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Battle Chasers: Nightwar

Battle Chasers: Nightwar is an RPG inspired by the classic console greats, featuring deep dungeon diving, turn-based combat presented in a classic JRPG format, and a rich story driven by exploration of the world. Classic turn-based combat inspired by the console RPG greats, with a unique overcharge mana system and incredible Battle Bursts. Beautiful, randomly-generated dungeons loaded with traps, puzzles, secrets and loot. Explore an overworld peppered with hidden dungeons, rare bosses and randomly appearing friends and foes. Action oriented, randomly-generated dungeons loaded with traps, puzzles and secrets. Use each hero's unique dungeon skills to survive Build your adventuring party by choosing three of six available heroes from the classic Battle Chasers comic series, each with unique abilities, perks, items and dungeon skills. Dive into the deep crafting system, using the unique ingredient-overloading system to create epic items!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

This game.. I would begin by saying I am a fan of the Darksiders series, I guess this kinda gave me a higher expectations toward Battle Chasers. But after completing the game (Full Achievements except finishing it again in NG+), I really can't say this is a "very good game", more like "decent", maybe 6 out of 10 (I will still sign the recommendation as a yes since this is not a bad game).
To me, the strong points of the game are no doubt the art and animation, it is one hell of a stylish-cool looking game, BGM is great too... But the gameplay really fall shorts, I personally don't like many of the design decisions for the gameplay... For instance, the game *tried* to make the dungeon semi-randomly-generated, in hope of making it maybe fun to replay them? But as it turns out, the enemies are samey, the loots are utterly boring and unrewarding, the layout change a little but there's nothing more to gain by playing it again, in fact it feels like the game are trying to punish you by forcing you to slog through it again if you are a completionist... I also vastly dislike how they handle the party system, you are seen going through the whole story as a group of 6 members party, but the game force you to pick and play with only 3 of them at a time (no changing in mid dungeon or battle), which is not only weird but also make party changing / trying out different characters a big hassle (I would also like to point out that there is absolutely 0 point swapping out your first 3 characters, other than maybe if you want to try them out *for fun*, your first 3 chars sync well and could totally make it through the entire game easily)... To make thing worst, one char have a special dungeon skill that can interact with the dungeon environment where none others could, and swapping her out means you are locked-out of exploring extra area in the dungeon, that's one of the biggest let down to me. Other than these, I also feels that some perks and enchantment are badly balanced, some are extremely useful but some are like utter garbage (but cost a lot which makes no sense), similar things are reflected on the monsters design, some are really weak but some are extremely imba and could single-handedly wipe your entire party. I've also found some bugs like falling out of the ground and certain dungeon events may reset if you save and quit the game.
In all honesty, I feels like the game are rushed and not well polished, but the title do have potential and if you look pass the cons I mentioned above, the core game is still interesting enough and enjoyable to some extent. I would only hope that if they ever make a sequel, consider these points above and improve to make a better game!

