Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Tome Review: Should You Invest?

Makai Kingdom Cover

Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Tome Review: Should You Invest?

Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome is a strategy RPG, which is a rare bird on the PS2. This game was developed and published by Nippon Ichi Software for PlayStation 2 in 2005. It’s worth noting that this version is not much different from the Nippon Ichi series of strategy RPGs but it’s definitely the most refined version. It’s full of variety and has plenty of depth to satisfy even the most ardent of fans. Yet it still remains accessible for novices. Let’s take a look at whether this game is worth investing in.

Years of Playability and Background

Makai Kingdom Screenshot
Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Tome battle scene.

The battle system has some new additions, and the overall sense of freedom has been increased so that the gaming experience will be different for everyone. By experimenting with different strategies, you could conceivably play Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome for years. The levels are absolutely huge. They just keep going on and on. Add the secret areas and the ability to create a dungeon crawl and you’ve got a lot of games.

Setting the foundation for the turn-based battle system, the storyline chronicles the plight of Lord Zetta, the most powerful overlord in the kingdom who becomes trapped in the book of the Sacred Tomes when his doomed netherworld meets with disaster. The whole sordid mess begins when Lord Zetta consults with the Sacred book to see into the future and discovers that through his own moronic actions he will destroy his entire netherworld. 

In a fit of rage, he attempts to set the book on fire only to accidentally destroy his own netherworld. What a maroon. To escape the hellfire, he confines his soul to the Sacred Tome and becomes trapped within its pages. With no physical body or netherworld to rule over, Zetta is helpless. His friends rally around his predicament and attempt to rebuild his empire and free him from the chronicles.

Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome Gameplay

Makai Kingdom Screenshot
View of the interactions possible in the game.

You can create a party of up to eight characters in Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome, each must be confined to a specific object. Lord Zetta is unplayable and must have the other characters do his bidding. Once you confine a character to an object that’s it. There’s no changing it, so you have to make a good choice. There are elements of strategy at every turn, so you always have to pay attention. Battles offer you a large degree of freedom. You can move your characters anywhere and you aren’t restricted by rank, points or initiative. There is no grid, but the layout of the environment heavily suggests grid-based patterns with various squares, angles and blocky plateaus

You can throw items and characters, but you must be empty handed to do so. The character that you might want to throw across a chasm also has to be empty handed which requires constant disarming. Hidden areas on the randomly generated battlefield can be opened up by killing a key enemy or destroying an equally important object. When these areas open up, they will provide you with special bonuses such as paralyzing the enemy or reducing the power of their hits. These new areas will reveal new enemies, vehicles, items and powers.

Vehicles are also available to make shorter work of the large maps. These vehicles must be summoned during a turn. The vehicles can be equipped with various weapons which you can use to defend yourself. You can also elect to get out of the vehicle to use powers that you can’t access from the vehicle. When the vehicle is destroyed you can jump out of it and continue fighting normally.

Departing Notes

It’s not difficult to win the battles and finish the game but there is so much to unlock and explore in Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome that you may never fully complete it. There is humor and warmth to the game that makes the experience feel personal, something that a lot of games fail to capture. The battlefield effects are effective and varied. It’s truly interesting to see what happens next. Thankfully there’s not a lot of repetition with the effects, animation and music. Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome is highly recommended for all RPG strategists.

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