Review: Arcadias no Ikusahime (Import)
Are you looking for a game that’s like Dragon’s Crown but makes no sense because it’s entirely in Japanese? If this is the case then Arcadias no Ikusahime might actually appeal to you, but otherwise the language barrier could be a problem. So is it worth trawling through incomprehensible menus and tutorials to reach the action underneath? Arcadias no Ikusahime isn’t a terrible game, but the short answer is probably not.
Arcadias no Ikusahime screenshots well, although the art has many other qualities that cant be captured in a still image. Notably the character movements don’t feel quite right; running looks unnatural and the enemies feel stiff. The backgrounds may look pretty, but are uninteractive still pieces of art that are disconnected from the rest of the game. The camera also feels too close to the player, and this severely limits how many enemies can appear onscreen at one time. This is likely because there is a fair bit of slowdown if you attack too many foes at the same time.
What did surprise me is the game’s really cool soundtrack, and what might have otherwise been a fairly generic beat ’em up is enhanced by a fun selection of J-Rock music that helps keep things entertaining. Still, you’re selection of moves is limited, as is the selection of enemies, and there’s only so many times you can cut a panda in half by mashing square and triangle before the game starts to feel old.
But the main problem Arcadias no Ikusahime is the difficulties a non-Japanese speaking player will encounter. There’s about the same amount of story, tutorials and menus as Dragon’s Crown, so if you’ve played that then imagine all that information being unreadable and you will have a fair idea of the problems you’ll be encountering. There were times I was walking around aimlessly or pressing buttons randomly, hoping to trigger an event that will progress the story. Then when it comes to purchasing and equipping weapons there’s a similar level of trial and error. It can be done, but I don’t really see the point when Dragon’s Crown is not only a better game, but is also available in English.
If you insist on playing a game that lets you attack a giant Groudon with a sword, then Arcadias no Ikusahime is your only option. However, pretty much everything this game offers is available elsewhere. I don’t think an English language release is likely, although if it was I’d be inclined to rate that version slightly higher. Otherwise, Arcadias no Ikusahime will present you with too many difficulties, and it’s not worth you’re time to try and overcome them.
Play instead: Dragon’s Crown, Code of Princess, Guardian Heroes