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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been playing it now for awhile and I'm still thrilled with it! (Updated)
I'll be brief, and write a more detailed review once I have some more play time down. This is one of the more 'traditional' games developed by Sting. Which is not to say this is a Disgaea or FF Tactics clone by calling it 'traditional'. But unlike the previous Sting titles (Crimson Gem Saga, Yggdra Union, and Riviera), this one bears some semblance to games of the...
Published on June 21, 2012 by Christopher Barrett

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average SRPG for PSP - Try Je'anne de Arc first instead.
I had my disappointments with Gungnir - one of my lesser favorite SRPGs. However, there are a lot of RPGs for the PSP - From dungeon crawlers to strategy to tactics based to old school turn play, etc., (I realized the sheer massivity of RPG titles best when I started using the Playstation network to do my game shopping for this system) and I'd say the worthwhile ones...
Published 12 months ago by Marcos


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been playing it now for awhile and I'm still thrilled with it! (Updated), June 21, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
I'll be brief, and write a more detailed review once I have some more play time down. This is one of the more 'traditional' games developed by Sting. Which is not to say this is a Disgaea or FF Tactics clone by calling it 'traditional'. But unlike the previous Sting titles (Crimson Gem Saga, Yggdra Union, and Riviera), this one bears some semblance to games of the strategy RPG genre.

The game gives the option of a difficulty setting. I chose Hard (being a veteran SRPG player), and it's tough without being impossible. Normal might be a cakewalk for most players. Of course later in the game I may regret this...

Battles take place on a 3-d isometric grid. Battles are fun and fluid with plenty of action. The story is nice and progresses well. The use of dialogue in battle is a nice dramatic touch.

Leveling is where the game gets interesting and might cause me to replay the game several times. You can level characters and equipment, then recycle old gear to level up new stuff. Leveling characters makes them stronger, leveling equipment unlocks bonuses and skills.

All in all it's fun and very deep. I wouldn't say as deep as Disgaea games, but definitely rivaling most other strategy RPGS on the PSP. Buy if you like Sting titles or solid SRPGs like FF Tactics, Tactics Ogre, or Disgaea.

----
Update:
The game gets really tough on the advanced difficulty setting. But what I like is that the programmers didn't make it like Street Fighter where increased difficulty means more damage to you while you hit for less damage on the enemy. Instead the enemy gets really quite creative. The AI is impressive. You find that the enemies will block off your characters so that you can only get one or two in to attack position. They also set up chain attacks frequently. The only boneheaded thing they do is they still jump off tall ledges to take damage. Though this often happens so they can get their character into better position.

If you don't figure out how to properly deploy and position characters and use the Tactics gauge properly (for those quick charge or whatever they are called - where you spend Tactic Points to hasten your turn), then you will be seeing game over screens a lot. Even then you will find yourself losing characters frequently. But it never seems cheap. It's kind of like "Ah man, I can't believe I let my character get backed into a corner like that!". Just don't get too attached to your characters (except the regular NPC characters), you will lose some.

Also of note: the decisions you make affect the progression of the game. When you select whether to slay or spare someone or what course of action to take, it will affect the story. This encourages multiple plays through though. I haven't played through a second time, but I look forward to the changes if I select "To destroy the Empire" instead of "To protect others" when receiving Gungnir.

Oh, and I wanted to point out, there is a time limit for battles, but I haven't surpassed the limits yet. They give you plenty of time though it seems. I think they just don't want you endlessly farming crystals.

Update:

Since you can't optionally level up in this game (no optional battles), you might want to keep a few save files handy. I got to a point where I had trouble clearing the stage, and sadly had to go back to the beginning of the game and plan my progress better. As a linear, tough strategy RPG, this is great. But the linear aspect can be a bit frustrating. I always enjoyed the optional battles in FFTactics and Disgaea, but this game doesn't have that. You will need to be careful or you can get stuck at a certain point. Just warning you.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gungnir: THE Best PSP tactical game... EVER!, June 21, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
Gungnir's story starts you off leading a small band of thieving rebels trying to ambush a passing imperial caravan. Just when they think they'll get a decent meal, it turns out there's no food or cash aboard the wagons, just some worthless little rich girl. Oh well... it's an honest mistake!
However, you find out a little later that just about every rich bugger outside of the slums wants the girl dead, & will happily massacre all the residents & stab your hero & co. in the back, just to find the lost rich girl! It's a good thing that magical spears & Valkries come to your aid, else... your corpse would have just got kicked in the river with everyone else... Enter Gungnir, The Spear of Odin... That seems to just summon every other Norse deity! But it's still one heck of a weapon, considering it's still the start of game!
Now, With your hero just barely surviving the massacre, It's now time for the all the fun rebellion plans of the poor people to start! Lead the survivors of the slums strategically into Victory!

