|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sting||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 2, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
On the subject of damage, I mentioned already that the Wisp is the only ally character that can take damage; the soldiers themselves cannot. During battles, enemies will constantly be firing bullets at the Wisp, which you'll have to dodge by sliding the stylus around the touch screen. This might seem a little bit out of place in an SRPG, but it really contributes to the frantic sense of the game and keeps things from becoming as slow-paced as many modern SRPGs.
One final gameplay mechanic that's worth discussing is the spawning system. After you defeat all the enemies on the map, the round will end. You then go to a slot machine where you play the slots to determine which enemies are going to spawn in which spaces. This is important, because maps are cleared by achieving rows or columns before your enemies kind of like tic-tac-toe.
If you're a bit confused about how, exactly, this game works, then you're already getting a good impression of Knights in the Nightmare. It's without a doubt the most confusing game I've ever played, and it takes a while to grasp even the most basic gameplay concepts. The learning curve is steep, but there is a plethora of in-game tutorials to help you figure everything out.
So, while Knights in the Nightmare may not be the ideal game for those people new to the SRPG genre, it's going to be loved by anybody who's a fan of past SPRG games. If you've enjoyed titles like Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, or Disgaea, then you're probably going to feel right at home with Knights in the Nightmare. Of course, the gameplay mechanics are all significantly different, but the presence, complexity, and nuances in the game are the same.
Graphically, Knights in the Nightmare is a really beautiful game. There are lots of attractive hand-drawn characters and some of the huge attacks look really amazing on the DS. Knights in the Nightmare combines fantastic art direction with technical proficiency to create one of the most stunning games on the system. The music is also pretty solid, and if you really enjoy it, it's worth noting that Knights in the Nightmare comes with a bundled soundtrack.
Knights in the Nightmare's cost of entry is high, but if you commit yourself to sticking with this game, the result is certainly rewarding. There's just so much content here and so much complexity that once you get a handle on how the game works, it's going to be difficult to stop playing. If you're a fan of SRPGs, you really have to check out Knights in the Nightmare.
CCC Freelance Writer