|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Game Republic||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Xseed Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 2, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (Multiplayer Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Brave Story: New Traveler is the sequel to Brave Story, and I can't say it's exactly highly anticipated. The original was an average RPG at best, and this follow up doesn't take the genre anywhere it hasn't already been. It's the same old story, and although it does try to give the impression of originality, that veneer rubs off quickly, exposing the core of a very average RPG.
All of the main RPG elements are present in Brave Story: New Traveler. There is the quest to save the world, an entourage that assists you in battle, random turn-based battles, special moves, experience points, interactive villages, dungeon crawls, and boss battles. Brave Story: New Traveler doesn't miss a trick, but at the same time just including all of these elements does not ensure a great game. One element sorely lacking is character development. I'm not talking about gaining powers or moves, but the exploration of their personalities. These are just shallow characters who have only the slightest of identifiable traits. When all is said and done, they don't leave a lasting impression. What's worse is that throughout the game we don't even care about them all that much.
We do feel for the hero's plight. He is us. Or I should say, he is me. Or he could be you, if you know what I mean. If you don't know what I mean, let me explain. The main character is a guy, that much remains unchangeable, but you can give him any name that you want. So essentially the main character is you, the player. The story begins in the same world as the original Brave Story. You'll recognize some the surroundings as well as a few of the same characters. Playing a handheld video game in a park, you are far too preoccupied with it to pay attention to your girlfriend, Miki, as she rambles on. Somehow, I think I'm getting the colored end of the stick in this exchange since I'm actually playing a handheld, but I have to actually listen to this gal babble - and I can't even take her out on a date. I'm not big on this "art imitating life" thing.
While you're busy ignoring the love of your life, she suddenly succumbs to some strange illness and needs to be taken to the hospital. Women. Even in video games they will do anything to keep the attention on themselves. At the hospital, the diagnosis isn't good. It seems as though she will never recover. Now all of a sudden you're grief stricken, even though you could have cared less about her a few moments ago. Typical man. At the depth of your despair, an alternate universe appears. Destiny can be altered if you pass through the threshold. Of course you want to save your precious Miki so you can have someone to neglect for the rest of your life, so you embark on a quest into the world known as Vision. In this enchanted land of the mystical, mysterious, magical, and malevolent, you must locate the Goddess of Destiny to receive one wish. Any similarities to the story of Pinocchio are purely unintentional.
Vision is a world filled with dungeons, treasures, and enemies. It's your typical supernatural RPG world. The only way you can arrange to meet with the Goddess of Destiny is to locate the magic gems that fit into your sword. Each gem that you find will enhance the power of your sword. But you'll need more than just a sword to combat your enemies. So you make friends with a huge lizard-like warrior and a sexy kitten chick. She's enough to make you forget about why you're there in the first place. Typical man. It's important to form a bond with your party members because you will be rewarded with team-based moves for keeping the same party together.