They’re Gigants! Not Kaiju!
While with its differences, the circumstances of theis post-apocalyptic world had me thinking of Pacific Rim. The larger creatures called Gigants appeared into the world causing havoc and destroying cities. Regular military action failed to stop them. But during the early stages of the attacks, the appearance of Yorigami was able to defeat them. Yorigami are only usable through compatible individuals. With few Yorigami, the world also looked to making Kurogami. The Kurogami are artificial versions of Yorigami and do not have all the same abilities.
There will be a pattern of fighting. First going into dungeons. There you will fight the smaller Level 2 Gigants. At the end of each is a boss like Level 2 with a Marker. Markers will be used to draw in the Level 1 Gigants to specific kill zones. This pattern will change up slightly with added dungeons and major story events, but these are very minor or brief periods.
Are you confused? All the key terms can be complicated. Through playing the game and hearing them multiple times, they become more clear. The basic introduction of the story is told multiple times. It got irritating at the beginning. After getting to the 3rd chapter, the game starts to progress more into the story you are playing rather than the story of the prologue. The story is separated into 3 parts focused around 3 different Yorigami users.
Each of them are fairly unique. Both their abilities and personalities can vary. This is also true of their team members. Each protagonist has 2 Kurogami users that will be different between each character. The similarity between the 3 different teams are the 3 different styles of abilities that each group of 3 will fall into. The character that is more of a tank can hit hard and take hits well. The long range weapon user wields bow like weapons. And the magic users have worthless physical attacks, but their magic can do a lot of damage. But like I mentioned before, these characters vary. Just because one tank has an ability does not mean the other tank will have that same ability.
This change made the start of dealing with a new group difficult. There is a need to change some of the strategies I used to accommodate for the loss of old moves while getting used to the new ones. Most notably in the first group, the magic user will have healing abilities, so I relied on that skill for my healing. When I got to the 2nd part with the new group, the magic user doesn’t have healing at all. So instead I had to take on other means to heal, which also caused for other changes in my strategy.
Besides the magic healing, the only other form of healing is through foods. But eating food will cause characters to gain weight. At higher weights, characters will have higher attack and defense. But if you can keep the weight of the characters down, they will have an increase in their hit and evasions. In my first group, they all were lower weight, giving me that increase. It was something I could only manage thanks to having magic based healing. I then had to accept the use of healing foods and all my characters being higher in weight.
This is just one of the many balancing acts that need to be considered in Ray Gigant’s battle system. The battle system is turn based, but at the start of the turn you decide how the characters attack all at once. Each action costs a certain amount of AP. The max AP is 100, and it does not reset at the start of each turn. Once AP is spent, you’ll get a portion back at the beginning of the next turn. If not every character attacks, there will be more AP come next turn. Finish the battle within the first turn, and you can receive 25 AP Bonus at the end of the battle. AP becomes more precious than HP in this game as at the end of each battle, HP gets reset to max as long as the character is alive. If a character faints during battle, you are stuck until leaving the dungeon, boss battle, or reaching a check-point.
Within dungeons there are 3 different types of battles that can be found: heavy, normal and light. Like me, you might be expecting for Heavy to be the tougher enemies, normal to mid and light to be the weakest. That is not the case. These differences instead affect the amount of AP moves will cost. Heavy is double, Light being halved, and Normal being regular value. The number of enemies and difficulty have no bearing on the type of battle. I’ve gotten through Heavy matches in one turn and been in a Light battle for 10 turns. Those types of long battles are to be avoided as much as possible.
Not only do the long battles yield less or no AP bonus. There is a status that will build over battle turns that will carry over into the next battles. This status is called parasitism. When this activates health becomes a larger factor since it will be used instead of AP when this is activated. The only ways to reset is by finishing a battle while inflicted with it or using the special technique of the Yorigami users, SBM. This attack brings a rhythm based mini game to the battles. Hitting the button for the desired attack to the timing of the music allows for more hits. It will need to be charged through multiple battles and turns, only able to be activated when 50 or higher. Using it on the more random encounters is not the best idea. It is better to save for the boss like creatures of the dungeons or the Level 1 battles.
I want to talk about the Level 1 boss battles before closing this out. When I picked up my PSVita and stumbled across this game in the PSN, what drew me into the game were the Level 1 Gigant battles from the trailer. The pattern of the battles is the same, but unlike the dungeon battles, the group of 3 will not be lined up in a row to get destroyed by the Gigant far larger than those in the dungeons. Instead, the tank of the group will be positioned closest at the head to take most of the focus and attacks, usually toward the top of a large building to the get height needed. The ranged fighter will on the ground close by. The magic users take to another high position at a further distance. With the character spread out, it allows for multiple angles to be seen of the area and of the Gigant. These angles also do better to show the scale of the battle and the Gigant itself.
The slow start to this game really almost made me give up on it. I am glad I waded through because the battle sequences are fun and challenging. Then the change in team keeps from getting complacent in the moves and abilities available. Some of the character interactions can be a bit odd, mostly in Ichiya’s section related to the female characters around him. But there are other more endearing and interesting interactions that make up for some of the oddities.