*All the battle basics / control stuff is explained quite well in the game, but I'll try to briefly sum it all up here*

The Battles take place on a grid-battle field, with each enemy characters getting a turn,& then you deciding what member of your team will act during your move phases. Characters can boost or team up attacks(if fellow members are within range). All characters have to wait after they act & can move again, but your party members can act faster if you don't mind them taking a HP penalty. Depending on how well a battle goes, treasure chests & crystals can appear in the next fight!

Characters can level up both themselves & their weapons! With enough levels on a weapon, it unlocks new skills & becomes more powerful, saving you some cash when it's time to buy new supplies. Also, there's a alchemist who can recycle unneeded items into crystals, then level up your favorite stuff!

Characters come in all sorts of different classes & equip different things: Fencers stick mostly to swords & heavy armor, Magic users prefer light robes, books, & staffs, etc.
While some equipment is unique to one character or class, other stuff is just too heavy for your lv5 soldier to carry around, but don't just sell everything off! Items have capacity levels, the better a weapon or armor is, the more capacity it'll take up. Leveling up characters seems to heighten their capacity, or you can just swap stuff between party members til it all fits! (it's actually fun! he,he,he! =)

You can go to the Guild to recruit new party members. While you can just pay gold & get any random class soldier, giving up a certain type of weapon will insure your only shown recruits who can use that sort of weapon. But! if it's the last one you have, save it! Weapons used to lure in new party members will be eternally lost. You can also just wait for the Camp menu to show up, where there are always at least 3 members waiting to join you! They're really weak, but everything looks much better when it's free!

And the best part: when you pick a difficulty level... the game is actually that level! Normal is fine & going by like a breeze, & hard is, well, harder! so unlike previous Sting/Atlus games, this one doesn't make it impossible for your heroes to pull through to the end. Rah!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just another Tactics Ogre clone., July 12, 2012
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= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
Gungnir may look like a simple clone of Tactics Ogre or Final Fantasy Tactics, but it is actually quite unique. While sharing a similar perspective to these well known Tactical RPGs, Gungnir does some rather interesting things with it's Tactics Gauge and Time systems. I do not wish to go into all the intricate details here, but the combat system provides a lot of flexibility and interesting tactical decisions while also rewarding players who plan ahead.

+ Unique gameplay elements.
+ Selectable difficulties AND difficulty scales with your performance.
+ Multiple endings.
- Story is nothing special.
- Interface could use some improvement.

I would recommend this to anybody who currently enjoys tactical RPGs, or anybody who wishes to try one and is not intimidated by complicated game rules.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average SRPG for PSP - Try Je'anne de Arc first instead., November 26, 2013
This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
I had my disappointments with Gungnir - one of my lesser favorite SRPGs. However, there are a lot of RPGs for the PSP - From dungeon crawlers to strategy to tactics based to old school turn play, etc., (I realized the sheer massivity of RPG titles best when I started using the Playstation network to do my game shopping for this system) and I'd say the worthwhile ones hover around 50%. There are many that are downright horrible. Gungnir falls somewhere between. It is by far not a bad SRPG, but also far from the likes of, say, the new Fire Emblem, or for instance Je'eanne de Arc (PSP).

First off, it takes a while getting in. The cut scenes - "event" scenes as they are labeled in this game, are not impressive at all graphically - no visual or audio candy here, just text boxes for dialogue and the same graphics you have during battle play.