Review from Steam

Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a sleek and modern take on a turn-based JRPG, with an excellent battle system and a tad weak character development.
Battle Chasers does so many things well, and it made me fully appreciate the former and willing to overlook the latter, which is usually a non-negotiable no-no for me when it comes to RPGs.
Battle Chasers’ art and environments are excellent. The dungeons, exploration areas and hand drawn world map were simply a joy to explore and traverse.
There are no plot twists that will blow you away on the course of the journey. The dialogue is well written, and so are the many pieces of lore entries scattered about in dungeons that help flesh out the world of Battle Chasers. The voice-acting is very good. Seriously, there were no weak performances here.
The only time your party interact is during very short cutscenes (post-dungeon), which sometimes can take the form of some sweet 2D animated scenes with artwork that is very reminiscent of comic books. Or, by resting at an inn, which will trigger scenes between some of your party members. There are insinuations that there is more to the characters and their backstories, but that is never fully explored by the game.
Now for once, I can honestly say I had no issues with the plot not being at the forefront of what makes a truly enjoyable RPG game, because gameplay is where Battle Chasers truly shines.
Thankfully, the game lives up to its title. The battle system’s graphics, animations, sound effects and execution are very well done, making every blow you land with your weapon or skills extremely satisfying. Each party member is also very unique and brings something to the table when it comes to party compositions and the strategies you wish to employ. While the enemy designs are beautiful, you will eventually come across many palette-swapped foes.
There also quite a few activities strewn about the island for you to pursue, such as hunts, crafting and fishing. There are also sidequests, of course. I felt all of them were worth completing due to the rewards they offered. For example, you can fill up a Burst Meter in battle with every turn, eventually racking up enough to unleash unique skills that can turn the tide of battle. The strongest of these burst skills can be unleashed when your burst meter hits level 3, and a majority of them can only be unlocked through sidequests. So, it’s all worth your while.
Dungeons in Battle Chasers can be revisited and completed again on Normal, difficulties, with a higher probability of chests that contain rarer gear. The dungeons’ layouts, akin to Darkest Dungeons, are interconnected zones that are also randomised with every run. I often found myself trekking through the dungeons for hours and hours, before noticing the sunrise and reminding myself that it was time to grab some shuteye.
Entering a new dungeon or area in the world map always presents challenging foes, and while those encounters tend to become quite manageable by the time you make it to the end of dungeon and level up, the enemies can still sometimes catch you off-guard and dish out a beating if you were unlucky enough to be on receiving end of an enemy critical hit. Some of the mobs in Battle Chasers hit really hard!
This, however, becomes less common in the final hours of the game once you’re outfitted with good equipment. The effort you put into finding epic gear and forging the ultimate weapons was very rewarding. While enemies might still chunk you, the wealth of options at your disposal and the damage that you can render will carry you through.
Battle Chasers paces you when it comes to experience points, and once you hit a certain level the EXP from enemies in recently cleared areas becomes rather paltry, an indication that the game wants you to move on. This pacing is well executed, because by the time I hit the maximum level, which is only level 30, I only faced a handful of random encounters before confronting the final boss.
An odd design choice that I absolutely must touch on are the menu controls. Most RPGs would have you switch through a menu’s categories such as item, equipment, compendiums or quest logs using the d-pad. In Battle Chasers, it’s the RT and LT buttons. Even 30+ hours in, the menu controls felt awkward, and I cannot even begin to fathom the reasoning behind the unorthodox button scheme.
While the plot of Battle Chasers: Nightwar will not resonate with me for years down the line, I will fondly treasure the fun I had with its gameplay.

Review from Steam

Judge the book by its cover
Looking for a slow paced game, I turned my attention to turn-based titles and Battlechasers: Nightwar picked my interest with its distinct comic book visuals. Going into to the game blind I was quite surprised to realise, I ended up playing second (out of currently three) games developed by Airship Syndicate in a row by sheer accident. No wonder the artstyle seemed familiar as well, since it has been delivered by comic book artist – turned game developer – Joe Madureira, whose probably most notable work happens to be Darksiders. In short, the visuals are superb, now let’s take a closer look at the rest of the game.
Dungeons and Airships
After a cutscene showcasing a band of adventurers – the titular Battlechasers, the game opens with a short-lived airship battle resulting in the group being scattered throughout a mysterious island. Battlechasers: Nightwar is a jRPG at heart with a spin on the form of presentation. Sizeable portion of the game is spent traversing a linear map, littered with enemy encounters and gradually unlocking new areas with the story progression. As soon as the enemy is “touched” the game enters the battle screen and your band of heroes take turns, merrily exchanging blows in a bid to eliminate threat at the lowest own cost possible. The aforementioned spin on the jRPG formula becomes apparent inside one of the game’s many dungeons. When the player enters an explorable area, the game shifts in perspective into an isometric view, giving a full control over the characters’ movement. Solve puzzles, dodge traps, pick the fights at your own pace and read the scattered lore entries, some contain hints towards hidden treasure.
The game’s setting is a beast of its own. Battlechasers is plainly rooted in high fantasy, however it also includes fair amount of steampunk. On one hand there is a cobblestone town of Harm’s Way resided by a dwarven smith. On the other hand, said smith has a mechanical arm and local watering hole has a neon sign pointing to it. Not to mention tiny autonomous tanks utilised by local bandits. I can’t quite wrap my head around this conflicted state of technology, however it sure makes for a colourful world.

