By Louise Yang . September 17, 2007 . 10:41am
In Gig's own words, "I could tell you things to make your butt pucker." Okay, maybe not those types of things, but things that make me appreciate the game better.
I initially thought that towns were boring. Instead of walking around in them, towns are basically just a static menu with some choices on where to visit. When visiting shops, another menu pops up, showing you the NPCs in the shop and you can choose their names in the menu to initiate a dialog with them. None of the NPCs in a particular shop had anything interesting to say. I noticed that I could perform a "kick" action on them, so I did that, not knowing what it would do. It seemed to just make the NPCS I kicked angry.
After visiting some other NPCs in town, I headed out for a battle. I was shocked to see that there was an angry merchant on the battle field in addition to the typical enemies. It turns out that you can fight townspeople too! I don't know if it affects the plot or anything, but they're pretty feisty, so I got a decent amount of experience out of beating them. It's hilarious to see an enemy named "Angry Mob" on my battlefield.
A few things I failed to mention before were the skippable cutscenes. Before entering a story-driven battle, the game asks if you'd like to skip the cut scene or not. I usually don't, but I like the fact that the game gives you the choice to. In addition to that, you can also skip the animations of units duking it out on the battlefield. Doing that just shows you enemies doing quick fights in generic rooms. It's only slightly faster, but I like that the game gives you that choice as well. It comes in handy when you want to do a special attack (which are enabled after you use up some of your stamina by walking) and you don't want to sit through the lengthy animation.
By offering the choices to skip these things, Soul Nomad gives the impression of being the type of game for people who like to spend half an hour setting up the perfect offense. I certainly spend a decent amount of time arranging my troops into specific formations and equipping certain rooms with different types of attribute-changing decoration. Once that's perfected, battles usually go smoothly.