Stranger of Sword City Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stranger of Sword City does much to stand out from the herd, but it might not be for the better.
Stranger of Sword City excels at one thing, and really flounders at the others. It’s a rewarding experience if you’re a fan of challenging RPGs and gameplay depth. If you’re a fan of well-written dialogue, engaging music or proper difficulty curves though…well….there are a lot of other video games out there that may suit you better.
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 an extremely solid dungeon crawling RPG. Fans of the genre will likely lap this straight up due to a lack of options on Xbox One. However, whether it deserves a place up with the genre leaders such as Etrian Odyssey is open for debate. Newcomers will still find plenty to appeal to them even if at times the game does sometimes come across as a little inaccessible in spite of its attempts to make things easier. You'll need to make a serious time investment if you want to get to grips with all it has to offer.
Players who speak highly of games like Etrian Odyssey on the 3DS or those who played a ton of Eye of the Beholder back in the day may fall in love with the crazy monsters and style of Stranger of Sword City.
Stranger of Sword City is a solid dungeon Japanese role-playing game devoid of any surprises.
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.
Sword City may encounter the ocassional stumble, but the experience is unlike any other for a console starved of its genre, and certainly not one to be overlooked.
Grab your sword, prepare to enjoy that character creation menu, and get ready to spend as much time in the hospital as in a 3D dungeon labyrinth. It’s time to be a Stranger.
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.
Despite its slow start, Stranger in Sword City matures into a compelling dungeon crawling RPG that's defined by its gritty atmosphere. Even though it doesn't bring anything especially new to the genre in terms of gameplay, it's a cohesive and well-crafted handheld experience, topped off with a setting that practically begs to be explored.
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 in Sword City is a brutal and uncompromising experience that’s well worth overcoming. It features some interesting gameplay ideas along with a terrific art style and an OST to match. If not for its few notable flaws, it could have easily been the best dungeon crawler on the Vita.
Stranger of Sword City is a great first-person dungeon crawler for the Vita. Although marred by some annoyances, it is definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre.
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.