Nostalgia: Play It Again, Eddie

By Spencer . October 30, 2009 . 1:22am

image It’s the 19th century, but not the 19th century you studied in history class. Nostalgia is set in an alternate Earth where airships rule the skies and you’re a kid with Indiana Jones as your father.

 

OK, so Gilbert Brown isn’t Indiana Jones, he just looks like him.

 

Gilbert’s sudden disappearance prompts his son, a wealthy kid living in London, to find him. Every hero has to start somewhere. Eddie’s journey begins in the sewers. The adventurers association sends him on a rat hunting quest where he meets Pad, a street smart thief. Melody, a bratty black mage, and Fiona, the white mage Gilbert saved at the beginning of the game, are your other two party members. If the party sounds stereotypical or reminds you of characters from another game (anyone remember Fina?) just remember this game’s name is literally Nostalgia. Want to know what your teammates are thinking? Chat with them (a la the Dragon Quest DS remakes) by pushing Y.

 

imageSince Nostalgia is rooted in classic RPGs Red Entertainment didn’t set out to revolutionize combat. Nostalgia has random encounters and turn based battles with a Final Fantasy X style turn order on the bottom screen. You select attacks (magic for Melody) and watch the action play on screen.

 

Airship fights use a slightly different system where you’re usually surrounded by monsters. Each character has their own attacks, which are best used in certain directions. Eddie’s blade move is most effective on monsters directly in front of the airship while Pad’s gun attacks are good for shooting enemies on the side. Sky battles aren’t revolutionary, but Nostalgia would have felt more innovative if Red Entertainment used the multi-window combat system for ground battles too.

 

image Dungeons are scattered in semi-real world locations. Eddie’s adventure takes him to places like Cairo, Mt. Ararat, and New York. When he explores uncharted areas a map on the bottom of the screen fills up reminiscent of like Matrix Software’s Final Fantasy remakes. Aside from following the story players can take quests and search for ruins called World Treasures. Think of these as Skies of Arcadia’s discoveries on our Earth with few landmarks to help find the ruins.

 

Nostalgia’s world has its charm, but the story falls flat. I think this is partially due to the game’s localization or maybe I should say translation. The text doesn’t have any flavor to it so the archetypical characters seem even more dull than they should be. Entalize, the group that handled Muramasa: The Demon Blade, and a few staff members at Ignition Japan were in charge of the English version.

 

Red Entertainment has been working on Nostalgia for over ten years. If their goal was to make a ten year old RPG with 3D graphics they delivered, right down to the monotone localization.


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  • malek86

    Disappeared hero father? Adventurers association? I’m getting Grandia flashbacks here.

    Except this one doesn’t sound half as good.

  • Ereek

    I’ve already made my dislike for Ignition’s localization clear in other articles here, so I won’t get into it again. It’s just so sad that an adorable and charming game like this gets butchered for our release.

    Also, I know it has been mentioned before, but I really appreciate you not giving the games numerical values in your tiny “reviews.” It makes them seem more personal this way.

    • Pichi

      Also like the review thing as well. Gets me straight to the points and such.

      Still sad that the localization loses that magic flavor. A nice good localization could really have given the title a good push.

    • Hraesvelgr

      I think the biggest issue with numerical reviews is that the total score often doesn’t add up properly, the overall score ends up being something strangely separate from the other scores or the numerical score ends up contradicting what’s written in the review (i.e., text praises the game, but numerical score is ~7 or text faults the game on many levels, but numerical score is 9-10).

      • Saturnus

        I never understood how a completely written review (so no score given for any areas, just a final overall score) can have a decimal value… Like, how does a review think a game is 8.8/10… Based solely on what they were saying, so the value isn’t even an average score. How one can put their opinion to 2 sigfigs I’ll never understand…

  • MadMirko

    Do want, even with the flat work Ignition seems to have delivered (again). I’m a complete sucker for retro-games, even in modernized form. It’s a bit sad how these are sometimes handled in the west, though.

  • http://pto.yetikitn.com MelodyKitn

    Aww.. why do I always end up inadvertantly being the bratty mage type?

  • Moriken

    Well, the japanese script was really stale, and just uninterestingly written. If the english version is the same, it’s actually a faithful translation…^^;;

    And the airship battles were so incredibly frustrating…running into an encounter which decimates you within a turn despite having your airship upgraded to the best stuff possible at that point in the story, many thanks…>_>

    • http://twitter.com/aethelred ethelred

      Sure, the original Japanese script may have been really stale, and so in providing a totally bland and charmless translation, Ignition was faithful. And that’s part of the problem. Lunar started out that way, too, you know. Does anyone think that Vic Ireland couldn’t have turned a game like this into something magical and charming?

      More is expected from a niche RPG publisher than bland, dry, and utterly humorless and colorless straight textbook translations, and Ignition is just not delivering. Away with them.

  • Hraesvelgr

    I thought about trying this game, but it’ll have to wait for now. The past month has kept me busy/poor from MagnaCarta 2 and WotS3 and next month will be bringing Dragon Age and Assassin’s Creed 2.

  • Kris

    I’m tired of ignition shitting on everything they touch, localization-wise. I was pretty hyped for this, but I like my RPGs to have character…

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