I got this title on it’s release date; march 3rd as a demo from PSN and started to play it immediately. I however was not the first TBS editor to play it. that honor goes to Tim, as his download speed happened to be a tad bit faster than mine that faithful night. Before my copy was finished downloading Tim was already sending me picture messages of his character, who he was trying to get to look like Scarlette Johansson, because science reasons. You see how this game’s character creation works is by taking a picture of the individual playing using the PS Vita camera or in Tim’s situation a carefully prepared picture of the beautiful Ms Johansson and then it “TRIES” to make a character that looks like the image the camera takes. I stress on the word Tries, because the game never got any of the pictures of us or the images we used close enough to the originals. I personally gave up on that system and proceeded to create a character using the few options that the game had for character creation.
After creating your character you are given the story via text. A story about your clan that was cursed to only live for about 3 years and then killed off because of some sacred items going missing. You are then greeted with an animated cutscene where you and your clan are brought back to life by a god and given a task to find out who cursed your clan and to retrieve the missing items. To do this you will need to mate with other cursed individuals or gods to keep your clan alive and the story going.
Depending on who your characters mate with their offspring will inherit different traits.
The story then progresses and you are given a home, with a subject that happens to be a half human girl. She serves as the game’s tutorial and training wheels. She will guide you to the decisions that you need to make each day or she can do it all for you if you don’t have a clue what to do, and trust me you will be choosing the second option a lot in the beginning. After you get a hang of the system you may find yourself deviating from her plans as I did.
I played a this one a lot longer than I had planned to. It is a pretty long and robust demo. It allows you to play the first year of the game, but trust me you won’t complete that entire year, because if you’re anything like me you’ll stop playing the demo after you get to one of the festival events that involves you going on a boat to buy the full game. This is because the game has a system whereby you get to battle stronger monsters and retrieve better items during festivals. These festivals are locked to a calendar system that fans of games like persona will find oh so familiar. This system allows for certain tasks to be only be undertaken on certain dates. Giving the game a sense of urgency and realism.
time is always passing
Orishika: Tainted bloodlines features an interactive turn based system that also reminded me of persona, although this system is unique in it’s own right. It rewards the player depending on how they choose to dispatch their enemies. Before you start each battle you are given a slot machine that shows you how you should complete the battle. In some situations you may want to dispatch of the leader as fast as possible to get an item while on other occasions you may want to take your time and kill each enemy to get more XP, but no matter how you decide to dispatch your foes it is important to remember that in dungeons time is always passing. You must keep this in mind at all times while playing this game, so no dilly dallying. If you falter you may find yourself having to revisit the same location over and over just to find what you are looking for, or in some cases save it for a later date if you missed a desired date on the calendar.
If I had to say that I had any problem after playing the demo it would be that after purchasing the full game I couldn’t just continue. You see even though the game has a feature to import the save data from the demo it is however a separate application, a 2+ GB application that is about the size of the actual game. For those of you what are like me with a Vita with a smaller memory card you know why this is a problem. If I want to migrate my data I will have to install both the demo and the full game and then migrate the save, because the save data is tied to the games on the PS Vita. Other than that this is an amazing game and I can’t wait to continue playing it. That will probably be after I finish and delete Tales Of Hearts R, which I’m already playing on my Vita.
if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this topic, then I suggest you listen to the Buttonsmashers podcast.