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.
Since 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.
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.