## general thoughts
i really wanted to love this game, but i only liked it. as a (nearly) solo developed indie game, you can get really well executed clear vision on projects like this. emphasis on can. my general impression of this game is that the core developer drew inspiration from too many different sources and ended up with something perfectly tailored for themselves, but not necessarily others.
the game balance in particular is all out of wack, and i had to turn the game down to easy because i was spending far too much time in "random" battles. speaking of that, the game doesn't have random battles, but it literally roadblocks and ambushes you with enemies constantly. especially since XP grind isn't a thing in this game, i'd love more chances to avoid combat and save my energy for the bosses. i initially enjoyed the boss fights, but playing on easy mode made almost every fight trivial, yet i had a hard time being motivated to go back on that.
## what i played
i did a lot of the side quests, but not all of them. i didn't do any of the "post game" stuff. i recruited all 12 party members. i played for about 45 hours.
## the short version
> i don't regret buying, playing, or finishing the game, but i can't see this as "an indie masterpiece" or new best JRPG by any metric from myself. it's a solid 3/5 game for me.
## pros
+ 12 playable characters
+ despite being set in a single nation, neighboring countries and even continents are relevant to the story
+ music is generally good
+ art is generally good
+ lots of "quality of life" changes compared to older JRPGs
+ not too much backtracking
+ lots of characters involved in political struggle, war, and fighting god
## cons
- crafting is tedious (but skippable on easy mode)
- "no random battles" is true but the game has a massive amount of forced battles anyway
- level and map design is not good
- sometimes the perspective on the art is a little wonky
- mech combat is completely unique from on-foot combat, and nowhere near as good
- leveling system is horrible for folks with choice paralysis like me
- too many systems to learn with little payoff
- difficulty curve looks like a sine wave
- localization can feel dry
- a character complains about how growing up rich actually sucks because his sister got raped into a coma by a group of poor people
- i'm not kidding btw

Reviewed on Jan 20, 2023