MISTOVER – Review
Follow Genre: JRPG, Dungeon crawler
Developer: KRAFTON
Publisher: KRAFTON
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

MISTOVER – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Interesting mechanics, Ideal difficulty settings, Overall fun experience
Bad: Doomsday Clock can completely wipe progress
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Most Japanese role-playing games are set in a nice, colorful and light world, but sometimes setting these kinds of games in very dark scenery makes for some pretty interesting scenarios. In the game MISTOVER everything has gone to heck when a vortex ravaged the world and creatures emerged from a dense mist. To make matters even worse, time is very limited to save the planet from complete annihilation. Will you lead your crew to victory, or shall you perish inside the mist?

Story

Everything was fine in the world, until one unfortunate day a few years ago. A vortex began sweeping the land and people named this the Pillar of Despair. This vortex emended a thick mist and the townspeople named this: the Mist. From the depths of this mist, it started spawning horrendous creatures named espers. As the mist slowly ate at the land, leaving a trail of decay in its wake, hope seemed lost for humanity. Meanwhile, the espers destroyed everything in their path, as many kingdoms lay in ruins and countless lives were lost, there was a slight beacon of hope. The vortex stopped and the espers returned into the mist. As the vortex was right next to the kingdom or Arta, this place became the hub for exploration. This made the kingdom the first and best place to launch a counter-attack by creating the Expedition Corps to go inside the Pillar of Despair. They found out that the vortex was a passageway to other worlds that exist in different dimensions. Because of their new-found treasure, the kingdom needed more explorers and it meant that many survivors came here in search of wealth, fame and everything they desired.

Your story starts with a crew lost inside the mist, having to fight off monsters and getting rescued by one of the Exploration Squads. It gets revealed that you are part of the Missing Ones, a team that has wandered inside the dangers while having no memory of prior events. You get extracted to Arta and you get requested to help out to search the depths and uncover the mysteries that lie underneath. Time is limited because the doomsday clock slowly ticks on. But by clearing the mist as well as possible, you will buy humanity some more time. Meanwhile, you will need to complete assignments to slowly uncover the story of MISTOVER. Story progression is slow like in any RPG game but it is brought with such depth that it will keep you hooked. Sadly, as this is a hardcore game, it means that if you really want to be able to follow the story in a safer way, you best play on easy, as one misstep can mean the end of your game.

Graphics

The graphics in MISTOVER are beautiful, the developers have opted for hand-drawn Anime graphics that take a strong resemblance to the Chibi style. The cute characters give a light-hearted feeling in this dark and horrific world. Overall, the game takes place in a medieval setting with some mighty crafted dungeons that are filled with despair. When navigating through said dungeons, you have a light that will diminish as time goes on, limiting vision and leaving you vulnerable for attacks. The game has a very simple User Interface and clear instructions to moves and battle stages, so even those who are inexperienced in RPG games will be able to enjoy this game to the fullest.

The hand-drawn graphics also mean that the animations are left very simple. In some games, you will notice that even the animations are truly polished, yet the simple ones present in MISTOVER represent the classic RPG genre, which has its own unique charm.

Sound

The game has a very nice soundtrack as the music matches the scenery perfectly and sets you into the right mood for dungeon exploring. While exploring or in combat, the sound effects are perfect for the situation and the game has fully voiced characters in both English and Japanese. These voiced dialogues give a sense of humanity to all the characters.

Gameplay

MISTOVER is a survival JRPG with perma-death. This means that, just like in Fire Emblem, if a character dies, you lose them. Keep your team well fed, full of health, and be cautious of what monsters you fight as one mistake can mean the end of your campaign. In the beginning, you can choose what difficulty to play on and if you are new to the genre or you want to enjoy the story, it is highly advised to play on easy, as the gameplay is much more forgiving and open for inexperienced players. Not only is the imminent death of your crew something to keep in mind, but also the Doomsday Clock. This clock indicates how much time is left until the world completely succumbs to darkness. If you perform well, the timer will go back, but if you don’t kill enough monsters, don’t explore enough or people die, then the timer will slowly tick to midnight.

You might think, you could slowly train your crew in a safer spot and be prepared for what comes next, but sadly this will get punished as it isn’t allowed to overpower your enemies by being too strong. This is done to make the Doomsday Clock a real enemy and not something that can be extended forever. Hence, if you screw up a few times, you might lose your progress seeing if the game ends, your save file will be deleted. This can be really frustrating as an RPG game is something that you pour many hours into and having to start over from scratch might have you throw in the towel. This could be fixed by having a difficulty setting that would negate the effects of Doomsday so you could play solely for the story.

The game starts with a tutorial level where three characters are lost in the mist and must fight a bunch of monsters to escape. The combat system is in a grid pattern where placement is critical since your place in the grid limits range and determines what moves you can do. Some moves may move your character or enemies and other moves will allow you to hit multiple enemies in one go. This allows for very tactical gameplay that feels a bit hard at first but you will get used to this pretty fast. The player gets carte-blanche for what kind of crew to build. You can have up to five characters on the field and the only limitation is what kind of people you recruit. The pool gets reset after each raid, so you can either build a balanced team, or have a bunch of Paladins sweeping dungeons with ease. To promote diversity, you will get some co-op moves later in the game when leveling that does tremendous damage if your characters are placed in the right way.

Fights are turn-based and there is no option to skip the line, therefore you might be better off to destroy the enemy that is going to attack first. Make sure that you learn the moves of your characters and if you are playing on easy then you can just go ahead and spam the stronger moves as mana regenerates quite quickly out of a raid. While exploring the dungeon, there are three things to keep in mind: health, hunger, and light. Moving will consume food and you can always bring some in to eat while on an expedition. When you are fed, you will heal, but when getting hungry, you will lose health. The other factor is light as the mist is a dark place and your light that guides you will slowly weaken and eventually will fade out. There are plants that will replenish your light at the cost of some health. Luckily, if you have a sister in your team, you will always be nicely healed and assigning a leader will allow for some special moves in the dungeon. For example, a witch can stop time and a paladin can break obstructions.

Arta serves as the main hub for the game, where you will need to accept quests, shop for items, train characters and recruit new members for your team. You want to be well-prepared before hitting a dungeon, yet not take in too much since returning from the other side will affect consumables taken in. The mist affects items, and items such as food and potions will lose potential and can have some negative effects. Gearing up isn’t too easy because all the equipment needs to be found in the dungeons, meaning that it can become a serious grind to arm and gear up your team for the next expedition.

Controlling the game is very easy as the controls are very responsive and the whole experience is very fluent. Combat goes well and you won’t find yourself missing or screwing up due to bad or unresponsive controls. Navigating through menus or through dungeons is very easy and it makes the game really accessible for all kinds of gamers, from rookies to veterans.

Conclusion

MISTOVER is a dark game that has a powerful story and an even more powerful opponent. Not only will you have to fight the hostile dungeons, but you will also have to fully explore them and clear them out to stop or turn back the Doomsday Clock. However, screwing up is not tolerated and with the fear of losing your crew members, this game can become a true nemesis if you don’t keep a good eye on all your characters and their status. It would have been nice to have a mode where you could freely enjoy the story without a timer ticking down, but luckily on easy the game is very accessible, yet still holds a challenge. The game is fully voiced in English and Japanese, and this combined with the great soundtrack, nice sound effects and beautiful graphics make MISTOVER an interesting title in your game library.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
MISTOVER - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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