The story has its good and bad points: it is rather hackneyed/cliche at its core - like so many other RPG's the game is based around a "chosen one," by the 'Gods' (of course he is unaware of why he is the chosen one, which of course remains cryptic until the story unravels), whose job is to protect and avenge his people - leading a revolution from the slums against an imperialistic oppressive regime, avenging his father's death who was the leader of, you guessed it, the previous failed revolution (at least his job is not to save the world from the once peacemaker gone madman!, but I digress). The characters range from fairly typical to slightly more interesting than average - there are a couple of other characters with "mysterious" backgrounds that unravel. To be fair, the story does improve, and to its credit some of the dialogue is decent - it really does have its moments that are literary, and there are some complexities thrown in when it comes to backgrounds and ethnicities and where loyalties lie, but it still relies heavily on formula and the Aristotelian curve.

Again, it takes a while getting in, and while it technically has a world map, there is no interaction with it - making the game too linear (SRPGs are genearlly more linear and not exploratory, but when you have an ineractive world map like in Fire Emblem and many other SRPGs for instance it makes it that much more dynamic, allowing for side quests, etc.)

The menus interface and its cosmetics and functionality also takes some getting used to - again, not bad, but not great. Alchemy is included which is always fun, and you can recruit as well as hire new members to your party. The in-game tutorials are welcomed but not always clear enough, and some of the more advanced mechanics of battle game play are somewhat convoluted, as are some of the advanced character elements.

Your occassional "choices" when given an option aren't really choices - the story and game proceed in the same manner regardless, just with slightly different dialogue for a moment or two.

You only get item based bounty during battle if you waste a turn to step on it after an enemy is defeated, and in this game, each turn in battle is fairly precious (at the end of a successful battle you will usually be awarded one item however). The battlefield designs could be dynamic - they have different levels (altitude), water, and other terrain that effect battle, and temporal based turn play. Unfortunately, some of the gameplay spoils the benefits... Often you cannot see some of the characters even if you rotate the cam. Another tough luck element of the game is that the same thing that applies to defeated enemies applies to your defeated characters - they drop one of their items when they retreat (enemy characters die or retreat, your characters only retreat when beaten, unless it is your "Ace" unit - explained below), which could be a level 9 weapon you've been improving through alchemy throughout the game. One of your remaining characters can grab it up if your lucky before an opposing character comes and swoops it up.

There is no quick save option during battle, but save points are not sparse once you are to the point between battles and story when you have the option to shop, equip, hire mercenaries (new characters), use alchemy to improve weapons, etc.

Battle gets pretty darn challenging - almost to the point of being too difficult, about halfway through, and there are no way to level grind your characters in between, only upgrade weaponry and armor, which itself is difficult when so much of what is made available to you isn't equipable on your best fighters.

Again - the difficulty level excels to a point of frustration halfway through. Like I said before, each turn in battle is precious, and unlike Je'anne de Arc or Fire Emblem, where every enemy gets a turn for each character and then you have a turn for all of your units, it goes back and forth from team to team based on a battle clock. For certain battles, this gets very awkward and strategy becomes incredibly difficult, especially if your goal is to wipe out the other team (sometimes your goal is to simply take out the leader). In these cases you can choose to grind on one character after another, and protecting your "Ace" unit can be a real pain (for every battle you have an "Ace" unit - a character of your choosing based on a subset of your main characters, and this character cannot be killed or, game over, and you continue redoing that battle until you win). Again, it makes it difficult to strategize because you obviously choose your best characters for battle, but while your grinding on one opposing character your other characters are just standing there like sitting ducks between turns.

Another one of the most obvious follies is that of status elements - e.g. poison, paralysis, etc. - this game has more than I have ever seen in any RPG game in my life, and there is a potion or herb to cure each one. Problem is, each of your team members only has five slots to carry weapon, armor, accessory armor like boots/gloves/etc. and items like HP potions or herbs/elixirs/etc. that cure the status ailments (sometimes you can't even use all five slots based on each item's "capacity size" in which case you can only hold three or four, which must be a weapon, armor, and accessory armor like shield/gauntletts/etc.). The issue is obvious - it is absolutely impossible to prepare your battle units for status ailments with the 20+ different items sold to cure 30+ different status ailments. Plain stupid. You can make it through the game without using them, however, but it compromises the game's integrity even further. (The only exception here is when you take a flag point on the battlefield, you have the option of "changing equipment" which includes items, so you can conceivably grab what you need at these points, but you're lucky if you're actually close enough to the ally with the status effect, and it also requires having every single cure in your stock, which is about 20+. You can also go through a battle, lose, and learn from it, and bring the cure or cures that you think you need - but again, every slot is precious and must be shared with your weapon, armor, etc.).

