Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS Vita
Tested on: PS4

Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! – Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Great graphics, extensive gameplay possibilities
Bad: Might be hard to master certain jobs
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

History is a source of information and used in a variety of games. Especially the Japanese past is full of great warlords, battles and treaties. Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! will take you to this era although this influence is rather small. The story will take you to a rather special location in time and space, so get ready to meet some dead warlords.

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Story

Afterlife surely is one of the most mysterious things. For starters, does it even exist? What happens there? Well, it seems that your character had a bad day and ended up dead. Yup, you’re playing with a toon that has nothing left to do in the land of the living. The thing is, you’re not in afterlife just yet. You are greeted by Yukimura, who tells you this rather unpleasant news. It seems that you lost your memories and still have some unfinished business thus waking up in the area Arcanus Cella. Before you can get to those loose ends, you need some more intel but you can aid other lost souls in the meanwhile. You can venture several dungeons and slay whatever hurt those people. With each one of them you help, you get closer to your own goal.

This game might have a rather simple set-up but you really want to know what happened and why you aren’t able to pass on in peace. You’ll be spending most of your time in dungeons but have your amount of narrative frequently, which is more than enough.

Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!

Graphics

If you like pixelated graphics that take you back to the good ol’ days, you’ll surely like what Cladun Returns has to offer. At the start of your adventure, you can choose how your character will look like by selecting one of the several available possibilities. Of course you can change your hair color to your liking and even make someone that resembles an 8-bit manga character. Even more, you can also make your own appearances by creating new faces for instance.

Your surroundings might be pixelated but they look rather beautiful and vibrant. The town you’re stuck in has some rather nice sceneries while some of the dungeons give you a more dangerous vibe. With traps everywhere, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your environment. Thanks to the outlining of the characters, which can be turned off if wanted, you can define enemies more clearly although they have some clear characteristics. Another fun element is that when you change your equipment this is also visible while playing.

Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!

Sound

What else can you expect from a more retro-looking game that similar music? Well, Cladun Returns gives you the opportunity to continue the game with retro tunes or you can choose a more modern implementation. The choice is yours and if you do want to switch, the options menu has your back. At any rate, the available tracks really set the mood and although Arcanus Cella might have a rather chirpy tune, don’t expect the same for the dungeons as there are places of deceit or slaughter.

The ambience is present as well, especially when you’re diving into the several dungeons. Fighting your way through every evil monster, you will hear your weapon swoosh or shoot more than you can imagine, while the available treasure will clatter on the ground. It surely helps to get immersed. If that isn’t enough, you can write your own tracks with MML (Music Macro Language). Each song has five separate sections to work on and you can use a variety of notes and changes in pitch or length to create that perfect tune.

Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!

Gameplay

Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! is an action RPG where you need to fight several monsters to help lost souls while also discovering what your purpose is in this stage before afterlife. You venture into dungeons to slay the assailant for instance and report back when it’s done. At the start of the game you can create your own character out of a variety of appearances and multiple jobs to choose from Every one of the them has their pros and cons but it’s best to start with the Samurai, as it is the most balanced job. You can go on solo adventures but this actually results in several failures as you don’t have any back-up. Cladun Returns has a rather unique system in place with Magic Circles. The one in the center is the Lord, while the ones around you are called the Vassals. They are actually shields for incoming damage. Even more, they also have access to certain artifacts. When you fill this with a specific item, this element becomes active. Each Vassal has certain mana to spend, and depending on what artefact you activate, the available stash will deplete. Some of these can be used in battle for instance, but you will use SP to do so. If you’ve depleted your amount of available SP, you can also go into SP debt. This will make you go below zero and although it eventually will regenerate you can’t run nor reuse the ability.

Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!

Killing enemies will give you loot and experience but this will have a different outcome on Lords and Vassals. A Lord will have more HP and Mana on level increase, while the Vassal will have an growth in SP, ATK and DEF. This actually means you will have to switch sometimes to improve your character(s) even more. It’s not that you’re bound on whom you can take with you. Each of your Vassals can be made, so you have the control who is coming with you. Of course, the Magic Circle is a limitation but you can change this to your liking. Some of them might have more negative fields but more Vassals for you to take with you, while others will have limited spots. The choice is yours.

If you want to proceed in certain parts of the dungeon, you will need watch out for the multiple traps. These light up when you get near to them and although some of them heal you, it might be a good idea to dodge them. If you want to leave this part of the lair, you need to kill some special monsters. They hold some kind of key so keep an eye out of them. Also, there is a suggestion box in town that has some side quests so you can always go back to dungeons you’ve already visited. Solving these quests will give you money or certain items which can be used for other purposes. For instance, you can get some titles on your weapons, depending on how many kills you have obtained. After completing a main story dungeon, you’re able to go back and tackle the EX dungeon. Here you can find lost souls from great warlords who lived in the Sengoku era and are a valuable asset. Of course, you will need to be prepared for some fierce battles.

Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!

The game has more to offer, like versus and co-op but also a Photo store where you can share and edit photos you take during your journey. You can also fortify the castle to help your own personal stats by placing certain stones. A lot to different things to do in this game, so be ready to invest some time.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an action RPG with a lot of gameplay content, retro graphics and matching music, then you might want to take a look at Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!. Next to a variety of characters, jobs and quests, you can also play with or against others. In the end, there is a lot to see, topped off with a nice storyline.

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Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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