Symphony of Eternity is a retro-style RPG published by KEMCO. KEMCO has a solid history of gaming on Nintendo systems, dating back to the NES era. More recently, the company is better known for its mobile releases, with Symphony of Eternity itself previously released on Android and iOS devices. So how does it fare on the 3DS?
You control Kriest and his golem friend, Dauturu, who are in search of Regratlute – a legendary weapon that can grant the holder any single wish. They soon meet Laishutia, who escaped her kingdom from a violent overthrow of her government, by her trusted guards. The three agree to team up to search for Regratlute.
The game is fairly linear, with a world map that restricts venturing between certain locations. Dungeon maps are mainly just mazes that progressively get larger and slightly more complex as you venture through the game. Further exploration would have been a nice addition to the game. While wandering across the maps, you can see where enemies are, giving you the option to avoid them or sneak behind for a surprise attack.The game even stops you to ask if you would like to continue when you reach a boss battle. This is a very convenient feature as it allows you to heal your characters and prepare for battle.
The battle system is more or less what you would expect from a retro-inspired RPG. Players enter commands for all characters, then each character attacks in order of their agility. In battle, if a teammate attacks the same enemy without being interrupted by an opposing attack, a combo is formed dealing more damage than a normal attack. During the battle, each character builds up their “break” gauge. When this is full, players can select an action that results in a more powerful attack, which is great in boss battles.
One difference in the way the game works is that all characters level up at same time. As far as characters go there is not much of a selection overall when compared to other games in the genre, such as Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. The good thing is there is a rather decent character upgrade system. Characters can gain skills or magic spells using tablets. The tablet system is a fresh take on learning abilities or magic. Players can also use merit points to update their attack, defense, etc. It was an interesting freedom to be able to add skills and change attributes at will.
When exploring maps, players will find materials that can be used to forge into weapons. The forged weapons are more powerful than those you can buy in the stores. I always have a hard time doing this as I seem to overthink things and worry I am somehow messing up, but in the end it is fun to experiment.
Another great thing about leveling up was that, although each area’s enemies became stronger, they are still around the same skill level as your team. This helps to put a stop to the feeling of grinding for experience and allows players to enjoy the gameplay without it being too hard or too easy.
Although not heavily story driven, Symphony of Eternity certainly is an entertaining title. The battle system was not overly complicated, however it is still enjoyable. Symphony of Eternity feels at home on the 3DS as it offers a straightforward approach to the RPG genre, a welcome addition to the vast library of RPGs currently on the 3DS. The price of $7.99 is a great price for a well-rounded game.