Stranger of Sword City (Xbox One) – Review
Follow Genre: Dungeon crawler, RPG
Developer: Experience Inc.
Publisher: Experience Inc.
Platform: PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Tested on: Xbox One

Stranger of Sword City (Xbox One) – Review

Site Score
Good: Content, Character options
Bad: Difficulty
User Score
(4 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.8/10 (4 votes cast)

Only recently Stranger of Sword City for the PlayStation Vita passed the revue on our site. While the handheld version proved to hold its own, Experience Inc . decided to self publish the Xbox One version for the many Microsoft fans who would like to get their hands on a Dungeon Crawler such as this one. As NIS America often binds itself to either Sony’s consoles and handhelds, or Nintendo’s machines, it’s fun to see such a great initiative from Experience Inc.. Some parts might be a bit shorter compared to our original review but nonetheless, this adventure proved to have many hours of content.



A seemingly every day trip by plane suddenly becomes something that one can only find in fantasy novels and movies, as your plane crashes but you end up being the only survivor. Not only do you miraculously make it out alive an actual plane crash, you end up in another dimension, where you’re not a normal human being but a ‘stranger’. While this might sound like you will be forced to a life where you offer candy to small children at the entrance of the local playgrounds, it’s actually something that belongs more in the latest Marvel and DC superhero movies. Strangers are people, not divided by race, as some accidently alter race when entering the new dimension, that are stronger, faster and simply the equivalent of super-humans. They seem to be the only force capable of fighting the Lineage monsters, which grant them even more power in return. The other dimension is rather grim, as monsters lurk around every corner and thus, for the care the local populace gives you, you try to repay them by destroying as many creatures as possible, hopefully restoring peace to the lands once again.

Things are rather vague at the beginning of the game, and it does take several hours before things properly start taking off, not only due to the fact that you’ll have to grind a lot in order to gain the necessary experience to actually make progress, but also because the rather lengthy introduction and unclear objectives at the beginning of the game. Nonetheless, even though your character is simply described as one of ‘the chosen ones’, things are still rather interesting, perhaps mostly thanks to the graphical style of the game.

Stranger of Sword City


Still visual novel-like illustrations are what drives Stranger of Sword City and truth be told, they are also what makes the game one beautiful whole. While a bit more animation in the images would have been nice, the retro aspect of the game makes things come together quite nicely. That being said, there are enough monsters to encounter, as well as backdrops and characters, making things a rather interesting experience, which will not turn into a bland one quite rapidly. Nonetheless, due to the high grinding portion of the game, you’ll be visiting the same areas and enemies quite often, before you’re actually able to tackle new environments. Even the character creation screen offers a lot of portrait choices, as you’ll be able to choose from roughly 96 different pictures.

Just like the Vita version, the Xbox One version has a fun quirk, namely the option to switch the graphical style of the game, that alters the appearance of NPC characters, allowing you to switch between a rather comical anime-ish appearance and one that is a tad more serious, with aquarelle coloring. While this doesn’t really add extra gameplay value, it allows for a broader audience to enjoy this old school dungeon crawler.


The soundtrack suits the adventurous theme of the game, treating you to music that suits each occasion. While the adventurous soundtrack leaves little room for improvement, it’s sad that the voice acting is limited to small phrases at a time. This game would certainly become a lot more charming and captivating if key dialogues were fully voiced, rather than solely text based conversation. Nonetheless, the snippets that are present are decently brought.


Stranger of Sword City is a retro dungeon crawler, where RPG elements and turn based battles reign supreme. This means, when you’re not getting your party ready for the battles to come, you’ll be exploring dungeons and other dangerous locations, all while battling hordes of enemies, hoping to strengthen your characters.

Exploring dungeons is according to the ancient formula, where you’ll start off with a blank map and you explore tile per tile, slowly forming a clear map and points of interest. Everything happens in a first person view, seeing you never see any of your party members, except for their ‘profile’ picture. That being said, there are enemies which are clearly visible, meaning you know a battle is coming, all while there are a decent amount of random encounters. Due to the latter, it’s no easy sailing, but right off the bat, you’ll get a special escape skill, which you can perform if your morale is high enough. The battles are already quite hard right from the beginning, even on the lower settings you’ll get instakilled by monsters. Luckily you can resurrect your characters in town, the only place you can save your progress by the way, but you’ll lose your party member for a short while. That being said, you can add new members to the party or even create new characters to join the fray. While the party system is rather convenient, it lacks a certain personality as you will not really bond with your characters. In the end, it’s more about the gameplay than the actual underlying story.

Stranger of Sword City 2

Battles also follow a rather well oiled mechanic that has been fine-tuned over the many years this genre has been on the market. You’ll follow the basics of turn based combat, where you’ll have to choose which of your characters does what, be it attack, defend, perform skills, use items or cast spells, and when you’ve given your commands you’ll see the result of your decisions. You’ll have to do this over and over again each turn, until you win, escape or perish in the heat of battle. A fairly standard system, but it works like a charm for this game.

Even though there is a lot to discover when characters level up, when you wish to learn about certain skills and spells, and of course gear for your characters, the game does not explain many things thoroughly. While certain items offer you a standard explanation, with rather difficult wordings for how you get to certain menus or options, you’ll be left to fend for yourself quite a lot. Rather unclear objectives and lack of certain tutorials make the game harder than it should be.


Even the console version of Stranger of Sword City holds its own quite well. You’ll be treated to an old school dungeon crawler, with a very beautiful art style that accompanies you from start to finish. While the story isn’t as personal as it is in many other RPG titles, it is certainly interesting and original. If you like grinding and are into games with a certain retro feel to them, then don’t be a stranger and give it a go.

Stranger of Sword City 3

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.8/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Stranger of Sword City (Xbox One) – Review, 7.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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