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About the product
- Strategic gameplay in which decks of Tactical Cards are used to determine battlefield movement, special attacks and more
- Yggdra meets up with Milanor, the charismatic leader of a band of thieves, and readies herself for a war of liberation
- Ogre Battle uses a card based game system similar to Metal Gear Acid, to unite the land under a alliance union to thwart an evil empire
- Over 30 attack, defense, and support skills
- Join forces with other allies to form an unbeatable Union
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Unique Atlus RPG for the Gameboy Advance handheld.
Top customer reviews
The game is really deep, it's a strategy rpg with cards, and everything from what kind of weapons you have have, to your gender determines how the battles will turn out! I think I like it, but it's taken me hours to learn to play. Certainly deep, but make sure you have a whole day to learn the game; or a long commute.
First off, you have to work your way through the first level, learning the ropes of each method of battle. You have cards you play with; that's actually your main method of attack or defense. If you don't have an attack card, you can't attack. Simple, right? Well, not really. You also have to figure out which characters move during each turn. Each card has a number on it; say 10 or 12. You can move one of your characters 12 times, or two of them 6 times, or 12 characters 1 turn. It's all up to you!
You also have to contend with is that your units, which represent individual armies, don't have hit points or health--they have morale, and each time they lose a fight, they lose some of that morale. When morale hits zero, the unit is defeated, and if that's one of your main characters, game over. Unfortunately for you, morale doesn't automatically regenerate between battles, and is restored primarily by using items you'll have in short supply. Thankfully, you retain the experience levels you've earned if you have to replay a mission, so missions naturally get a little easier the more times you're forced to retry them.
Enemies have morale, too, and it took me a while to figure out that until you deplete their morale, you can't finish off that particular enemy!
Gameplay-wise, the game's battles remind me a lot of Age of Empires for the ds. You can see all of your characters fighting your enemies, even watching them fight and die; the curious part of this is that even if you watch them die in battle, they haven't really died, it just means that their morale took a hit.
One thing I hate about the game so far is it's convoluted "equip" system. Once an item has been equipped to your character, it can't be un-equipped until the weapon breaks, and then you have to uneqip it, throw it away, and make sure you have another weapon in the wings, or your character will be weaponless and therefore, defenseless!
There is a weapons triangle, a lot like the ones in the gba versions of Fire Emblem, and you must remember it when you battle, or you will lose! Swords beat axes but are weak against spears, spears beat swords but are weak against axes, axes are strong against spears but weak to swords, and I am not yet sure what archers are weak against!
The story is full of political intrigue, and the tutorial introduces you to some truelly lovable dunces (like the second-in-command) who you can't help but roll your eyes at.
By the way, Yggdra is the name of the Princess (which you learn by reading the back of the box) and "Union" is what you call your army when they have weapons, cards and high morale. It's your "team', if you will.
There's more to learn, and I highly recommend you get a new copy of the game, as the instruction booklet explains some things that the tutorial never fully explains, and vise-vera. It's one of the few games I recommend you get the instruction booklet and keep with you as you learn the ropes of the game.
The Empire of Bronquia has invaded the Kingdom of Fantasinia with a deadly blitzkrieg. Princess Yggdra has managed to flee the capital city, Paltina only to be pursued into the badlands by enemy troops. She meets Milanor the leader of a band of thieves who promises to help her after his own hideout is burned to the ground by Yggdra's pursuers. The game has a simple linear plot line that develops the story of young Yggdra. Each battle field has its own set of dialogue with the characters. I found my short attention span satisfied with just enough detail to keep my interest. While the dialogue at times seems a little drawn out, you can easily "button press" your way through it in a few minutes.
I jumped into this game without reading the tutorial or manual. The battle system is very intuitive. Twelve hours of gameplay later, I regretted my decision! The game has a lot of features that without the manual could never be understood. For example after you have set your battle orders, the game will display a set of 5 prediction marks for each unit involved in the battle. Predictions marks quickly gave me an edge in battling that has saved me thousands of morale points! The depth of Yggdra Union's gameplay is astonishing because the game slowly introduces new battle capabilities as you progress through battlefields. The game's formation and linking features allow you to team up against the evil ones with devastating effects. The formation and linking also tend to slow down gameplay as you plot the moves required to get your units into position.
