Review: Yggdra Union

Another anime style game from ATLUS, this one was purchased on a whim.  Let’s see if it was a the right decision to purchase this or not.

Before we begin, I like to point out the new rating system for our game reviews:

8.5 – 10 = Buy It Now!

6.5 – 8 = Try Before Buy

5 – 6 = Worth A Rent

0.5 – 4.5 = Don’t Bother…

What caught my eye for this title was the cover, it looks great, the characters look unique and well drawn.

Story:

The story of Yggdra Union starts with the Princess of Fantasinia, Yggdra, fleeing her besieged home with the family heirloom, the Holy Sword Gran Centurio. Throughout the story, the idea that justice lies with the Holy Sword is used to drive Yggdra and her army forward through their plight, as well as to provide explanation to them for the acts they commit. It is constantly used as justification for their acts, particularly those situations in which civilians are slaughtered during the war.

The story mainly details Yggdra’s reclamation of her kingdom from the Bronquian Empire, and her eventual uniting of the entire world under her sovereignty, with quite a few stops along the way leading to an intricate and involving plot. The ending is split off based on the player’s actions, one ending essentially being a game over and the other two being open ended with Yggdra either pursuing the ideal that justice lies with the holy sword, or sacrificing it in order to achieve universal peace. – Wikipedia

Gameplay: What’s weird about this game is the gameplay.  It’s turned based however you use cards to move your character, to determine their strength and the like.  A card could have a certain weapon type which in the game is called “Ace Type”, if the card’s ace type is an axe for example, any character on the field that uses an axe will become the Union Ace allowing them to use skills.  This game sounds confusing as hell but it becomes easier since the beginning of the entire game is pretty much tutorials.  The cards also a number on the bottom with the word MOV beside it.  This determines the number of steps you can move your turn.  If a card has the number 12, you can only move 12 steps the entire turn, not per character, the entire turn

Graphics: The graphics aren’t exactly the best thing you’ll see for a PSP but at least the anime drawing of the characters are nice.  For example the picture above shows the design of the characters are unique and I like that a lot.  The reason for the graphics being so horrendous is due to the fact that the game was released on the Gameboy Advanced back in 2006.  I’m assuming that they just ported the game for the PSP, adding a view bonus features but never bothered to redo the graphics.  Not only is the graphic really terrible, the sound is as well.  The sound definitely sounds like a game from an old system.  The least they can do is update the graphics and sound if they are going to put it on a hand held that is as good as a Playstation 2.

Gameplay #2: Going back into the gameplay, once your union is engaged to the enemy, the game will go into like an animated battle sequence that is controlled completely by the game, until later on in the game you can hold the left or right d-pad to control a bit what they do.  Holding it the left will tell your union to be passive, which probably just tells them to defend and do nothing.  The animation still shows them swinging their weapon so I’m not sure.  Holding down passive allows you to charge up a bar which at 100% allows you to use skills.  Holding the right will get your union to go aggresive, which I’m assuming tells them to do a lot of damage and don’t get if they die.  Stupid thing about this whole thing is that only 1 Union in your turn can engage in combat.

A Union in this game doesn’t seem to be using any HP based counter.  When inside the battle animation, you get a unit counter, so far I’ve only see a number up to 8-9 but later in the game there should be more.  Whoever’s counter reaches 0, that union loses the battle but they do not die unless their Moral counter reaches 0 as well.  This is cool because since your all in squads or unions whatever, hp counter wouldn’t make much sense but a moral counter is pretty neat.  There are items in the game that recovers your moral, I’ve got one playing for a few minutes but didn’t know what it did so I ended up using it by mistake.

All squad member’s die, only the leaders are left.

Overall this game isn’t terrible but just the fact that they didn’t bother to update their graphics and sound for the PSP is just lame.  They could of easily done some sort of anime styled combat when engaged in battle but instead they kept using sprites, oh well.

Score: 6.5/10 Try Before Buy

Pros:

  • Dual language of English or Japanese
  • Interesting combat and overall gameplay
  • Cool use of card gameplay.
  • Lovely anime art and character designs

Cons:

  • No graphical or sound update from the GBA version to PSP
  • Lack of gameplay during battle sequences, end up just watching the fights until its over

2 thoughts on “Review: Yggdra Union

  1. Did you finish the game?

    Having played both versions, I have to say they improved the graphics a lot, although the music didn’t change much. It looks much nicer.

    When to use passive and aggressive modes, and skills during battle pretty much decides the fight in mid to late game. They made the PSP version less brutal and unforgiving than the GBA version, but it’s still pretty hard to win if you just watch the fight.

  2. I could see that graphics may look better than the GBA. Sadly no, I didn’t finish the game, I didn’t get to play it much since my PSP has custom firmware and it didn’t late me play it at all when it was in 3.90 m33-2. I pretty much had to spend the whole night charging my PSP just to update it to 4.01 m33.

    The game is enjoyable but just haven’t gotten a chance to play a lot.

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