I could have easily stretched Battle Chasers: Nightwar out another 3 or 4 progress logs, but really needed to finish the game up so that I could get started on the review. That means that the leisurely pace I was keeping up to this point was replaced with running around slightly underleveled and underequipped for the late-game/end-game content. The final two bosses even managed to kill me, which was a new one. The good part of this is that you get dropped back at the pre-boss healing crystal so long as you’re not playing through that dungeon on its hardest difficulty (which is only unlocked after you beat it the first time). The bad part is that it’s more a teleport than a reload, so any resurrection and healing items you used during your ill-fated boss fight are gone forever. That definitely took some getting used to. Overall, though? This is an awesome little game with amazing music, great characters, and a surprisingly perfect difficulty curve. Also, fishing.
Speaking of fishing…
I bought the best rod and lure that I found in the game from the collector, but there were still a few moments where the fish played all coy and took forever to bite. And even then, some of them insisted on fighting so hard that they managed to move all the way to the far side of the screen even while being correctly reeled in. It always seems to be the case that these tough cases end up being nothing special, too. Always the same fish you’ve caught a million others of without a problem.
Some cool stuff
Environmental hazards aren’t only a hazard to you, but can also damage enemies. That means that if you’re not confident about a fight, you can potentially lure the enemy into a trap and engage it after it’s been slightly damaged and/or inflicted with a status ailment. There aren’t enough traps within range of enemies for this to be a realistic strategy throughout the game, but it’s still one of those little touches that adds to the overall game experience because of how unique it is.
I already mentioned that you can craft things using brute force even when you don’t have all of the necessary ingredients, but what I didn’t know at the time was that you can raise the chance to succeed (up to a max of 50%) by adding more crafting components than called for. This works when crafting flasks, equipment, and enchantments because the process for all of them is the same.
Another really cool thing is that if you’re not missing an ingredient and already have a 100% chance of crafting success, you can add more ingredients than normal anyway and take the percentage up to 300% to get something with better stats. I found myself relying on this most often for enchantments, crafting massive offensive and defensive bonuses into everyone’s gear so that they could survive the late-game content without the need to grind. I never thought I’d play through a game where I actually appreciated procedural generation and crafting—two things I hate almost without exception—but Battle Chasers: Nightwar somehow pulls both off.
I’m not a fan of the liches, though
Okay, time for some criticism: the lich enemies in this game are really tedious. Basically, if you enter a dungeon room and a lich is in there, skeletons will continually erupt from the ground and fight you. An infinite number of them, in fact, until you find and defeat the lich. This makes it impossible to clear out sections of a room at your own pace while reading scrolls with lore in them and looting containers. Instead, the late-game dungeons turn into wild dashes to find liches before you get stuck fighting waves of annoying skeletons (who can get pulled into the lich fight).
The lich in the video above was something I could deal with without too much of a problem. It took a little getting used to, but liches were rare in this particular dungeon. Later on, however, they wander around like normal enemies instead of being static and easily-discernible, and I came across a weird bug where the last dungeon had the normal bits blurred and the background clear. I think it was supposed to be the other way around and got screwed up for some reason (possibly my fault—I had to force-close the game at one point and from then on out it refused to launch except in the DirectX 9.0 “safe mode”). Whatever the reason, it made it difficult to tell which enemy was the lich because everything was blurred, so I had to fight a lot of skeletons. This was made worse by late-game skeletons constantly putting up shields, making defeating them an even slower process.
Some late-game bugs and stuff
The blurring thing wasn’t the only bug that I came across, though glitchy stuff was actually surprisingly rare. There were a few animation bugs where enemies would disappear/reappear, sometimes enchantments didn’t show the correct stat changes (which is kind of like the fishing gear bug I mentioned in an earlier progress log), Calibretto equipped a weapon at one point that somehow gave him infinite mana, but it’s all minor stuff like that. The only arguably “real” bug I came across was when I managed to get stuck out of bounds at one point and couldn’t get back in. Thankfully, you can quit out of the game—normally, because for the love of all that’s holy don’t force close it—and reload your save, which puts you on the world map. From there, you can choose to continue the dungeon. All of the enemies you beat remain beaten, so getting back to where you were is really fast.