Feels like yesterday
However vibrant the world of Battlechasers can be, the game sadly lacks an interesting story to fill it with. Plot is by far the weakest element of this title and its fairly long completion time (about 30 hours just to finish the game) truly drives this point home.
To my eyes this issue is twofold. First and foremost the story at large is a classic rendition of “heroes save the world” trope. Scarce few details it’s delivered in such a straightforward way that it struggles even as a pretence to drive the player forward. To make matters worse, Battlechasers arrived at the island by accident and they end up facing the evil out of reluctant necessity. The group at large lacks any personal involvement with the events unfolding and the characters remain rigidly two-dimensional throughout the game. All of the encountered adversities seemingly unable to make them flinch, let alone progress as characters.
Second aspect of plot shenanigans stems from the game’s background. Battlechasers: Nightwar is a comic book adaptation, taking place indetermined time after the events from the comic. I can imagine that the Nightwar’s origins were extremely relevant to related Kickstarter campaign, however the bottom line is that Battlechasers comic’s last issue has been released in 2001. Yet, the characters in the game act as if their previous adventure took place last friday and their interactions base on already established chemistry. The issue is that an overwhelming majority of Nightwar’s players are bound to be unfamiliar with a comic from 19 years ago. The game itself does little to reinforce Battlechasers’ relationships other than outright stating them.
Built to last
Fortunately, where story fails, the solid gameplay loop succeeds as the game’s driving force. If you enjoy jRPG’s brand of turn-based combat, Battlechasers is happy to deliver the goods. The game’s most distinct mechanic would be overcharge – basic attacks build up additional “mana” that vanishes after fight. Would you rather weather a few blows to build up extra energy or spend the blue immediately to avoid said blows? This title introduces resource management from the first fight and only keeps adding new mechanics to it.
Being the meat and potatoes of this title, the dungeons are the definite highlight of Battlechasers. These vast explorable locations include hordes of enemies, fairly fun puzzles and random encounters – while each dungeon has a fixed amount of blocks to build from, they are otherwise procedurally generated. Every dungeon comes with three difficulty settings, giving these locations a genuine replayability. Furthermore, while not all are equally interesting, dungeons are visually distinct and each has its unique gimmick, toying around with a freshly introduced mechanic. It works well enough to almost make the player look away from increasingly repetitive enemy menagerie, almost.

Let’s not forget the band of titular adventures. Every single one has a unique set of abilities growing to impressive 19 options with level progression. Admittedly, the characters do have certain affinities, however each has two distinct perk trees, allowing to tailor the team to your liking. On top of that, the chosen equipment can greatly affect each character’s performance. With quick swap of weapon and armour, previous dungeon’s tank may become the primary damage dealer. Their versatility is simply impressive.
Frankly, all of the above is only scratching the core gameplay. Should you happen to get hooked in, this title keeps on giving – crafting system, an arena, optional boss hunts, (lucrative) fishing minigame and an impressive variety of secrets. Completionist’s angle is strongly recommended when playing this game, as the power spike gets a little insane towards the end. Some grinding along the way helps maintain a steady pace of progress. Otherwise, the last two dungeons may become a wall.
Carry on the chase
While not without its flaws, Battlechasers: Nightwar delivered the exact goods I expected from a glance at its cover – striking visuals combined with fun turn-based combat. Should you happen to be looking for a jRPG in western wrapping, this title more than meets the quota. Personally, I was surprised by how much fun I had running back and forth throughout the map, chasing after the treasure hints. Frankly, the game isn’t innovative in any capacity, on the other hand it has gameplay solid enough to cover up for its uninspired story. Overall it is simply a decent title that somehow manages to meet the first impression it makes almost to a letter.

Review from Steam

A no hand holding JRPG for fans. I expected an easy and short game, but I got the opposite. Now I would not go and say it's as hard as calling it the Dark Souls of JRPGs, but you will be challenged through the whole game.
Gameplay
Fights are tactical 3 vs 3. As you get towards the end you can get wiped by normal enemies easily. Thankfully you have a wide array of skills to choose from. Characters skills and level progression is nicely done even if every seems just a mechanical way to introduce more gameplay elements. All of the characters have unique skills and you will gain special abilities on every level or so.
Most of the challenge comes from selecting the right offensive or defensive skills, managing your HP ,MP and turn order (casting time). This game is turn based and is needed to analyse the right series of moves and series of skill to unleash without dying. In every combat you are made to decide how much you want to invest in MP. You can use big skills right away and use a lot of MP or build up mp slowly with overcharge and unleash your powers for a lower cost. But spend too much on mana and you may not be able to finish the dungeon. It's almost a gambling aspect, it makes you feel powerful and fragile at the same time.
Visuals and Audio
Stylized character art is nicely done in a visual novel way and not surprisingly since this is based on a comic book. The dungeons are really gorgeous, exceptional even. Every time I was exploring one it felt fresh and exciting wondering what dangers or fortunes could await. Dungeons are made of randomized set pieces or rooms attached together in a really believable manner and have unique designs and enemies. The amount of enemies are varied but there are a lot of repeat enemies like slimes(red, blue, green, yellow etc.)
Closing comments
The game is very linear with little choice on what to do next, I do wish there was more variety or more of an open world. Some may find that the lack of choice may be too restrictive but the fine tuned challenge made it up for me. On the upside There is a lot of loot to find and upgrades to get. Because of this, grinding is somewhat encouraged for both levels and gear. I redid each dungeon at least 2 times each in order to finish the game. Dungeons exploring and fighting is the main highlight of the game.
The designers decided to make the gameplay take priority over the story. It feels more like a game than going on an adventure. Having said that I still had fun with this, the combat and exploration are great. But I know this is not for everyone and there are some tedious moments. I would only recommend it for people looking for a challenging JRPG. Casual players beware.
Recommended

