In terms of the battle system, there are a few elements that help the game stand out. The first is called “Burning Aura,” a system where one character gains an attack advantage by moving to a spot adjacent to where his or her teammate just made an attack. Another is “Unified Guard,” which comes in handy during the aforementioned VIP-escort levels. With this, your team gains a defense bonus by staying close together. Think of it as a buddy system for waging war against demonic forces. Finally, certain characters with an armlet item gain the ability to transform to a super-powered state during the fight, and if you finish off an enemy in this mode your character will preserve his or her turn. In one level, we rolled off a series of four or five consecutive death blows with one of our characters in this transformed state. The experience was fun, though we’ll admit that by the end of our rampage we felt like we were just bullying the competition. Nonetheless, these features work together to help add an extra layer of excitement to the battles.
You can move a fully adjustable camera into any number of positions facing the 3D map. This is very helpful in a game where character placement and direction are so vital. The in-game graphics look good on the PSP’s sharp screen, but we can’t speak to the quality of the anime-style cinematics, since we didn’t get the chance to see those. And although the game is still very early in the localization process, we did catch enough dialogue snippets to see that Level-5 will be making an effort to add some humor into the characters’ speech.
Unfortunately, there’s no multiplayer to speak of, but Jeanne d’Arc does look promising enough to keep us waiting until the game is released this August.