When it released on PC last year, Regalia
received largely positive reviews. Making the jump to consoles seemed the next natural step for the game, and it was done so by adding new modes and characters, making it the Royal Edition. Turn-based strategy games tends to be a genre you will either love or hate, but Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs - Royal Edition
does a good job of working in an interesting story and great characters around the turn-based gameplay.
Time to explore Ascalia
The game is set in the fictional location of Rashytil, and focuses in and aorund the city of Ascalia, which has become run down after years of being mostly abandoned. It turns out this ruined city actually belongs to a family consisting of a boy and his two sisters, but they only find out this fact when their father tells them on his deathbed. Once they find this out, Kay, his two sisters and their bodyguard Griffith set out in order to reclaim the city for their own. This is easier said than done though, as the previous owners left the city in a whole load of debt, and it's up to Kay and his family to settle that debt.
In order to settle the debts of the city, you need to complete a set number of things in a number of in-game days. This allows the debt to continue to be paid off and the story to continue. Nearly everything in the game is based around the passing on time, including exploring locations, chatting with your friends and completing quests. While this may seem at first glance like it limits the gameplay, the game does an admirable job of balancing this by giving you freedom in how you play.
Paying off the debt is done by completing a certain amount of kingdom quests before the time is up, and these come in a number of different forms. Completing locations surrounding Ascalia, improving the city by creating new buildings and shops, spending days with your friends and improving your personal bonds with them are all included in the kingdom quests. The game offers you the complete freedom as to which you choose to complete, and only asks that you do a set number in the set amount of time you are given.
Even fishing will help towards your kingdom quests
The game's roots are one of a turn-based strategy game, so you will spend a large amount of time in combat, especially if you choose to complete your quests that way. There's a large number of locations to explore around Ascalia, which are laid out in a map with different nodes you can visit. Within each location you'll find a number of nodes, with each individual node offering a different task. Whether that is a head to head battle with enemies, or a text adventure where you might be able to talk your way out instead of fighting. The game offers you the chance to do what you want on many different occasions, and completing these locations is no different.
When you get round to the actual turn-based combat in the game, things may take a little while to get to grips with. While the combat itself is essentially what you'd expect, taking turns to move and attack with a number of different characters across a grid, the fighting does take some getting used to, and the controller response not being 100% doesn't help with that. You cannot heal in battle, and when your character dies they are dead until you reach a camp node or get back to the city, so protecting your allies is a pretty high priority, especially when you come up against tougher enemies.
Learning which characters are best to attack or defend and which moves offer the best shots against certain enemies is the key to success in any turn-based strategy game. There's a huge roster of characters in Regalia
, each as bizarre and funny as the next. They poke fun at themselves, and using your quests to spend time with them and improve their personal bonds allows you to dig deeper into their stories and be rewarded with learning more about each of the characters, as well as perks to apply to everyone else.
The standard grid of turn-based combat
You'll need to become familiar with not only the combat but also how to keep your city running and population growing, as well as how to keep everyone happy. Once you are vaguely familiar with what is going on, you must decide where your focus is going to be, as due to the time restraints you probably won't be able to explore everywhere and become best friends with everyone. The plus side of this though means that any subsequent playthroughs of the game can be done differently, offering a number of possibilities along the way.
The game may not wow in the graphics department, but it is pleasant enough to watch and play, and the characters make it more bearable as well. The cutesy chibi-like animation as you wander about is minimal, which is a relief as trying to position yourself in the right area to interact with something is harder than it should be. During conversations, a text box with the character next to it appears, and these exchanges between characters can go on for a while but those who don't like reading will be relieved that any major conversations related to the main questline are recapped in the loading screens.
Never trust a bald man
In terms of the game's achievements, you'll have to earn 49 in total if you want to complete the list. A large chunk of them come from maxing out your personal bonds with the various characters, which will mean you focusing a large amount of time on talking with your friends. Aside from that, completing each of the chapters and the game will earn you an achievement for each, as well as a few miscellaneous ones for winning a set number of battles, finishing text adventures and unlocking codex entries as you encounter new things in the world. There are a couple that are missable, as a quest offers a few different outcomes, but you can manipulate your saves in order to get all of these. It is a doable list but will require some time spent across all areas the game has to offer.Check out our The Best Xbox RPGs Available in 2017 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
Though it takes a little while to get going, and you may feel quite overwhelmed at the start of the game, Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs - Royal Edition
is well worth sticking with. There is an impressive scope of possibilities, whether that's through combat, building up the city or forming bonds with your allies. The game never really pressures you to finish it in one way or another, and only demands that you complete it in a certain amount of time. The characters will carry you through the game, and will keep you company through the drawn-out battles, location exploration, and city improvement. It's a fun strategy game with more than meets the eye, and will be a welcome addition to any fan of the genre.
- Flexibility to play how you want
- Large amount of locations explore
- Simple but likable characters
- Takes a while to get to grips with everything
- Fighting feels a bit overwhelming
The reviewer spent a number of hours battling enemies, forming bonds with friends and exploring the city of Ascalia, unlocking 17 of the game's 49 achievements. A download code of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.