Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome review

You can use a small shrub or a handy cabbage to create a character. Now that is customisation

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It takes a certain type of person to be sucked into a strategy RPG: the sort that can spend several hours customising an army of characters without stepping on to the battlefield once. The type of gamer who, when faced with an evil carrot as an enemy, will wonder if it has a high resistance to wind spells.

Our anti-hero, the self-styled ‘frikkin’ bad ass overlord Lord Zetta, attempts to circumvent a prophecy by burning the very book that predicts his downfall. Instead he accidentally burns his own netherworld to the ground, only surviving by confining his body to the book.

Oh, the irony. He then creates an army by confining souls to other inanimate objects, who fight on his behalf to build his new kingdom. Quite.

When creating characters, it’s vital to pick the objects you use wisely, as each can give different stat boosts. The character creation system is a mix of those from Disgaea and Phantom Brave, but doesn’t have the depth of either.

There are a few clever twists on what’s gone before. You can now build various facilities like hospitals to place on the battlefield and house your characters, giving them additional stat boosts while the buildings remain standing.

There are vehicles, too, giving you greater room to move around and, once customised, they can be the difference between victory and defeat. The maps are much bigger as well, with unlockable areas that provide much-needed experience and items.

Without the same options to spend weeks creating über-build characters to race through the story mode, and with the ever-dodgy clunky interface showing no signs of improvement, there’s nothing to get overexcited about here, but for die-hard Nippon Ichi fans the introduction of vehicles and buildings will be something to suck up – at least in the short term.

More info

US censor rating""
UK censor rating"12+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)