Review from Steam

A hidden gem. Completely aligned to everything I love about a game. Thank you!

Review from Steam

A solid and fun approach to the turn-based combat genre.

My Rating:
🌟🌟🌟🌟 4/5
Good Game

Context
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is easily the best minimalistic Turn-based RPG, but at the same time it feels like a walking cliche in terms of story and combat.
Pros
You can fish, do riddles, dungeons, boss hunts, arena combats, find each character's legendary weapon, collect skins, treasure hunts, etc. None of those particular things shines on their own, but they are nice to have and experience at least once.
The art reminds me of Darksiders Genesis combined with Orcs Must Die! (Garrison's armor especially) which is probably the best art style decision for a minimalistic game. It also has some amazing Burst Attack animations, and the intro is worth being watched at least 10 times.
The toughest combats can be finished in less than 5 minutes. (except Arena)
It is very RNG friendly, and it won't be a problem if you're not going for the 100%. But if you do want the 100%, you will have to grind for like 3 hours in order to complete the "Fishiary" and the "Bestiary".
There are some interesting conversations when you sleep at the Inn (healing station) and it makes you think how good the story could've been if the whole game had more conversations like that.
It has a difficulty spike in the midgame around level 18~ that pissed me off initially, and I had to "git gud" and learn about the game's mechanics, but it turned out to be my favourite experience in the game.
Cons
The cutscenes between chapters are like an "animated comic."
The combat is very unbalanced, you end up using the same 2 skills with every character, which makes it terrible boring sometimes.
Some basic skills like "haste" are not instant and take one or two turns to be cast.
Most of the characters are too generic; the taciturn big sword guy, the peaceful iron-golem that learns how to be a "human", the 300-year-old mad-mage that blows things up and a half-nude femme fatale.
The plot is also generic, "heroes must defeat the bad guys that try to conquer the world." Is there a more generic plot than this? They could've used the comics story and dig into the protagonists stories, but they decided to trash all of that and start from zero, I consider this a huge mistake. Some people say the story is good. I guess it depends on your standards.
The ending is also a huge downside, probably the least satisfying ending I have ever experienced in a videogame, it felt like the biggest "Meh..." ever. Even the side quests had more impact than the ending. I know they want to launch a sequel, but you can't destroy the whole game's ending just to do a cliffhanger that bad and meaningless.
Conclusion
Don't expect a triple A turn-based game to master for thousands of hours or even shed a tear with the story.
But I highly recommend it if you are looking for a chill 75ish~ hours game that brings new mechanics and feels fun to play and easy to complete at 100%.
To buy or not to buy?
Yes, but only during a sale.

