Review: Hexyz Force (PSP)May 19th, 2010 | Written by Chris Selogy | Topic: Reviews, Sony PSP
Atlus is back on the PSP with another RPG from the developers behind Knights in the Nightmare and Riviera: The Promised Land. Hexyz Force offers an interesting way to experience the stories of its two main characters, which is to play two separate campaigns to get both sides of the story. While the game may not do much else that’s unique, Hexyz Force may be worth a look for the two 20+ hour stories you get in this package.
Rather than telling two different stories, Hexyz Force’s two campaigns showing the perspectives of two parties during the events that are unfolding. Both Cecilia Armaclite and Levant von Schweitzer find out that they are Hexyz, which are protectors of the world that have inherited special weapons and powers that once saved the world from Delgaia, the God of Destruction. As the world nears judgment day, a new plot to destroy the world is unfolding as a number of Hexyz come together to save the world from those that seek to resurrect Delgaia.
Though you can play the two stories separately, they do basically offer two sides to the same story in Hexyz Force as you see Cecilia and Levant’s groups of heroes crossing paths as they realize that they aren’t alone in their quest and that there is another part of the world that they also need to fight to save. Each group visits the same areas in different parts of the storyline and for different reasons, so you don’t miss much in the way of actual content when you’re choosing your main character. Whether it’s because of the dual campaign focus or not, it’s easier to enjoy the game once you get over the fact that the story never aspires to be more than a derivative collection of the many RPG clichés that you’ve probably seen before.
Hexyz Force is a turn-based RPG that also features a number of underlying systems that seem to give it depth, but it feels more like that requires a lot more work than you really need to win your battles. You’re able to equip four weapons for each character with at least one of those slots being for the Ragnafact, the special weapon the Hexyz are able to use. The other weapons that you can equip all have a limited number of uses before they’re useless, so the Ragnafact is going to be your main weapon because of that.
Each weapon in Hexyz Force has a number of skills you can use and those on the Ragnafact are limited by the number of Ragnafact Points it requires to be used, which keeps you from spamming your most powerful attacks over and over again. Those points are replenished whenever you level up or find a HP/RP-refilling location often enough that it doesn’t become much of an issue. Another helpful part of that aspect is that you can upgrade your Ragnafacts with another set of points you earn after each fight to add new attacks, make those attacks more powerful, and lessen the amount of RP they require.
The side effect of the battle system’s depth being mostly useless seems to push Hexyz Force to the easy side of the difficulty scale. There are a few areas or dungeons where there was some challenge, but you can replenish your health so easily that there’s no real excuse to ever be in danger of having all three of your party members die if you’re paying attention to what is going on. This kind of puts more pressure on the story to carry the game since you probably won’t be playing the game for a deep or rewarding battle system, though there was still some odd piece of the puzzle that kept us wanting to see the story progress despite its flaws.
Like you’d expect, Hexyz Force’s visuals have an anime style to them that works well for the PSP to offer interesting characters and environments to explore. There were a few moments where the game would hang on loading screens for much longer than it should when loading into battle, so the game may have some bugs to worry about in retail copies. You can install the game to reduce loading times from about 2 seconds to virtually nothing but a quick flash of a black screen, which only requires 82 MB to minimize the few bits of loading that you have to endure. The soundtrack isn’t really anything to write home about in Hexyz Force, as it sounds like your average RPG soundtrack.
If you’re in the mood for a good turn-based RPG and you don’t mind if it doesn’t take any chances, Hexyz Force may be a good fit for you. For $29.99, you get a good 25 hour RPG with two unique ways to play through the game to effectively double its length. A rental is probably the best bet for anybody that is short on money during this busy release period, though we could see a purchase being worthy if you really want an RPG to play right now.