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Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga combines both strategic RPG mechanics with a complex management system. Developers Dancing Dragon Games, and publisher Freedom Games, have recently made a name for themselves by creating amazingly polished RPG maker titles. This game, surprisingly, is no different. And on top of that, it’s incredibly fun.
Our story begins shortly after the Waridian War of Succession. This chaotic conflict led to numerous deaths and economic uncertainties for the Veridian Empire and its adversaries. After 10 years, Tahanra’s world is moving towards peace again. That was until General Antares kidnapped Queen Florina in one of the last acts of rebellion.
Our protagonist, along with a wide group of their colorful friends, stops before they get any kind of attraction. However, Prime Minister Kasamir uses this as an opportunity to create his plot for the Veridian throne. He hangs Empress Florina and frames our hero in the process by telling her he conspired with General Antares.
With no other witnesses to the plan, Casamir successfully achieved the leadership of the largest known state in the world. Now, living as outsiders, our hero puts together his own rebellion. Their goal is to avenge Empress Florina and bring down the villain.
Lore and characters
One thing about the Symphony of War is its extended lore. It is clear that a lot of time and dedication has gone into creating the world, the region and historical events. That’s why it’s a little disappointing that the overall storyline is so normal. This is especially true of the main actors of the characters and their personal development, which is sometimes felt in a hurry.
For example, the characters will solve any problem quickly by giving each other a shiny paper talk. This not only reduces the value of each obstacle but also greatly affects the character’s victory. It’s honestly ridiculous how often this happens and it sometimes gets in the way of irony.
Likewise, I wasn’t particularly a fan of the main character’s design. The shiny blue hair and clothes made it look like a cheap Martha / Lucian rip-off. It just felt a little clich आणि and dice, and I would have preferred if they had their own unique look. That said, there are many twists and turns in the story that entertained me throughout. I just hope that any subsequent game interactions will match the level of detail in World Building.
The Symphony of War puts you at the head of the army. You also build and oversee each of your regiments with squad leaders, soldiers, objects and artwork. Initially, the number of options can be a bit overwhelming. This is not made easy by the game, which for the most part, leaves you finding an endless array of menus on your own.
Overcoming this hurdle is beneficial, as the customized level is just excellent. Each squad occupies a 3 × 3 grid that, depending on the state, can hold 9 individual units. You are free to manage their class, their location on the grid and what kind of points they have.
The game has more than 50 different classes that allow endless possibilities. These include swordsmen, magicians, healers, paladins and personal favorites, dragons. It is amazingly satisfying to see your troops succeeding in battle, but also to know that they are your own creation.
The combat sections of the game are played on a grided battlefield. Each army takes a turn to maneuver its squadron around while engaging in conflict and capturing various objectives. The battle itself is mimicked automatically, so it’s important to think about which squads you want to use for any skirmishes. Making the wrong decision can be catastrophic and can ultimately wipe out your entire army.
Maps environment is also something you need to take into account. This can affect many different things such as speed of movement, dodge rating or guarantee of a serious attack. Capturing objectives on a map will reward you in a variety of ways. Most of the time they will be different variables for your army, although some even do things like reviving fallen friends.
The scale of each of these conflicts varies from small spying missions, to large-scale battles involving 200 individual units. The landscape created by Dancing Dragon Games for this title is amazing and admirable. The gameplay is so much more and I’m looking forward to playing even more after completing all 30 chapters.
Graphically, Symphony of War has 4 distinct aesthetics inspired by various SNES art genres. Storyline Cinematics is stylized to look like a traditional 16-bit RPG, à la Chrono Trigger. The background environment is especially conducive to this, as the vibrant colors pop up on the screen.
The simulated fighting sequences are overwhelming in themselves and feature blown versions of the Sprites character. This extra layer provides detail to make the animation feel more fluid and intact.
Battle Board is a strip-down version of the cinematic genre. It mainly removes background details to make it more practical for gameplay. It was a great design decision as it eliminates any confusion about enemy positions, points to capture, and so on.
The last of the art genres in sports, in my opinion, is the weakest of them all. The parts in which the conversations take place, the game will turn into a shot next to each character. These are still images that change slightly depending on the current mood of the discussion. The problem here is that the characters look rather strange. Their proportions seem largely low, and the presentation just seems out of place. The best way to describe it is that it looks like an off-brand visual novel.
Overall, 3 out of 4 art genres match the game’s themes to a great extent. The artists have done a great job of keeping the idea coherent, while changing different styles. All the backgrounds look very beautiful and I hope they stick to this art direction for future entries.
The music in the Symphony of War is amazing and somewhat forgettable. In my opinion the most notable track is the combat theme. You may have heard of the famous Dragon Quest composer, Koichi Sugiyama, in the mid-90s.
There are moments when the SFX falters a bit, with the screams of bizarre death being the most memorable example. Honestly, I found it more fun than annoying, though admittedly, it missed some important narrative moments. Thankfully, the sound effects used in the battle sequences match the action on the screen very well.
Symphony of War: Nephilim Saga is a very fun strategic RPG. Squad-based gameplay and management mechanics co-exist amazingly well, and each system has amazing complexity. Although much thought has been given to the extended lore, the description of the game seems hasty and uninteresting. If you are a fan of management RPG and are looking for something that will itch the Ogre Battle, then this game is worth watching.