Your main character has the power of "Gungnir" which summons an awesome devastating spell that can turn a battle around, but over half of the time he often doesn't have enough skill points to even use it!

The game is still engaging if you like SRPGs, regardless of being far too linear, too hard at points, and having sub-par graphics - and so far I have not experienced any elements of actual choice or side quests.

Je'anne de Arc was the best SRPG for PSP so far in my experience, Gungnir's developers could have taken a lesson from it. If you like SRPGs, Gungnir is worth playing, but far from stellar.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners, July 26, 2014
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This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
I am 1 stage from finishing this game and can say that Gungnir has really grown on me. It's definitely an acquired taste, though, and I'd say that if you are a fan of SRPGs and are thinking of picking this one up, it'd be best not to try to go into it with any bias or preconceived notions of SRPG gameplay. A few stages in and I quickly realized that to enjoy this game I had to stop comparing it to titles like FFT, Tactics Ogre, Jeanne D'Arc, etc...

In Gungnir, a lot of what I have come to know as standard gameplay mechanics in SRPGs have been turned on their ear: Turn order is handled via "Clock Shift" which initially is a little frustrating to work with because it seems as though your characters practically never get a turn. Once your turn comes up, you must choose which character will act-- if they are able to, based on their "cool down" status from any previous actions. This was slightly frustrating in the beginning because I found myself neglecting certain characters on the field entirely, however, once you start getting the hang of using the clock mechanics and exploiting the system, it becomes infinitely easier to manage.

There is also a mechanic that plays out sort of similar to capture-the-flag wherein during a each battle there are flags scattered on the field which you (and enemies) can land on and "capture", and for each flag you capture it adds a point to your "Tactics Meter", and for each tactics point you have (up to 20) your team receives bonuses such as increased damage, etc... You essentially use a certain number of tactics points for any action you take, and while each action depletes the tactics meter, it recharges over time. This dynamic really adds an extra bit of strategy to consider during every battle as you try to prevent the enemy team from accumulating too many extra tactics points, steal them from you, and combinations of the like.

Also, if you have enough tactics points, you are able to "break" the clock, essentially bumping your turn up. It's not something that's recommended to do frequently, though, as it really depletes your tactics meter, but in a pinch sometimes this can be a real life saver.

Confused yet? Well this will really get you going...

Certain equipment and classes are capable of initiating "Beats" against enemy units during battle. Beats are these super-powered moves that are determined by not only equipment and character class, but unit placement and adjacency. When beats are initiated (again, using tactics points if they are available), other adjacent team members contribute to overall damage/support, sometimes dealing some really massive hurtin' to enemy units. This is by far the most elusive and confusing mechanic in the game to understand, and I still admittedly don't have a total grip on it.

I find the story line to be fairly intriguing, and although it is definitely a linear plot with very little player choice involved, the battles and mechanics are so complex that I am actually quite thankful for this. It is pretty dialogue-heavy, and although you can skip scenes, I think it would really devalue the overall experience. So, if you don't like reading then this might not be for you.

My biggest complaint is with the menu system. Buying gear and equipping it between scenes still remains for me a complete and total nightmare. There is a fair amount of complexity where equipment is concerned (improving it through "alchemy", learning and maximizing abilities, class compatibility, etc...) and the menu system totally screws you here: you can't easily compare items or even see very clearly the stats, and it becomes really aggravating to balance your team as your success in this game is completely dependent on your ability to change things up and adapt to new situations. If you like the game, though, you work around this and deal with it.

Enemy AI is at times brutal. You will decidedly lose some battles. Your characters will get knocked off the map at crucial moments. Some of your characters might even die (perma-death). Your equipment will get broken or stolen. You will be frustrated. But you will also be rewarded, and this is, for me, the hook.

