One of the games that was overlooked at Sony’s Gamers Day was Jeanne d’Arc, a strategy RPG developed by Level 5. It was sitting in the PSP booth on the first day while most people were checking out Uncharted: Drake’s Legend and Heavenly Sword (impressions on the latter coming soon). It’s sort of a shame that the four demo stations got little to no attention.
Admittedly it’s hard to get into a strategy RPG with only a couple of minutes of play time, but I sat down to check out Jeanne D’Arc. When I started the game I was already in a battle and something different in Jeanne D’Arc is the topography is more vibrant. Jeanne was smack in the middle of a city with bridges to cross and narrow streets to walk in. Some enemies were hiding on the roofs of buildings too and the only way to reach them was to climb up ladders. Since the demo had Jeanne, Jean and another character extremely overpowered you didn’t have to use any complicated tactics to “win”. You could run up and use your standard attack or sit back and let Jean waste enemies with counter attacks. However, there are some neat tactics you can use like clustering your characters in a group, something you wouldn’t want to do in most other SRPGs, to grant a defense boost to any connected characters. Jeanne also has a set of skills to boost allies within one square of her, which can be an added benefit if you bunch up your party around her. It’s clear that Level 5’s spent a great deal of time on Jeanne D’Arc’s presentation and check past the break to see a trailer with spliced anime scenes.