HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewGenso Chronicles Review

Genso Chronicles Review

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Well, it is that time again and regular as clockwork KEMCO unleash a new game on an unsuspecting world. 

The title of the game this time around is Genso Chronicles, and just for a change it is a retro styled JRPG. I know, who saw that one coming?

As I’ve previously mentioned, it is getting increasingly difficult to come up with new and interesting ways to describe these games. It’s even quite hard to come up with old and boring ways to describe them, so only the facts will get me out of this situation. Genso Chronicles promises to bring an interesting story and a couple of new features to the genre… 

Genso Chronicles review 1
A good old KEMCO story plays out

Story is where we shall go first, and here the news is good, as is usual for these games. It’s a lengthy old set-up though, so bear with me.

We play as a character called Light, who lives in Selka Village. He was an orphan, raised by a lady called Ohma, and he lives alongside a young girl called Fina. Obviously, he is in love with Fina, but Fina has eyes only for Alberto, a dashing captain in the local Holos Over militia. This militia protects the local area and undertakes Light to join the Holos Over order. However, while he was on a mission, his village was attacked and destroyed – Ohma and Fina went missing. In his despair, Light summoned a Guardian Beast, Lukias, to his side and swore a pact with it to become its Col, its partner. In return, Lukias will join Light in battles and help him become stronger. Of course, Light isn’t the only Col in the world, and as is explained, Cols attract one another. Soon he has companions with Guardian Beasts of their very own. Can we find out who destroyed the village, and get strong enough to protect it in future?

Graphically, Genso Chronicles is more on the retro side of retro, if you get what I mean. Rather than being 16-bit graphics, these are more reminiscent of the classic NES RPGs, with small sprites running about static backdrops. The battle screens are different too – our characters don’t ever appear on screen but the monsters we are fighting pop up, almost in an FPS style, advancing towards us as we defeat rows of their allies.This works very well, to be honest, making for a nice change. 

The rest of the presentation of the game is as expected: the story moving along with the use of text boxes and static pictures of the character talking. The sound is all as you would expect as well, with stirring music and battle sounds aplenty. All in all, aside from the battle screen, this is exactly as you would expect from a KEMCO game; no more, no less. 

Genso Chronicles review 2
The usual wandering…

The gameplay is also very familiar, apart from a couple of new features which help lift Genso Chronicles out of the noise of similar titles. The first of these is the crafting system, which is pretty deep and requires a lot of grinding. 

There are two facets to this system, the first being the gathering of materials, such as iron ore and beast hides. These are either rewards for defeating creatures you come across, or gained by completing missions in the Holos Over guild; getting enough of them together is the first step in making new weapons or armour. The other facet is the need to find Forging Books, either again as rewards for missions or out in the world. Once you have the book with the recipe of the item you want to make, and the bits you need to build it, then the blacksmith can craft it for you. You can of course make your existing equipment stronger with the same stuff you find lying about, and while you find the books, this is a good first step. 

The second new feature is a bit harder to explain, but it is a kind of “bond” system that allows you to forge relationships, not only with your companions, but also with the Guardian Beasts that you acquire as you travel. Yes, it appears that once someone is a Col, they can make use of any Guardian Beasts, so swapping them out depending on the challenge you are about to face can make sense. As an example, Lukias is all about attack, while Balon is much more about defence and so choosing the right beast before a battle can help you survive. As you fight more with each beast, you forge a bond with them; obviously the stronger the bond, the more effective they will be in battle. In this way, the bonds you forge can have a real effect on the game, and even on the story events that unfold, at least according to the devs. 

The rest of the game is much as you would have played before. There is a world map where you can choose to visit towns, villages or dungeons. In the towns, you get the opportunity to take in an item shop, the guild or so on and so forth. The other locations, the dungeons for want of a better word, are where we actually take control of the party, wandering around and fulfilling missions given to us by the guild. As we get higher in the guild, more missions – and crucially, more difficult missions – are added to the list, providing better rewards for completing them. Those dungeons are full of enemies that attack as we walk, as per usual, but there are also visible enemies on the screens – these are much stronger and can be a real challenge to take down. 

Genso Chronicles review 3
Fancy a fight?

In conclusion, this is the usual kind of summing up which happens at the end of a KEMCO game. The story of Genso Chronicles is good, and the gameplay is satisfyingly grindy, with the creation of a better weapon delivering quite a decent feeling. The bond system is a bit strange though, but then, it’s always nice to have something different in a KEMCO game. 

In all, Genso Chronicles is quite a good playthrough, although not groundbreaking. In fact, if you fancy taking in a retro styled JRPG, you could do worse, but you may also be able to do better.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Good story
  • Crafting system is interesting
  • Gameplay is quite fun
Cons:
  • Gameplay is quite grindy
  • Nothing really groundbreaking
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, KEMCO
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price -16 February 2024 | £12.49
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Good story</li> <li>Crafting system is interesting</li> <li>Gameplay is quite fun</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Gameplay is quite grindy</li> <li>Nothing really groundbreaking</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, KEMCO</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price -16 February 2024 | £12.49</li> </ul>Genso Chronicles Review
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