I by no means actually understood the time period “choice historical past.” If it didn’t occur, it’s no longer historical past. That didn’t prevent Azure Flame, then again, from giving us their model of the French Revolution by way of Banner of the Maid. It will not be wholly (and even remotely) correct, however I’ll take this model nevertheless.
Banner of the Maid is that uncommon turn-based technique recreation that nails as regards to the whole lot it units out to perform. This begins with the sport’s presentation, which is concurrently unfashionable and contemporary. It is helping that we have got the past due 18th century surroundings, giving us characters and situations that really feel slightly other from the myth worlds to which we’re accustomed. I’m positive historians and other folks of style will take factor with the “change” mannerisms and uniforms of a number of the recreation’s heroes and heroines, however they are compatible the sport’s melodramatic narrative (if no longer the characters themselves).
The tale makes a speciality of Napoleon Bonapart’s sister, Pauline. She’s an officer of the French Military, however she’s additionally a “Maid.” This small staff of ladies raise particular powers they don’t absolutely perceive, however that they will have to come to grasp to be able to succeed in good fortune at the battlefield and throughout the French political panorama.
In truth, the plot is quite convoluted, nevertheless it’s all treated with a nod and a wink by way of tale segments that play out each between and throughout battles. Banner of the Maid harks again to the respect days of Hearth Logo in that regard, when the narrative components didn’t intrude with the core gameplay. Sure, one of the vital sidequests are there only for comedic functions (and a couple of are laugh-out-loud humorous), however you progress from fight to fight with a momentum that’s simplest damaged up by way of the occasional wish to grind.
Let’s discuss that for a second, because it’s the sport’s major drawback. There are over 30 characters you’ll achieve, however they’re steadily presented a couple of ranges less than that of the enemies you’re recently dealing with. And by the point you hit the sport’s halfway level, the battles transform daunting except you’re both considerably overpowered or some roughly tactical genius that I’m it sounds as if no longer. You’ll tweak your squaddies with quite a lot of abilities and pieces which can be both bought or obtained robotically as you play.
Higher pieces are made that can be purchased as you build up your courting with the sport’s quite a lot of political factions, and also you do get some regulate over how that performs out.
One of the simplest ways to get the vital budget is to win the tale battles with no need any individual “retreat.” There’s no permadeath right here as in Hearth Logo, however defeated squaddies are long past all through the fight and can value you financially on the fight’s conclusion. You’ll additionally get rewards by way of reaching sure accomplishments along with victory, however a few of these are exceptionally tough to achieve.
This leaves you with not anything to do however grind via the similar repeatable quest ranges again and again till your military is powerful sufficient to push via battles unscathed for the most efficient imaginable rewards. So, unfold out your recreation saves. You might to find you haven’t spent your cash properly (the ones croissants aren’t reasonable), leaving you not able to development. On this case, backtracking might sadly be required.
Fortunately, battle is numerous a laugh because of the implausible maps and the transferring methods required to push via them. Positive forms of squaddies are sturdy in opposition to others—infantry, skirmisher, calvary, artillery, and many others.—so positioning your military for the most efficient end result is vital. You additionally need to take terrain modifiers into consideration, and converting climate will have an effect on the whole effectiveness of each side. Assignable abilities can conquer those modifiers. You’ll permit your squaddies to extra simply pass via dust, to be more practical on flat terrain, and many others.
There also are some cool tips to make the most of, such because the cavalry’s talent to do extra injury the additional they fee right into a combat. In keeping with same old, you’ll get to put your whole military for assault or protection sooner than the enemy will get to transport, and also you’re ready to show the enemy’s succeed in that can assist you steer clear of assaults. I really like that if reinforcements are going to look on a map, you’ll be capable of resolve the place by way of discovering a collection of footprints. (That gained’t inform you wherein spherical they’ll seem, then again.)
All of that is introduced in opposition to brightly colourful, intricately detailed isometric backdrops that transform slightly expansive by way of recreation’s finish. The characters and maps are in most cases simple to make out on even the bigger ranges. That is vital, as you don’t be able to rotate the maps or zoom in at the motion. Banner of the Maid is playable in hand-held mode, however you’ll have an more uncomplicated time making the whole lot out to your TV.
The battle animations also are distinctive in that they’re introduced as line formation battles, along with your commander main the fee. They transform repetitive, and you’ll simply flip them off, however they’re quick sufficient that they don’t actually sluggish issues down. Plus, you’ll make stronger your Chinese language by way of listening to and repeating their instructions all the way through the sport, even supposing you don’t have any concept what they’re announcing. A selected word from Aimée has already transform an enduring fixture of the Hiner circle of relatives vernacular.
And as a tangent, the place else however in video video games are you able to get a Bavarian persona in a Jap RPG whose damaged “French” is spoken in Chinese language and subtitled in English, and but the comedy of her incapacity to snatch the language completely works?
Now that I take into accounts, that’s emblematic of this complete recreation. There’s so much occurring right here—acquainted and new—and the effects may have simply been a large number. However CE-Asia pulled it altogether right into a just about easiest package deal. The tale and characters are entertaining, the battles are difficult and rewarding (albeit brutally unfair sometimes), the graphics and paintings are vigorous and a laugh, and the whole revel in is very addictive. It’ll be over sooner than you need it to be, however optimistically the DLC recently to be had for the PC model will quickly arrive at the Transfer. The PR rep who supplied us with the evaluate code mentioned there’s recently “no information” on when that can occur. But when we do have to attend, there are many on-line pointers to be had to your New Recreation+ problem runs.