Awful. Terrible. Happy 100th review, eh?
Meet Crais, the character that you'll be playing as, a mercenary that has a problem when it comes to gambling, and hates kids, don't worry, he loves reminding everyone about his hatred every chance he gets. He soon gets hired by Sophie, a little girl, and must aid her in finding seven orbs scattered through the country(Yeah, no world-wide adventure for ya). Alongside the way he'll come across four other dames, each with a defining character trait that will aid them on their journey. Yes, it's one of those games in which you can somewhat romance one of the girls, and whichever your romanced, gets a bonus extra scene at the end. Surprisingly, while character development is almost null or incredibly forced, the five female leads are actuall well designed, with almost no fanservice in their design, props to the character designer. However, there is a slight problem with the plot, this game was meant to kickstart a series(which it didn't), and they never came to be, so the game hints at many things that will never be explained, and leaves a couple of threads hanging. Not cool.
Combat fares better, if only because you can't get any worse than the lame dungeon design. It takes a page from the "Tales" franchise in that it takes place in real time, you take control of Crais(And only Crais) and the CPU takes control of three of the ladies. Now then, you can set, only outside of battle, how these character will behave by adding or substracting points into "Attack", "Magic" and "Recovery", which translates into how often they will do each action... yeah, it's awkward and too vague. It gets worse, the AI is incredibly stupid, often times staying put in place as enemies get close to her and attack her, and only then will they move away... a few inches. If you want to make the most of your spell casters, manually tell them to cast each spell, as they love to just stare at nothingness. As cool as the combat sounds on paper, casting magic as Crais is pretty dang useless, as you stay in place and hope not to get hit so that the spell goes off. Your casters get it easier since you can protect them from harm, but guess what, since you get free movement, evading non-targeted spells is as easy as moving two inches up, and the enemy's spell will miss completely(The AI is not that smart, sadly, but it applies to enemies too, who will happily stand in the way of a spell). Crais does get a couple of special attacks in the form of spells, but why waste mana on them if your basic three-hit combo is so good and useful? Mashing that X button quickly became a chore, but it got me through the game just fine. Even through that last boss that can 1 hit KO you even if you are at max level.
Presentation is the game's strongest quality, but that's not saying much. Sprites look pretty nice, while not in motion, but the animation is a mixed bag. Some animations look pretty nice, but other could've, nay, should've used more frames. Backgrounds look very low quality as well. On the flip side, voice acting is fantastic, with a plethora of well known Voice Actors... but then again, the music is pretty forgettable and short on quantity. Dungeons have no music at all. Those long, maze-like, random-encounter infested time sinks have no music. NO MUSIC. This game is terrible.
I've... I've nothing else to say. This game is awful, it has a bunch of neat ideas when it came to combat, but it's so poorly implemented. While it looks like just another harem game, the female leads are actually pretty well designed, it's a shame that they star in such a bad game. There's almost no redeeming qualities, good ideas executed poorly don't really save a game.
3.0 out of 10