For some odd reason, Blazing Souls Accelate went unnoticed when it was released this past October. In doing research to get an idea what type of game Aksys Games decided to bring over, there seemed to be no information on this game. No Wikipedia entry, no user reviews on GameFly, not even a terrible IGN review or a GameTrailers video review. Granted, it was released in the middle of the two busiest months for game releases, but still, someone must have reviewed this game. Was it so bad that no one wanted to review it, or was it good and just a victim of being released at the wrong time?
Battle Map/Adventure Map - In most strategy RPGs, the battle map and the adventure map are separate entities. In Blazing Souls, they one and the same, meaning that any changes that happen on the battle map will show up on the adventure map and vice-versa. This gives another factor for players to think about their surroundings before heading into battle, thus giving their party an advantage.
High Replay Value - Blazing Souls, like many other JRPGs, is packed with 50+ hours of game time, with various side quests, guild quests, dungeons to explore, hidden encounters and so much more. And in true JRPG style, the game is never over, as there are multiple endings for the game depending how you play and the addition of a New Game + mode which carries over all stats and weapons and lets you go through it again.
PS2 Updated Port - From 1999 to early 2003, the PS2 saw many JRPGs released for it,with some even making their way to the states. Blazing Souls was not one of those games, but Blazing Souls Accelate did and is actually a updated port of the Japanese PS2 version.
Voice Acting - While the voice acting wasn’t too bad; it felt as if some of the VO’s where just reading the script and just putting in the minimum effort. It would have been nice to have a Japanese voice option, but we can’t have everything.
Unforgiving Difficulty - Blazing Souls is not for casual gamers who are not familiar with JRPGs. One cannot just pick up and play this game, you have to learn every single action and strategize every single encounter, because if you don’t, the game won’t show any mercy. You know those papers stapled together that come with the game, that thing called a “manual?” Read it and keep it with you during the first few hours of play as a quick guide to what you need to learn.
Grindfest- This game requires you to grind a lot because with one false step or miscalculation of an enemy’s strength, it’s all over. Being that this is a strategic RPG, leveling up is important if you want to be able to complete the game.
Blazing Souls Accelate will be one of those “you either like it or you don’t” kind of games. I myself enjoyed it, being that I like these types of RPGs that come out from Japan, but it is not the best game that I’ve played. The grinding, and the no hand-holding unforgiving difficulty might put off some gamers looking for a strategy fix. It does have its moments, though. With 50+plus hours of gameplay and a New Game + mode it’s one that I know I will be playing a lot just to get the different endings. Like I said earlier, Blazing Souls Accelate isn’t for casual gamers, but it is for those who love the thrill of power leveling by grinding, fans of JRPGs and fans of the anime art style. If you’re curious about JRPGs, give this a rent, but if you’re a fan of these games and of Aksys, it’s a buy.
- Mike V.
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