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Brave Story: New Traveler review

AT A GLANCE
  • Classic RPG goodness
  • Fresh, engaging dialogue
  • Nonexistent load times
  • Maybe a bit too easy
  • Unnecessary goldfinch minigame
  • Nothing too innovative

Based on the Brave Story manga, Brave Story: New Traveler is a classic, Japanese-style RPG set in the fantasy world of Vision. As you progress through its 11 well-paced chapters, you'll remain engaged in its simple yet fun battle system, which features a clean menu system and your choice of Japanese or English voiceovers. Add in charming characters and fresh dialogue, with a sprinkle of smart pop culture references, and there's not much to complain about here.

The battle system is straightforward and simple, but with enough options to keep things interesting. In addition to regular attacks, your Brave Point (BP) meter fills as you battle, allowing you to use special Bravura moves. Since the BP meter constantly refills, it comes in particularly handy for healing during long dungeon excursions. As the three members in your party spend more time with each other, they'll also learn Unity moves. These moves drain your BP quickly, but more than make up for it with the damage they deal.



Like the battle system, Brave Story's accessory making system is also simple and fun. Throughout the game you'll receive accessory diagrams, which are just lists of ingredients that will make a particular equipable item (ex: 2 pelts + gleaming stone = healing ring). When you acquire a diagram to make a certain accessory, you can make as many of that accessory as you'd like, as long as you have the necessary materials (which are usually easily attainable items that enemies drop in battle). You're also able to dismantle accessories you've made and reclaim their original components with no penalty, which is a huge plus. This means you can start using the accessory system right away, instead of feeling pressure to save your materials for stronger accessory diagrams as the game progresses.

Some may feel the gameplay is too easy and unchallenging, but for us it was welcome relief from other, less forgiving PSP RPGs. Others may complain that Brave Story lacks innovation, but we prefer its classic approach over something more convoluted or over-complicated, especially since it's a handheld title. No one wants to waste time trudging through menus when you're on the go and want instant action.

And speaking of not wasting time, the icing on the cake here is the near-complete lack of loading times, which is amazing given Story's overall graphical quality. With a fun battle system, great graphics and character design, no loading times, and plenty of charm and wit to boot, Brave Story is an easy recommendation for any RPG fan. This is one of the best RPGs (if not the best) for the PSP yet.

More Info

Release date: Jul 31 2007 - PSP (US)
Jul 31 2007 - PSP (UK)
Available Platforms: PSP
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: XSEED Games
Developed by: Game Republic
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Language, Suggestive Themes, Mild Fantasy Violence

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