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Culdcept Revolt

Score: 96%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Omiya Soft
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4 (Online)
Genre: Strategy


Graphics & Sound:

I have adored the Culdcept series ever since I first played it back in 2003 and there are versions even older than that. The new Culdcept Revolt comes out on the series' 20th anniversary. Itís a series that doesnít put out many games, but I have loved every one Iíve played. Thereís something simple about the Monopoly-like board, but extremely complex when you factor in everything else.

A "simple" board doesnít mean it isnít colorful. Youíve got the four base color squares, multi-colored squares, and then all of the various action squares (like spells, prophets, etc.). Once you pop all of the various monsters on, which are definitely colorful, the board can look a bit cluttered at times, especially on the small screen. Luckily, you can use the arrow to move around and hover over creatures, so you donít have to be able to tell what is on which square at a glance. The same goes for the characters. It is quite difficult to see who is where on the small screen, but thatís the price you pay for portability. During the cutscenes, you can easily see who is who and whatís going on, which is nice.

The characters donít speak aloud for the storylines, but there are little things they say during the game about whatís going on in each round. You will also get a narrator in some cutscenes. The game is in English with English subtitles and the background music is not bad to listen to. You donít have to if you donít want to, but you will notice that after someone is halfway to the money goal, the music speed picks up. You also get little queues, like the cha-ching of money when you take in a nice toll.


Gameplay:

First off, you should know about Cepters. Cepters are people who can use the magic in cards to battle on playing fields. It is said that Cepters can even create and remake the universes. To play Culdcept Revolt, you will need to create your own Cepter. When you first start out, you wonít be able to customize him (other than name), but after a few battles, you will be able to change up various options. Youíll choose a book after creating your Cepter. You can choose Fire & Earth or Water & Air. Personally, I went with Fire & Earth, but both are equally good to start with. As soon as you start, youíll wake up in a desolate place with amnesia and you can only remember your name. You donít even remember what a Cepter is, much less that you are one. Cepters battle on a field made of tiles and these tiles can have various attributes. You will capture a tile by putting your monster on it with your cards. To capture a tile, you must first land on it. You roll the dice at the beginning of a turn to find out how far you will move. By capturing a tile, you will earn magic coins known as Gain. Each lap around the board will earn you a lap bonus. The size of it will be based on the number of your territories plus bonuses. Before you roll the dice, you will get a new card each round. You can only hold 6 cards, so make sure to use them when you need them. If you already have a hand full, you will have to choose to discard either an old card or the new one. Keep on taking land and you will hopefully win the round. You will obtain personal points at the end of a round, as well as money to spend on more cards.

The first person you meet is Alicia, a member of the Free Bats, a group of rebels fighting against Count Kraniss in the city of Celphas. Sych, Tenet, Yuma, and Gen are also members. The Count has locked down the city and is killing all the Cepters he can find inside it. Alicia wants to try and make a break for it during the Star Festival so they can all escape, while Sych wants to stay and fight the Count to free everyone. Terrormire catches Alicia at the gate. She expected only his less powerful underling, Nighthawk, and it costs her dearly. Youíll meet up with Nighthawk and more of the Countís minions throughout the game as you go through the quests. Fair warning, Culdcept Revolt is a very long game (at least 60 hours I think, probably more). I have not beaten it yet to tell you how many quests you will go on, but I will tell you that you will enjoy the journey!

Outside of the quests you can choose to play a Solo Match against any character you have unlocked, a Local Match against someone sitting near you, or even an Online Match against players anywhere. Youíll get a daily free gift for connecting online, even if you donít play a match. Once you go online, you can choose to match against anyone or just friends. You can choose a Beginner Match, which is only three player, a Normal Match, which is four players, or a Special Match, where you can do Co-op play. Just be aware these are long games, so be prepared to play for that long or forfeit since you canít pause an online game.


Difficulty:

Leveling up land strategically is your best bet to win a game quickly. You will get bonuses based on how many of the same type of land you have. These are called land chains and it makes the land more valuable. Leveling up the land makes it even more valuable. You can change the land type as well, but be aware it will cost you. The higher level the land, the more it will cost. It might or might not be worth the cost. Leveling up the land also gives your creatures a defense bonus, if they match the land type. If possible, you want to keep the same element creature as the land it is on. Having two territories next to each other also helps. Unlike the previous games, you will not get +10 attack for each territory you have next to that square. This is something Iíve really had to get used to as that bonus +10 or +20 could really make a difference when you are invading! Invading creature attacks first, except on some creatures that have the attack first ability. If the invader is an attack first, they will still take precedence over a defending attack first.

There are four elements: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. There are also neutral territories (which do NOT give a bonus to neutral creatures) and multi-element territories, which give a bonus to more than one type of creature, but do not count in any chains. There are also a variety of other territories that you can land on. I like the new spell one. If you land there, it will show you two spell cards and you can choose one of those for free. Youíve still got the prophecy and other lands that were there before.

If you want to get new cards, you can spend the GP that you earn in each battle on new card packs. You donít know which cards are in a pack, as it is random, but trust me, you want new cards! You can purchase cards, book covers, avatars, and more in-game and online. The more rare cards are usually found online for real money, but there are some free things. If you run out of GP, you can replay previous boards or sell cards that you donít want. It is also possible to earn new cards at the end of battles. Itís up to you how you want to build out your books, but I recommend keeping several books available so you have something that fits the board you are playing on.


Game Mechanics:

Culdcept Revolt is a turn-based game, so the controls are easy to use. The (A) button is select and (B) cancels. (X) is quite handy as it will let you scroll around the board so you can see whatís where. (L) will switch the values displayed on the map and (Start) shows you help tips. You can see the cards in the other Cepterís hand by holding down on their name on the touchscreen. I find this very helpful in knowing what items they can play against you! Youíll also be able to calculate what they can use for offense or defense. I must admit that I was quite frustrated with the speed of the game at first, but then I found you can go into the settings and increase the speed of your opponents. This way you donít have to watch every little thing pass at a slow pace.

In a change from previous games, after you roll, you can choose territory and select any land that is not fatigued. In the previous games, you had to wait until you had just passed that land or you landed on a castle. This makes territory changes easier to make happen. Completing a lap ends creature fatigue. Also different is that you now discard the extra card at the end of the turn, rather than the beginning. This makes it so that you have that turn to decide which card is more useful to keep. You can choose to forfeit after five rounds. Sometimes you just donít get a good hand to start with and you find it is easier to start over. You will have to hold down on the white flag at the bottom until it turns blue, and then you will have to roll the dice for that round. If you forfeit, you will still get items based on your progress to that point. Funny enough, if you forfeit but are ahead in coins and the other player agrees to the forfeit, you will actually still win the round. It will not count as completing the quest though.

I am happy to report that I love the gameplay in Culdcept Revolt as much as the previous games. There are a few changes, but I didnít find it too hard to adapt. I love that they have kept pretty much all the old cards (at least all that I remember), but there are a lot of new ones as well. I also like that you have the ability to play against a real player sitting in the same room as you. The story goes at a slow pace, but I like the gameplay so much that it doesnít bother me one bit. If youíre looking for a strategy game that provides hours and hours of entertainment, check out Culdcept Revolt today!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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