I’m a huge fan of JRPG’s and when it comes to the Xbox One there aren’t many to pick from. There is an MMO that game quickly pushed me away after spending a good month playing. Experience Inc.–known for games such as Ray Gigant, Demon Gaze, and Operation Abyss on the PS Vita–has brought Stranger of Sword City (another PS Vita game, reviewed by Alex McCumbers here) to Xbox One.
This is my review of the Xbox One version of the game created and published by Experience Inc. How is it? Let’s find out in my review!
As mentioned above, we’ve already reviewed the PS Vita version of the game, but I’m here with some insight into the Xbox One version, which I’ve greatly enjoyed. At the time of writing I’ve put a good 15+ hours into the game, but I’m still far from beating it. I can say I’ve enjoyed the game for the most part. As someone who often plays dungeon crawlers–including Experience Inc.’s game Demon Gaze–I couldn’t help but jump at the chance to review Stranger of Sword City when it was announced for the Xbox One. What is Stranger of Sword City? The game Stranger of Sword City is an RPG that features several character classes, such as human, elf, dwarf, ney and migmy. You progress through the game by finding your way through dungeons that are filled with dangerous obstacles.
The story of Stranger of Sword City is quite interesting, but at times overwhelming because it hits you all at once from the start. The pace slows down as you progress through the game so the information can be taken in more easily. What is the story’s plot? You are the sole survivor of a plane crash that has occurred after passing through some sort of portal. You regain consciousness in an unfamiliar place, where you don’t recognize the stars lighting the sky. You soon find out this is Escario, the city of swords. In addition to trying to find a way home, you are tasked with defending the city as the Chosen One, the Stranger of Sword City. You must be careful in choosing your allies–as you will soon learn. At its heart, this is a game about death and fighting for your very existence. Each choice you make will reveal hidden meaning as you battle for survival. You will be defined by the lives of those you leave behind, by the people you choose as allies, and by the adventures you have into the dark mazes that could be your undoing.
The controls for the game provide a unique experience. They resemble the controls of a typical dungeon-crawler game in their simplicity. Gameplay is turn-based, like any RPG, although some missions take quite a bit of time as they are very challenging. As stated at the beginning, I’ve put in over 15 hours and the difficulty is what has stopped me from beating the game. Challenging games tend to provide more bang for your buck though, right? More hours of play usually equals more hours of enjoyment. One cool feature is how teammate selections are presented as cards to choose from, shown above. Upgrading your character is a pretty standard process with a menu screen that grants the ability to change equipment and more.
The game graphics are vibrant and highly detailed. This detail encompasses everything from character selection to battle sequences to story scenes. You can easily tell that Experience Inc. has some very talented artists working on this game. Personally, I look forward to what comes next artistically from Experience Inc. Adding English subtitles to the game has opened it to a wider audience since the voice acting is in Japanese. Normally I prefer games with English voice actors, but the text allowed me to have a better grasp of the events during the game and how to accomplish the objectives.
Overall, Stranger of Sword City is quite a good game for those looking for a nice dungeon-crawling RPG. I’ve traded messages with the team expressing my hopes that more RPGs like this are brought to the Xbox One. While the selection of RPGs is limited at this time, this is certainly one worth giving a shot. The only factor that might hinder some from trying it could be price. Is this game worth the asking price? I would say yes if you are a fan of JRPGs and looking for a challenging game to play on Xbox One. Stranger of Sword City provides brilliant visuals, an enthralling story, and challenging gameplay. What’s not to like?