And finally, just as an FYI, I missed this title on PSP and have played it via PSN download on my VIta. It looks great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good seller, July 8, 2014
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This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
Excellent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Gem, May 3, 2014
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This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
A stiff and satisfying challenge, a well written/translated script and a different feel and flow give this tactical RPG the edge over cookie cutter competitors. Give it a chance and learn its system and you will be rewarded with one of the PSP's best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great game and delivery on time, March 12, 2014
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This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
This is a good video game to my standards, and the delivery was very quick. The game play is okay and I can play quick at any time.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Been a long time since I purchased a game I did not care to finish, but here it is..., December 13, 2013
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This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
I'm a huge fan of tactics games along the lines of Final Fantasy Tactics and Suikoden Tactics and purchased this game hoping for more of the same. The game did not deliver, and after several months of pushing myself to play it, I'm giving up because I'm not having fun (and that's the whole reason we play games, isn't it)?

Lets start with the battle system: The premise is that you take a single turn as the game player and decide which (one) of your pawns to move, then the game moves all of its pawns. This is supposed to be balanced out by the fact that during your turn, if you put your characters into certain formations, you can perform "boost" or "beat" attacks, which chain in damage or abilities from characters in addition to the one pawn you chose. This might balance out the fact that your enemy's 10 pawns go next if not for the fact that the enemy gets to "beat" your party too! The balance of things here is awful. You die a lot. Supposedly when you die, you can restart the game at a fraction lower difficulty, but it is so insignificant that I don't notice the difficulty decreasing. And playing the same battle over and over again only to move on to another battle that you will be playing over and over again is no fun.

The Storyline: Is not engaging. There's plenty of text, its just not very deep. They have a skip feature which would come in handy when loading from save points except that it only skips over a portion of the text. The flow of the game goes from a scene with characters talking in bubble text (which can be skipped), to a screen with lots of info on what your characters are doing and a pretty background (which is long winded and cannot be skipped), to a battle. There is no map walking - the game leads you by a leash exactly to the next city you'll be stopping at and you can only purchase items from that city and only in the quantity they have in stock (on a side note, the limited availability of items is one of the few things I liked about this game as it is somewhat unique to this specific game, and didn't really harm the game playability any). In towns, you can also hire new party members (which you either don't need to do because you're given enough free units throughout the game or which means your party is dying so fast that the leveling system is irrelevant). You can also upgrade your weapons in town. Just don't lose that weapon, which you are inclined to drop if your party member dies or flees from battle.

Skills and Levels: Leveling doesn't improve stats much at all. Your party gets its skills through their weapons. After you learn a skill on your weapon, another skill may unlock on that weapon if there is another skill available. Unfortunately, you can only use a skill as long as you're carrying that weapon (even if you have mastered the skill). If you find a skill you like, you'd better get used to upgrading that weapon because you'll be using that weapon for a very long time.

Graphics: Sprites and Grids of about SNES quality. Its a typical tactics game. There isn't much there in the way of graphics, but you probably weren't expecting it. If I have any complaints, its the camera rotation on the battle screen - switching the camera angle rotates the screen into one of about 6 different positions, and if none of those angles allows you to see what you were looking for, tough. It would have been better if the camera scroll was a gradual, continual movement that you could stop when you were seeing what you needed to see.

Sound: No voice acting. The music is repetitive and not pretty enough to listen to for extended periods of time. Game best enjoyed with the volume off.

Overall: The game is not buggy, the graphics and music meet expectations, and there's not much else good to say... Go back and replay FFT - you'll be happier.
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4.0 out of 5 stars biscuit, August 1, 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Gungnir - Sony PSP (Video Game)
This game has great soundtrack, but I wish they had random battles so that you can level up. This game has a neat battle system and btw for the person who said that this game is a wannabe of tactics ogre and final fantasy tactics you are wrong. This game has a whole new way of battling and tactics ogre is a wannabe of final fantasy tactics.
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Gungnir - Sony PSP
Gungnir - Sony PSP by Atlus (Sony PSP)
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