With not many Strategy RPG games recently released, it was a good time for a game like Tears to Tiara II to come out to appease fans of the genre. Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord is Japanese Strategy RPG on PS3 and it’s the first time a Tears to Tiara game has been localized in the west, since the prequel “Tears to Tiara Ancedotes: The Secret of Avalon” was never given the chance to be published outside Japan.
Tears to Tiara II is a very story heavy game with lots of lengthy cut scenes. As the series was originally developed and planned to be like a visual novel game, it makes kind of sense that the game is very story dependent. The story can drag on for a long time without combat for people who wish to listen to all the dialog; One scene can take up to 10-20 minutes with the option to save after it in case your console crashes. People who moan about MGS4 cut-scenes would probably have something to say about this games extensive use of them as well. The CG art work is always beautiful however the down side is that there is no actual cinematic cut scenes and it’s all done by CG which was a slight let down.
The plot of the story starts of about a captured slave called Hamil. Hamil is the lone survivor of the Hisupania’s royal lineage as they were overthrown by the Empire. In order to deceive the Empire he has acted as a weak fool with no strength which resulted in physical punishment (whipping). The voice acting of the torture scene was also something I couldn’t withstand and had to skip. One day Hamil summons a goddess called Tarte at the slave camp persuades Hamil that she is the goddess who was worship by Hisupanian’s in ancient times. Due to the fact that she is a goddess Hamil tells her to leave him a lone so he can bare the punishment by himself and plan for the overthrowing of the Empire.
As Tarte is captured by the Empire, Hamil had no choice by to release his powers to over power the enemy. Releasing his power made him transform to a berserk warrior called Melqart. This transformation blinds Hamil of who is foe and friendly and resulted in Tarte to waking him up. With the beginning of the battle against the Empire, Hamil gathers his own troops and friends to conquer the evil Empire. Through out the story you gain new allies and meet new enemies, the story is very detailed and has good plot twists from funny to sad. The story is very detailed and could even be an actual visual or even an anime. It was very enjoyable to watch how the story unfolded however during the torture scenes the voice acting was too much for me.
The combat system is very similar to the Disgaea series. The game play is a 3D grid based system where you move your characters around to kill the enemy. Each character in the game have their own unique class, for example Hamil is a swordman and Tarte is a great swordgirl. However characters cannot switch classes which is a shame but it means that each character you play with has their unique traits. Classes in game are Swordman, Ranger, Mage, Great Sword Girl, Lancer and Dragon transforming girl. Each of the characters that you encounter in the game is have their own different personalities and it’s quite enjoyable to see the characters interact in throughout the story and cut scenes.
As the game progresses on, new features get unlocked to aid you to complete the game. One example is the joint attack feature where two or three characters line up together can group up and attack together dealing tons of damage. Though this feature is based on a specific combination and random characters next to each other does not work, in addition to this all the characters used in the combo cannot move or attack before it.
As the story progresses you also have the option to buy new weapons and unlock weapons by crafting. Of course, crafting weapons involve requiring the material which can be obtained from treasure chests or killing monsters. There is also a rewind feature in the game which allows the player to re-wind the game back to a specific turn if they mess up though if you hit the Game Over screen, you won’t have that option. This will allow people to try get the S rank mission for each chapter however re-winding too much or over leveling will have an impact to your rating. The game play felt solid throughout most of the game and the battles involve lots of thinking to conquer the opponent. If you decide to try and grind out levels to make battles easier, over leveling your characters also decreases your mission rank after each fight so it’s not a good thing if you plan to S rank all missions.
With up to 45 chapters plus bonus dungeon, this game could last around 60 hours of game play time for most players. If you don’t skip a single dialog option or event scene, this could easily be 100+ hours.