NAtURAL DOCtRINE – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy RPG
Developer: Kadokawa Games
Publisher: NIS America
Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita

NAtURAL DOCtRINE – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Challenging, good graphics, interesting customizing
Bad: way too punishing, tends to get difficult to revisit the game
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Kadokawa Games has finally released NAtURAL DOCtRINE after almost a year delay. Finally gamers can enjoy the game on the Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and the PS4 and even enjoy themselves through cross-play, a welcomed featured that not many games have as of yet. Venture yourself in a world where humans fight off enemies with magic and swordsmanship, in hope to discover the necessary energy in the world.

 

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Story

The story revolves around a group of adventurers/explorers who go on missions to all kinds of different places, like mines or ruins. They do this in a world that is full of all sorts of creatures, varying from goblins and orcs to creatures never seen before. They do this in search of a special substance called Pluton, a necessary substance that forms the basics of the world and a necessity for mankind.

Geoff and his allies Vasily, Zekelinde and one of their clients Anka, go on different missions together in search of this important substance. Little do they know that on one of their missions, they’ll encounter a type of creature they have never seen before, which will eventually bring ruin to the world the humans take for granted. When they try to report about this discovery, nobody believes them and they try to learn more about this type of creature.

The world is basically a post-apocalyptic world where there is only one town available, where humans can live without too much worries as they are protected from the outside world. Sadly not everybody has a citizenship in this town, meaning that some people have to risk their lives to find the important substance in order to survive.

NAtURAL DOCtRINE doesn’t really focus its elements on the story very much, as the story is only there to give a little meaning to what your goal is and motivate you on doing your best.

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Graphics

Graphic-wise, the game does a pretty good job overall with its more realistic style. The fact that the in game graphics are more realistic, makes an apocalyptic world easier to image. The amount of details that the character and the enemies are made of really make the game very pleasant to look at, while the environments are done in such a way that the game feels much more set in a “dead” world, full of danger and struggles to survival.

Sound

The music in this game is really good, you’ll enjoy listening to the background music and the battle music as they do indeed give you some motivation to keep on going. They’ll sometimes be stuck in your head.

The voice-acting is also done pretty good, really differentiating the characters and showing their personality.

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Gameplay

This is where the game’s focus really lies, while the story only features to give you some idea about what you are exactly doing. The game is a Strategy RPG that truly challenges the player by being very punishing.

Players will go on missions with a party of characters, starting with only 3 different characters and eventually adding more and more characters when progressing through the single-player mode. Each character has a class, and specializes on what you want him/her to do, being more efficient if the class benefits from the build of the character. Characters have a skill tree where you can put in skill points every time you level up. These skill points can be refunded and put into a different skill as much as you want, making it so you can build different types. If you need a tank character, you can choose skills that allow you to get more vitality or defense. If you want a pure offense character, you can put your skills in offensive skills. This is a pretty good function, as variety is much appreciated and does make preparation a necessity before a battle.

The battles are played on a grid-like battlefield. Each field is divided in different grids that have a certain size. Creatures and characters have their own size, where humans and other small creatures have size 1, while bigger have a size of 2. You can only have a set amount of size on a grid, for example: 4 smaller characters can be together on 1 grid, while bigger creatures can only be with 2. Attacks are also depended on the grid, where melee attacks (swords) are short range and so enemies need to be on a grid right next to the grid you are on, while ranged attacks (guns and magic) have an extra grid range.

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The game play feature this game offers is a linked attack system. This means that allies can combine attacks to perform link attacks, which have increased damage and efficiency. The game also features the use of initiative, where characters are bound by a set order of attack. So characters who have higher initiative can have faster turns. Link attacks benefit you even more in combination with initiative, as you can tamper with it and take a faster turn when link attacking with an ally. This becomes crucial when going on a mission, as faster attacks kill more enemies and the lesser enemies the less damage you’ll take. This is something that you’ll need to pay attention too, because getting a game over is very easy to do. If one of your characters dies, you will get a game over. So be sure when positioning yourself and try to make use of link attacks as often as you can.

Once you have gotten through the single player mode, you might want to test your skills against other players. You can play against players from any version of the game thanks to the cross-play functionality. When playing online against other players, you’ll first need to make a deck of cards. This deck will represent your party with which you’ll battle against other players just like in the single player mode. You can also recruit monsters in the single player to use when battling online.

The main problem with this game is the fact that it is way too punishing at times, with its rule that when one of your characters dies you lose (this is not the case in online play). You’ll often go on a mission and get ambushed by tons of enemies that focus their attacks on one characters, which leads to you losing. This will happen so much that you’ll want to give up, which you’ll probably do as the game doesn’t motivate you to keep on going. You do however get tips after a game over, telling you what you did wrong, which might help to motivate you.

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Conclusion

The game is a heartbreaking Strategic RPG that doesn’t really motivate the player to keep on going after its many game over. While this might be a good element for people who like to challenge themselves, most players who want to play more casual won’t really get much amusement from it. The game does however feature the challenge, and the graphics are really good with music that is quite memorable. Overall, the game isn’t something that many people will enjoy, and it really depends on trial and error before you can progress further. So if you like the challenge it is recommended, if not you might want to look for something else

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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NAtURAL DOCtRINE - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

1 Comment

  1. […] to dabble in roleplaying games and have tried to appeal fans of tactical roleplaying games with NAtURAL DOCtRINE. The latter was a decent effort with lots of innovations but was fatally compromised due to […]

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