The third battlefield, Orlando, was a challenge to complete in just one turn. The first phase of the battle was the rescue of a royal knight unit beseiged by enemy forces. I had to concede defeat in this zone because I simply did not have the morale power required
to last three consecutive battles. Once you have lost a battlefield, you can either retry or simply load a previous save. If you retry the enemies abilities will be reduced, at the cost of the MVP selection. The game determines the most valuable player for the battle and awards the character with a permanent stat boost. After twelve battles, the MVP awards can really boost your entire team's stats. For this reason, avoid the retry option at all costs.
Morale is the true indicator of stamina in Yggdra Union. When battling, if your player loses they are assessed a point penalty that is deducted from their morale points. If your player wins a battle, they deduct morale points from the defeated unit. Your player is not given these morale points, they simply vanish. As your player's level increases so does their morale. By the time you reach the twelfth battlefield, some of your characters can hold over 5,000 morale points. Morale points do not normally recharge. Just like combat pay is given to modern armies, you must give each character bonus items to recover lost morale after a long battle. Acquiring items is also dependent on a whole new set of requirements such as the number of "Luk" of the winning unit.
When you purchase Yggdra Union all you expect is a tactical RPG, but instead you get one of the most complete gameboy games ever released. Final Fantasy IV Advance was given strong marks for it's graphics on several review sites, yet it's graphics were very pixelated almost blocky. A side by side comparison of FFIV with Yggdra Union would cause a lot of people to second guess their graphics ratings if GBA games. The graphics in this game are simply stunning. Featuring a very active user interface combined with vivid colors, Yggdra Union feels like a console game rather than a Gameboy Advance game. The battle and story animations are very smooth with no noticeable frame rendering lag. The text is easy to read, no squinting to see if your morale is 100 or 180.
The backgrounds are detailed anime style drawings. I have never seen such detail in a Gameboy Advance game. Several sections of the game were actually written to allow you to view the background graphics alone. Finally, the menus seem to have a distinct gothic touch to them, much like those of the infamous Atlus title, Shining Soul II.
As an added bonus, when units use card skills in battle, the developers somehow implemented fog and photon style effects to the affected units.
As you move units around maps, they will discover hidden items that are picked up and placed in your equipment inventory. As you battle, cards gain points for every victory. Characters can level up and even be awarded special MVP awards that directly credit their stats. All of these factors combined will keep this game in my DS for months to come. The only thing that will stop me from playing is the flood of new DS game releases coming for the month of Febuary 2007!
We rarely hear or read about the efforts of the development teams behind Gameboy Advance games. Yggdra Union is no exception to this type admiration. As you play this game, the level of technical achievement involved with the programming jumps out from the screen. The game was originally written by Sting. If someone can find a list of programmers please post them.
The following link will take you to the official game website:
I encourage you to visit this website because you can download sample high resolution videos and wallpaper. Additionally, you can find animated character avatars on this site as well! The site is in Japanese, but most of the menu buttons are in English.
The developers of this game have released a soundtrack called, Yggdra Union: Perfect Audio Collection Plus! The following page features cover art, track listing and sample audio for you to enjoy.
Yggdra Union cannot be classified as either a Final Fantasy or an Advance Wars clone. The game proudly stands alone as a welcome one of a kind release by Atlus and Sting.
I intentionally left a lot details out of this review. I felt the only basics of the game: graphics, plot and gameplay needed to be covered, from a RPG gamer's point of view. I hope that you decide to pick up this title and publish your own review comments as well!
I have read several player reviews (on various websites) that mention the difficulty of grasping the game rules. I did not have that problem, but that is probably for the following reasons: 1) I was warned by reviews before I bought the game that its mechanics were a bit odd. 2) I have played Riviera, Fire Emblem, and Advance Wars. This game is a sort of fusion of all three of those games, though it is greater than the sum of those parts. 3) I've played other games involving collecting and playing electronic "cards" as a part of the combat. These factors combined, I was ready for the game.
It does seem to be getting very difficult as I proceed through the chapters, but I respect that. ;) For devoted fans, it's a must-have!