Review from Steam

The Adventure of Young Vi, Beefed-up Blitzcrank, Emo Garen, Wilder Miss Fortune, Less-beared Zilean, and Shen With A Shield.
Battle Chaser: Nightwar is a turn-based RPG. Journey with Gully and her band of powerful companions to stop the evil sorceress from unleashing an evil entity from its cage. Taking on a classic JRPG format, players form a team of three from six playable characters and explore the land known as The Lost Continent. The game features randomized dungeon-crawling, intense battles, and rewarding exploration, all seasoned with beautiful artstyle and great soundtrack. Battle Chaser: Nightwar not only provides the nostalgic feeling of the Final Fantasy series, but also enriches itself with new mechanics which helps the game stand out from the turn-based genre. Even though I have never read the original comic the game is based on(I will get it after I finish the game.), it is still an easy recommendation from me.
Things I Like About Battle Chasers: Nightwar:
1. Artstyle
The vibrant color scheme really takes the cake of good first impression. The devs' bold plays of hue breathe life into each level design: from verdant forest filled with bandits' iron and wild beasts' sharp claws to Lycelot's tribe of ferocity and hollow caves teeming with dark uncertainty; from haunting graveyard coated with heavy rain to ruined catacombs teeming with spiders and undead creatures; from a frozen wasteland devoid of life to a mana rift withholding unimaginable power and a caged deity. The characters benefits from the the color scheme as well, making each and every one of them memorable, let along their personality and interesting dialogue. Suffice to say, the colorful artstyle truly elevates the game a lot.
2. Pre-battles Prep And Characters' Kits
The depth battle ties deeply with each characters' Kits design. Even though it is still the traditional make-physical-contact-to-engage-battle, Battle Chasers: Nightwar does add a unique feature. Every character has two set of abilities, one used in battle and the other outside of battle. The latter is the key point to easy victory. These abilities, aside from dodging traps and breaking rocks in dungeon, can be utilized to weaken the enemies before the actual battle. Gully and Garrison can stun enemies for a free turn of damage; Knolan can reveal hidden enemies and shield allies; Red Monika can avoid the enemies entirely all the while pickpocket a few resources; Aluminum can straight out kill the minion, healing the team at the same time. Utilize these abilities to their fullest. A good preparation easily secures victory over even the toughest enemies.
3. Dungeon Replayability
The game encourages you to replay the previous dungeons to level up your characters. Although the process may feel repetitive and grindy, the devs make sure each playthrough has some degree of refreshing moment. Other than randomizing dungeon layout, the mini events are randomly generated as well. This feature does justice for repeat dungeon runs. On one run you may have a treasure chest surrounded by traps, on the other run of the same room you may encounter a little collecting quest. The devs also design peculiar events specific for different regions, like listening to the story of an old Lycelot.
4. Side Quests
The side quest, albeit one, is actually an accumulation of different bounty quests. It is not an ordinary "go there and kill this thing" type of bounty. Instead, these quests have prerequisites to fulfill, mainly by exploring adjacent area, finding location according to treasure maps, or even play the story dungeon. In other words, exploring optional areas rewards you with a challenging mini boss and powerful equipments, which also unlock strong battle burst moves. Due to my love for exploring uncharted territories, I often finish these quests without noticing I am doing so.
5. Wicked K Is In The Game!! That's A 29/10 For Me.
Thing I Like And Dislike About Battle Chasers: Nightwar:
Unifying Level Design Maybe?
Like: I do like the main map node design. It clearly indicates points of interest, it serves as an easy way traversing different region without the hindrance of landscapes, and it also works well with the budget of indie development team.
Dislike: However, when I see the dungeon levels I couldn't help but crave more. The top-down perspective, the overall detailed design, and beautiful backgrounds really make me wish this design philosophy is stretched out to the whole continent, instead of the convenient map indicator.
Things I Dislike About Battle Chasers: Nightwar:
1. More Intel For Newcomers
As a foreigner to the Battle Chasers comic, it's really hard for me to understand whatever is going on during the first ten minute. The opening cutscene doesn't do any good explaining why our heroes are chased by bandits, or why are they even there in the first place. I am sure I will learn more once I read the comics. Still, the opening could use a little introductory segment.
2. Traditional Team Role
What the combat lacks in terms of strategy is the limited poor team composition variety. Currently the game's turn-based combat focus heavily on traditional "Tank, DPS, and Healer" trio. With only six characters to choose from, the variety does dwindle a lot in comparison to other. Gully is the only viable tank who can redirect enemies' attention(Monika can do the same but with low health and relies on evade chance). A healer is mandatory to any dungeon runs, there are three. If you take two DPS and a healer, you won't sustain long and even risk taking focus fire on the healer; if you take one DPS and two healer, you do gain sustainability but sacrifice some firepower, which may be dangerous for some enemies composition requires bursting down as fast as you can.
3. Rewards Should Be Based Of Current Team Composition
Maybe this is just my luck. I really dislike it when I work hard to complete a legendary dungeon run only to get something my team cannot use. I know the dev make it this way so that you can farm equipments for other low level characters, helping them going through slightly higher level dungeons with ease. I understand this, but it is frustrating to get something my favorite team comp can't use when they really needs better gears. I don't need another purple gears for Calibretto when Red Monika requires a good stat armor for upcoming dungeons.