|System: PSP||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: May 24, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The story doesn't help sweeten the deal of an otherwise broken game. It deals with the rebirth of magical beings in mortal form, prophecies coming true, an evil empire guided by a mysterious force behind the scenes, and, of course, a rebellion against said empire. It's pretty easy to put together the pieces of what's going on - in fact, so long as you've played other Japanese RPGs, and don't hold your eyes tightly shut during character interactions, you'll figure it out pretty quickly - but the protagonists are continually baffled by the overwhelming mystery of the Hexyz. Levant in particular is guilty of this. A large chunk of his story is devoted to interactions in which he repeats the fantasy equivalent of "Do what now?" every time he is given a hint about his true nature as a Hexyz.
Hexyz Force isn't all bad. The graphics are very nice, with rich colors and some very memorable character designs. The music is especially evocative; the best parts of the dungeons are always the incredibly immersive atmospheric tracks, which are well worth listening to even when not playing.
Replay value is surprisingly low. When I first started playing, I was very excited by the opportunity to choose between two different protagonists, who each experience the epic struggle from different perspectives. However, the two stories intertwine fairly often, and since the story is already a warmed-over rehashing of stereotypical J-RPG conventions in the first place, playing through Hexyz Force a second time as a new character is like trudging through an unending nightmare that simply can't end soon enough.
Some of the details change, and the variety of teammates is different, but otherwise, the game's lack of challenge and perverse need to steer clear of anything that might break from the conventions of the "J-RPG formula" make playing through both of Hexyz Force's campaigns more of a test of the player's patience than an enjoyable experience.
Kyle B. Stiff
CCC Freelance Writer