From Atlanta, USA comes Nostalgia Addict Games with a title that honour their company name, Divided Reigns, a JRPG made with RPG Maker with a nice story and some interesting mechanics, which transport us to the classic RPGs of the 90s.
Make RPG Maker great again
When I was younger, I was on an RPG Maker community; I had even tested its features in the past, along with some interesting amateur projects. Then, when life obligations grew, I had to leave the program and its community, because I did not have the required time that it deserved.
Years later, I joined steam and I saw that there were several playable RPG Maker titles. I tried some, but the feeling was no longer the same, maybe because I was older, or because I’m used to another kind of graphics and mechanics. There was even a time when I got fed up with the games made with this program. However, this changed when I played Divided Reigns.
Divided Reigns is a turn-based JRPG which several reminiscences of some popular titles of the 16 bits era, like Final Fantasy VI for example, where you take the role of Ailfred, a captain of the Vooresh army, who, after some incidents on his last battle, starts to question all the plans of the kingdom. After some events and an early plot twist, he decides to compensate for all the damage caused by doing good actions for the people of the land. During your journey, you will meet some new companions, up to a team of nine playable characters, including the protagonist, each one with their story arc and evolution. Sometimes even, you won’t have access to use Ailfred, so you will have to use the other team members.
Exploring an entire world
On Divided Reigns, you will explore an entire world. During your adventure, you will visit several cities and dungeons of different types. The main displacements are over an open world map, similar to the ones of the RPGs in the 90s, where you have to reach your next location. You will visit the main cities and dungeons for story-related issues. Exploring this game always has a prize, the loot is abundant, and you will need it for surviving. There is always an item or money waiting for you. In the cities, you can explore, go shopping, rest at the local inn, learn new weapon skills, take some bounty missions and interact with the NPCs, aside from story-related events.
The bounty missions are varied, you have a reference level to accomplish them, and you can cancel them for a fee if you want. You only can take them one by one, but the rewards are great. Also, when you reach the monsters’ location, you will play a mini-game where you have to “catch” the monster before fight them.
Learning weapon skills consist on to learn to use new weapons for a fee. For example, in the first city, the protagonist can learn how to use great axes. Every city has a unique set of weapons to learn and this will help you a lot in battles, giving you more type of attacks and more options against enemies.
Aside from cities and dungeons, there are little towns where you can rest for a fee, but you only will see a dialogue, they are not accessible. In the field or the dungeons, random encounters will appear, you won’t notice the enemies on the field. In the case of boss fights, there is always a story warning to prepare yourself before.
Fighting like old times, but with new features
The combat system is turn-based, your team and the enemies have their turns. You can choose, without being attacked, the commands and the agility stat of teammates and enemies determine the turn order. Your characters have two or three indicators, depending on if they are capable to use magic, the health gauge (HP), self-explanatory, the rage points (RP), necessary to use physical skills, and the magic points (MP), exclusive of the characters with magic capacity and required to use spells. Enemies have a couple of indicators, their HP and their weaknesses, which you will discover using different attacks on them.
You have a total of nine playable characters, but the team is formed by four, so you can alternate your mates as you want. Everyone has their class, their background and their evolution during the story and comes with a predefined set of skills, expandable at the cities and by levelling up.
Defeating enemies will give you experience, usable items, and spoils, these items have the unique objective of being sold at a shop.
On Divided Reigns, aside from elemental weaknesses, enemies have weapon-related weaknesses and resistances. There are tons of weapons to choose from, and each one deals with determined kinds of damage. There are several types of weapons’ damage, like martial arts, thrust, low or trip attacks. Also, you can equip some character with two weapons to cover a wide catalogue of available attacks.
You have to figure out which weapon is useful against the enemy, and after the first attack of that kind, it will appear in the enemies’ weaknesses indicator. The same happens with the elemental ones, but in this case, there is a relation between elements, which is explained during your journey.
Score & Other stuff
As an RPG Maker game, the graphics, the interface, the characters and the enemies’ sprites are the distinctive ones of this program, a characteristic maybe not suitable for all the audience. You can select from three difficulties, being the regular a manageable challenge. The game is only in English.
The soundtrack is great, there is an important variety of tracks, and every continent has its themes. The game has some minor bugs, but the devs are fixing them practically every day, and the game will receive more content in the future. Even, the creators plan to launch some in-game events on determined dates, like Halloween. The game has achievements, but it hasn’t steam cards.