|Dev: Nippon Ichi|
|Pub: NIS America|
|Release: March 8, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p||Blood, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle is a remake of a Wii-make of a PlayStation 2 game released in 2004. If that first sentence doesn't scare you off, then keep reading. Although I never got the chance to check out Phantom Brave when it was released in 2004, I played the Wii-make a couple of years back, and for the most part, I enjoyed the adventure. Though the material felt dated, the game had a great battle system, decent story, and great soundtrack. I feel the exact same way about the PSP version. Which is part of the problem.
Though Phantom Brave has a new subtitle, the content is almost exactly the same. From the opening story moments to the lighthearted dialogue, if you have taken a journey with Phantom Brave before (in any of its forms), then this will feel like a re-run. Though the game does have a few new story elements and phantoms to summon, this is, by and large, an identical game. The only notable difference is that the PSP remake includes the epilogue content from the Wii-make, so if you've only experienced the PS2 version, the most recent re-make is worth a look. However, if you've played the Wii version, there simply is not enough content here to justify a re-purchase.
If you haven't experienced Phantom Brave, The Hermuda Triangle re-release may be interesting to you, but only under some very narrow circumstances. The game has an intriguing story about a girl who has magical powers, is protected by the phantom of one of her late father's best friends, and goes into business helping non-magical people deal with their problems. Like all good RPG stories though, the main character finds herself in over her head in no time, and the story develops in a way that is both surprising and dark. If you have yet to experience the story, it is certainly the second-best component of the game, and warrants your attention.
However, the best part of Phantom Brave (and the reason why I think it keeps coming back) is the battle system. Although the game was originally released nearly a decade ago, its battle system still feels fresh, mostly because nothing like it has ever been done since the original release. The game uses a hardcore turn-based system that uses a unique summoning (or "confine," as it's known in the game world) system that allows you to call forth phantoms and channel their spirit through inanimate objects. Depending on what objects you use to channel the spirit, bonuses will be awarded, and much of a winning strategy will come from using different classes of phantoms with items that compliment their natural skills well.