- Developer: EXE Create Inc.
- Publisher: KEMCO
- Platform: PS4, PlayStation Vita, Steam, Switch
- Release Date: 6 July 2017 (Steam), 5 September 2017 (PSN), 16 November 2017 (Switch)
- MSRP: $14.99 (PSN and Switch), $9.99 (Steam)
I’ve been really into the Switch lately. I’m also in the mood for a JRPG. So, I went off to the eShop in search of games. After shuffling through the eShop for several minutes I stumbled upon Antiquia Lost. I read the description and saw something about a slime girl and I was curious. The anime aesthetic and classic RPG style had me intrigued. Antiquia Lost was a blind buy. I read no reviews and bought the game on impulse. Antiquia Lost is a port of a mobile game, but with all the bs associated with that platform removed. The game was fun but lacking in some ways. Details to come!
There are three tribes who rule over the land of Edelstein. These tribes are the Eeth, Fai, and Ruta. Eeth are cat like people. The Ruta are made of slime and Fai are normal humans. Long ago, there was a war between the three tribes but have since lived in peace. Not all is well in paradise. Trouble is brewing. The game starts and we meet our hero. Bine is a young man living in a small village. He seems to possess a unique ability and is often tasked with protecting the village. One day while walking through the forest, he stumbles (literally) into a girl in trouble. This girl is Lunaria, who is revealed to be half Fai and half Ruta. She is the slime girl mentioned in the game’s description. Lunaria explains to Bine that her mother is in trouble. Bine agrees to be her escort. Unfortunately, they couldn’t save her. With her dying words she reveals that Lunaria is a princess of the Ruta tribe. Now they must journey to the Coral Palace. Along the way they meet a gentleman of the Eeth tribe named Jade. He is old, wise, and mischievous. Jade has an heir of mystery about him. The trio continue their journey to Coral Palace. They run into Safira, a Ruta solider lost in a cave. She has no sense of direction and can be a bit of a tsundere. These 4 make up our heroes.
Our heroes run around Edelstein, helping those in need. Tensions are high among the tribes as mysterious events unfold. Unexplained disappearances keep happening. The only connection the disappearances have is each person was highly skilled in magic. The plot progresses and its revealed that a 4th tribe once existed but was wiped from history. One of the survivors has wandered for ages. He wishes to get revenge on the three tribes. Our heroes must stop this from happening and restore peace to the land.
Antiquia Lost follows the usual JRPG story, especially RPGs from the SNES. The story was somewhat generic, but the main cast was enjoyable. They adhere to common tropes, but I found their interactions endearing. The rest of the characters were forgettable. Not much spotlight is given to secondary characters. They seem to just exist. A problem with the story is the antagonist. He hardly shows up until the very end and is only mentioned in passing. I kept waiting for the villain to show up until the last 5% of the game. His presence is not felt. An uncompelling villain can drag down a story.
Antiquia Lost is a turn-based RPG reminiscent of the SNES era. You command four characters with different strengths. Bine uses a sword for a weapon and has fire magic. He has balanced stats but low MP. Jade has a walking stick for a weapon and uses earth magic. He has high strength but low speed. Safira uses a magic staff. She can use all magic but is best at water magic. A trait of the Ruta tribe is the ability to use all magic. Safira doesn’t have much physical strength but excels at magic. Lunaria works completely different from the other characters. More on her later in this review. Each character has two different levels; One for the character and one for magic. They have separate counters, EXP and SP. The player can earn bonuses based on crits and activating Overkill. Overkill is when a character uses a multi-hit move but keeps going after the enemy’s HP reaches zero. It also replenishes MP. Each move can be leveled up as well. They are leveled up simply by using them.
Antiquia Lost puts heavy emphasis on stats. The game gives you many opportunities to increase each character’s stats. Beans can be used to increase a specific stat. You must plant the beans and they will start to sprout over time. Growth Z can be used to instantly grow a bean but are an extremely rare item. The amount a stat increases is random. There’s a bean that adds +5 to all stats. These are rare and take a long time to grow. Lunaria is completely based on growing stats. She doesn’t follow the typical level system of the other characters. You instead feed her gems to increase her stats. That’s right, the main heroine eats rocks to get stronger. Well, a diamond is a girl’s best friend after all. Lunaria will easily become the strongest party member. By the end of my playthrough, her MP reached a point where it never came close to running out. She offers so much versatility. Make sure to feed her as many gems as possible. What kind of teeth does she have to cut through rocks?
Another noteworthy game mechanic is leveling up weapons. Weapons can be made more powerful by combining with other weapons. Its better to stick with one weapon and keep combining it with other weapons. You can acquire better weapons by spending Alchemy Stones. They are given out at random, but you’ll always at least get something decent.
Alchemy Stones are acquired in game but rather slowly. The player starts out with 1,000. You can spend them on weapons, stat increases, rare items, and reviving the party after getting wiped.
There are microtransactions in the game but are hardly noticeable. You are not bombarded with prompts to spend money. They might as well not be there as the game is not all that difficult. I cannot speak for the mobile version as I played on Switch. You have access to all content regardless.
Grinding isn’t necessary. Antiquia Lost seems designed well to not merit hours of grinding. The game is relatively short for a JRPG, clocking in at 20 hours. It isn’t a hard game, but bosses can be challenging. Your skills and strategy will be put to the test. Before every boss fight is a heal pad that restores the entire party, so don’t worry about conserving health and MP. As stated earlier, Alchemy Stones can be spent to revive the party if wiped out. Does this take away from the sense of urgency? Not really. My gamer pride won’t allow me to lose on purpose.
The battle system is quite layered. Battle mechanics were Antiquia Lost’s strong point. I especially like how grinding is unnecessary. There wasn’t enough enemy variation. Bosses can be cheap as they almost always get multiple moves per turn.
Antiquia Lost was lacking in the visual design department. Everything looks green and brown. The landscapes weren’t interesting to look at. From what I’ve heard, Exe Create Inc. games tend to reuse assets. The sprite designs were excellent despite the dull backgrounds. Each character has so much detail. The character artwork is also appealing. Lunaria and Safira look so cute! I noticed that the game looks worse when docked. The character portraits become a little pixelated. Its recommended to play undocked.
There were very few songs in the game. The music it had was pleasant to listen to but seemed standard JRPG. I don’t have much to say in this department.
I had a good time with Antiquia Lost but it was kind of shallow. The story was typical, but I enjoyed the main cast. Not much grinding was needed to beat it. Bosses could be challenging and occasionally cheap. Antiquia Lost doesn’t have amazing visuals or music. Overall a fun game but nothing groundbreaking. Antiquia Lost is good for a long car ride if you happen to have it on Switch.