Banner of the Maid – Review
Follow Genre: Strategic RPG
Developer: Azure Flame Studio
Publisher: CE-Asia
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Banner of the Maid – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Beautiful character art, Classic turn-based combat
Bad: Limited voice acting
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

There are history nerds, there are anime nerds and then there is Banner of the Maid. Developed by Chinese studio Azure Flame but clearly inspired by classic JRPGs and taking place in an alternate version of the french revolution, this game has struck a curious chord in many people. Originally released in the spring of 2019, last February Banner of the Maid finally got the English localizations fans were waiting for and now everybody can enjoy this delightful weirdness and strategic combat.

Story

Banner of the Maid lets you take part in the French Revolution that started in 1789, though this version of events is slightly different from what you might be used to. Pauline Bonaparte, sister to general Napoleon Bonaparte (yes, that Napoleon Bonaparte) lets her combat prowess come to good use as she’s thrown straight into a revolutionary war not long after completing military training. While various factions in France vie for control – including the age-old royal family and the revolting civilians – England’s forces are continually advancing. Pauline isn’t just any young woman though, she is what is known as a Maid. Harnessing special supernatural power and abilities, she quickly starts rising through the ranks and takes a central role in the war and the future of Europe.

In-between battles you will be treated to graphic novel segments that contain most of the story. It’s a good change of pace, as the game’s two game modes alternate to keep your interest up.

Graphics

The art in this game will surely please JRPG or graphic novel enthusiasts. While the historic accuracy of the outfits can be debated, the character art itself looks very nice and the designs are fun and original. As can be expected of a game with this demographic, the main cast consists mostly of cute girls in short skirts and with ample cleavage. The combat part of the game has a more simplistic pixelated style which still isn’t bad and gives you a top-down view that makes it easier to keep an eye on the entire battlefield.

Sound

Most of the music in Banner of the Maid is quite good, if not overly memorable. While there isn’t any proper voice acting in the story itself, the characters do have short lines during combat while performing an attack or using an ability, most of them in perfect french even. In the graphic novel segments, there are some ambient voice effects such as laughs, but the lines themselves are not voiced.

Gameplay

Banner of the Maid is a strategic RPG that alternates between turn-based combat and graphic novel segments. The graphic novel parts are mostly used to convey the story and often give you dialogue options to choose from. These options will change the outcome of events and can also alter which factions keep you in high regard and which ones would rather not have you around. Keeping your relationships up will allow you additional side quests and funds with these factions, which in turn can improve your weapons and equipment.

The battles you wage are turn-based. During your turn, you can move each member of your party around and perform one action of choice. The action you will use most is an attack – which also gives you the option of choosing which weapon to attack with – but you can also use items to heal, perform an ability or simply wait to end your turn if there’s no enemy in range. Both you and the enemy troops have an HP bar and upon engaging an attack, the person whose turn it currently is goes first, with the other side being able to counterattack immediately after. After all enemy troops are dealt with, a yellow square on the map will show you where to go to end the battle.

Afterward, you can use all the exp your characters earned to level them up. They each have their own unique abilities and, combined with the different weapons in the game, allow you to set up a team to your liking. Though it’s still smart to know who you’re up against, as some characters are stronger against certain troops, such as light cavalry having the advantage over light infantry but being weaker against heavy cavalry. Even the landscape and the weather can be a deciding factor in combat. Rain makes it harder to dodge your opponent’s strikes for example.

Conclusion

Banner of the Maid looks like a confusing amalgamation of different cultures at a first glance, but hidden beneath is an enjoyable game with funny writing, tons of cool characters and tactical turn-based combat that requires genuine thought. While the different difficulties available mean even those not good at the gameplay can play it, the story offers enough intrigue to compel any player to keep going until the end.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Banner of the Maid - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

1 Comment

  1. […] alternate retelling of the French Revolution. You can even find our own review of the game right here. But now it’s time to take a dive into another part of history, with the A Sailor’s […]

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