This 2D side-scrolling real-time-strategy game (as opposed to the typical overhead view you see in these resource-managing games) is a real departure for publisher NIS, which is better known for so-deep-you'll-drown Japanese RPGs. And it's also a tad disappointing. Not because it's pretty shallow, but because it lacks any multiplayer options (a no-no in this genre) and is superrepetitive. Even as you progress and unlock new skills, the game is never really compelling. Unless, of course, you're a Harry Potter fan. Lillet Blan's adventures at magic school and the characters she meets parallel the story of the "boy who lived" so completely that it's almost creepy--right down to an object called the "Philosopher's Stone." This is what Harry Potter would have been had it been written as a daytime soap. GrimGrimoire is fun at first, but not in the same league as developer Vanillaware's Odin Sphere (see below).
I'm not a huge RTS connoisseur, but I have a good idea of what works. And I know that viewing GrimGrimoire's action from the side (rather than overhead) isn't very helpful. To the developers' credit, the control scheme cleverly handles selecting crowds of units, but it still ends up cumbersome and never as fast as a traditional RTS. Sure, it's gorgeous, but this game deserves a high-def presentation, or at least a system that can handle all of those 2D sprites.
Not in the same league as the rest of NIS' library, eh, Greg? You mean recent cliched mediocrity like Ar tonelico and Atelier Iris'? I'll gladly take Grim over those, thanks. No, the game doesn't totally solve the problem of how to do RTS on a console, but with its 2D, teleport-any-where-on-the-map gameplay, it ends up surprisingly playable. Greg's spot-on in pegging this as a Harry Potter clone, though (well, aside from Grim's weirdly sapphic undertones). Sure, most games are hardly original, but Grim borders on criminal--literally! A Snape-like professor who, we're assured, isn't evil? "Gammel Dore" as bearded headmaster instead of Dumbledore? Uh, get your legal team ready, NIS.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP