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Customer Review

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best the PSP has to Offer, August 7, 2007
This review is from: Brave Story: New Traveler - Sony PSP (Video Game)
There are hardly any original RPGs on the PSP. There are ports and re-releases, but nothing that's truly unique enough to stand out. That may be what's so attractive about Brave Story: New Traveler. It's an RPG that isn't a port or re-release, and it also isn't a spinoff or anything like that. Those with a PSP craving for a decent RPG will have found one with Brave Story. So far, it may very well be the best RPG on the system.

Brave Story begins with a guy named Tatsuya playing his PSP while his friend Miki tries to talk to him. Yes, the main character is a gamer and it plays off the typical stereotypes. Guy plays game; girl tries to talk him; guy is too immersed in his game to care or listen. After she tires of being ignored, Miki runs off. Tatsuya's dog, Kratos then comes to him barking like there's no tomorrow. Tatsuya then follows the dog and finds Miki has collapsed. It turns out that Miki has fallen ill and that she may very well die. Tatsuya then runs out of the hospital. When he does he hears a voice that opens presents a door to him. Walking through this door is the pathway to Tatsuya's destiny. Through this door is a whole new world full of magic and mystery... kind of like the games he plays. At first glance the storyline is enough to make you roll your eyes in disgust, but stick with it (at least past the intro) and the game turns out to be really fun in the end, and even the storyline is quite impressive in its own right. The story is well written and fleshed out, and in the end is actually something quite fun to partake in. It's also got a good dose of humor.

The gameplay is where things really begin to unravel. Brave Story is very much a traditional RPG. You explore an overworld map, dungeons and towns. Along the way you'll also get into battles. Combat is as traditional as you can get here. It's turn based and menu focused. Yet in many ways its surprisingly strategic in its design. While you can easily enough just select the attack command over and over, there are some elements to Brave Story's battle system that many gamers might appreciate. There are of course your basic commands, but characters also have abilities they can use by expending BP. BP are Brave Points, which is pretty much the systems for magic. They allow your characters to perform special attacks and are restored depending on the amount of damage you do to the enemy. Keeping your BP up in battle is no arduous task, though, and you'll find that throughout your travels you can usually keep doing special attacks with little cost in there. RPG veterans won't find much of a challenge to Brave Story in that case.

In addition to a single characters attacks, however, there are also Unity attacks. Meaning an attack that two or more characters perform together. This really does add a bit of spice to the strategic feel of the game, and gives you a few more options for battle. On the other hand, much like special attacks of a single character, Unity attacks make the game fairly easy.

The good thing about Brave Story is that battles go fast. The bad thing is that the random encounter rate is quite high in most places. This probably isn't something most RPG players will be upset about, though, and it's a small price to pay seeing as how most of the battles you'll come into are over in a flash.

There's nothing in Brave Story that's overly complex, and that's part of what helps it succeed. It's a new RPG, but one that relies more on things that worked for the genre as a whole rather than trying so hard to shove original new things down your throat that might not work well at all. For some this is great. It makes it so anyone can get up and play Brave Story without getting the feeling that they'll have to learn and master a complex system of sorts. On the downside however, the things that help Brave Story succeed can also be the things that make some people want to leave it on the shelf. It's great the game relies so heavily on the RPG elements of the past that make the genre great, but there's not a whole lot included here to separate it from the crowd. There's little in terms of elements that make Brave Story its own or stand out in the RPG genre. It's a great game, but one that'll probably be overlooked in long run. Another thing that may be a bit bothersome is that while the story moves at a great pace, it doesn't take a whole lot of time to develop its characters. For the most part you'll probably like the cast of characters, but the game doesn't go as deep in getting to know them as it could.

As far as PSP games go, Brave Story is without a doubt the best looking one hands down. It's also one of the best running games on the system. The load times are virtually non-existent, and that's saying a lot for a PSP game. There's no pause between when battles begin and end, which is good considering the enormous amount of battles you'll get into throughout the course of the game. Everything also runs smoothly and flawlessly, and the character animations are also quite impressive. No framerate issues to worry about or anything of the sort. As a technical achievement, this may very well be the best you'll see on the PSP.

I can't exactly say the same for the music. The music is good in the sense that it works for the game, but there aren't a lot of tracks here that are memorable or outstanding. There's also not much voice acting really. Your characters will say things in battle and grunt and stuff, but aside from that, the main story doesn't feature a whole lot.

Despite what little shortcomings Brave Story has, this is quite a defining RPG for the PSP. Those looking for a decent RPG on the PSP, look no further. Brave Story is quite possibly the best you'll find.

The Good

+Overall, it's an interesting story
+Simple battle system
+The most stunning looking game on the PSP to date
+Virtually non-existent load times
+Simplistic Gameplay overall makes this a treat for every RPGer new and old alike

The Bad

-Not enough character development
-Not much voice acting
-Brave Story is a great game, but doesn't do a lot to make it stand out in a crowd of RPGs... it's not really a bad thing, but it makes the game fairly easy to overlook
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 3, 2007 7:04:42 PM PDT
Bokan says:
You know, there is voice acting during battles and cutscenes

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2008 12:38:51 AM PDT
Tsanche says:
Battles doesn't really amount to much voice acting. There are plenty of RPGs out there where characters grunt and scream in battle, but that doens't really constitute voice acting. Mario, in those Mario Advance games screams and hollers but no one really considers that voice acting. And there's only voice acting in the opening cutscene. But throughout the story there wasn't a snippet of voice acting to speak of.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 11:51:13 PM PDT
D.G. says:
Good review, I was going to ignore this one, but I think I'll look out for it now. I've been looking for a standard RPG that isn't much of a challenge, so this'll be perfect for me!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2008 10:53:50 AM PDT
Tsanche says:
Yeah, I think you'll find this one to be good. It's better than Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology in my opinion.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 3:06:23 PM PDT
I was looking for a long time for a nice fun RPG for PSP. This is it!! I really enjoyed this game and still play over and over. Don't overlook this game. Great for those who really want to try a RPG for the first time. Awesome game!! I could not put it down.

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 9:45:45 PM PDT
EpsilonX says:
I know this is an old review so most people probably won't see this...but about how long is the game? I'm almost done with Persona 3 and I want a simple, not too long rpg to play next

Posted on Nov 1, 2014 8:46:59 AM PDT
Hardy Har says:
I think this review helped push me to check it out when I have the money to do so. I've been looking for something to play on my PSP during breaks at work, to keep me occupied, and this may be it. (My other PSP titles are all ports/remakes, save for Crisis Core, and they're a bit tedious.) Well, this may at least be the first, anyway.
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