't exactly an oddity but more of a common occurrence.

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While Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics has a few good things going for it in the gameplay department, the extremely cheap one-hit-kills super moves take much of the enjoyment out of the game. Add this to the terrible A.I., the cookie-cutter RPG storyline and characters, and the host of better SRPGs already available on the DS and there's just not much of a reason to pick up HSLT. However, if you've already played through all of these other titles and don't mind having to replay through several long battles because you get wiped out by some overpowered super moves, then you might get a kick out of the tiny army-based combat. Either way, HSLT should definitely not be high on your list of DS SRPGs to play, but not necessarily at the bottom either.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.3
Graphics
This game isn't visually impressive, but the artwork is decent and the up-close battle scenes look nice.
2.6
Control
The controls are fairly sluggish since you'll need to maneuver about using the D-pad rather than the stylus, which would seem better suited for this type of game.
2.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
What's there sounds alright, but there isn't much variety to be had in either the sound effects or music department.
2.7

Play Value
There's a lot of gameplay to be had here but without much variety. The cheap one-hit-kills super attacks will also likely make you want to put the game down and never pick it back up.

2.8
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Once More Unto The Breach! Command your forces into one of several formations, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Harness The Power of The Einherjar! Collect all the Vaettir Arms (180+ Arms to find!) scattered throughout the game and strike fear into the hearts of your foes with the awesome power of the Valhalla Break!
  • Ad-Hoc Goodness! Using the power of ad-hoc wireless connectivity you can trade items with your friends, rent out your heroes to aid friends in need, or battle them for fame and glory!
  • Create An Unstoppable Army! Equip different weapons to change the class, abilities, and appearance of your soldiers! Choose wisely to unlock the legendary secret class!


  • Screenshots / Images
    Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge Hero's Saga Laevatein Tactics screenshot - click to enlarge

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