Stranger of Sword City Reviews
Explicit narrative aside, I found Stranger of Sword City to be a real winner of a dungeon crawler.
While Strange of Sword City has a fairly strong framework to work with, it only really sells the tone of its world very well. Combat feels like it could be tuned more, and a stronger narrative in this interesting world may provide the player with motivation to push on. There's a layer of polish that feels like it's missing, and it really holds back the title.
Stranger of Sword City is a solid dungeon Japanese role-playing game devoid of any surprises.
Experience has delivered a resoundingly solid dungeon-crawler that will give any seasoned a JRPG fan a run for their money. Beyond a difficult barrier to entry, players will find rewarding innovation, stunning art, and core mechanics that keep drawing you back. And while this game may not be for everyone, gamers able to notice genre-bending nuance will be able to find something to enjoy.
Stranger of Sword City looked spectacular and introduced a few engaging new features along with hours of strategic combat, but a shallow storyline and slow progression prevented the game from shining. Most gamers could find something to enjoy with the title, but those who aren’t big genre fans may feel like it’s a long grind towards a lacklustre ending.
Stranger of Sword City has many elements which should make it a fun dungeon crawler. However, the storyline is confusing, the battle mechanics are tricky and there are many aspects of the gameplay which aren't explained to their full making it difficult to progress through the game. Also, the addition of permadeath makes this game more frustrating than it should be.
If I made a list of everything that frustrated me in the Japanese role-playing genre, I'd bet Stranger of Sword City would be guilty of almost all of it.
I’ve become a huge fan of dungeon crawlers in recent years and Experience Inc has certainly had a hand in my growing love for them. Having played some of their previous titles in Demon Gaze, Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy and currently Ray Gigant (expect a review soon) I’m a little underwhelmed by Stranger of Sword City. The gameplay is solid but seems overly hard and needlessly punishing to players. Stranger of Sword City feels like a game that's definitely geared more towards the hardcore players. The story, visual and audio all appear very plain compared to their previous titles for me and it’s a real shame.
Overall, Stranger of Sword City is quite a good game for those looking for a nice dungeon-crawling RPG.
Stranger of Sword City can be a little archaic as far as mechanics go, and it certainly isn't very welcoming for those not already accustomed to the slow first-person, dungeon-crawling style. It is, however, very deep in the gameplay department and showcases new mechanics to complement a rather long campaign. A very different experience for those who aren't into the portable systems, JRPG fans who want something more distinct should check out Stranger of Sword City.
A solid dungeon crawler with fantastic art and music, but a few poorly implemented ideas prevent it from being a truly great experience. The PC port is simple but performs well enough for the genre, and the addition portrait uploads is a fun bonus.
All in all, Stranger of Sword City is a far surpassing RPG in gameplay, but is brought down to lesser degrees by a majority of flaws found everywhere else. This does not discount the fun I did have with it though, and I would still recommend it to anyone willing to explore the more forgotten parts of JRPG lineage.
Stranger of Sword City is definitely not the best dungeon crawler, but it still is one to recommend. Its style is quite unique compared to others of its genre and its high difficulty level can satisfy experienced players. Admittedly, grinding can be a tedious and time-consuming task, but it is a necessary evil that dungeon crawlers possess. The game can be overwhelming at first, but after getting used to the gameplay, everything will feel mostly natural. However, be sure to save often as one never knows when they might lose hours of progress due to a simple mistake.
The few good bits of Stranger of Sword City, like its immersive atmosphere and beautiful 2D art, amongst others, get drowned in a sea of problems.