HomeReviews3/5 ReviewGlorious Savior Review

Glorious Savior Review

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Apart from the ‘incorrect spelling’ of the second word of the title, what else can I say about the latest from retro JRPG masters KEMCO? Well, Glorious Savior is yet another retro styled JRPG  that comes to Xbox with the traditional kind of setup – a disparate team of people coming together to save the world. You know the drill, this is a KEMCO RPG… 

Glorious Savior review 1
Glorious Savior – a standard KEMCO RPG?

The presentation is exactly as you would expect from a KEMCO game too, but there is a little twist that helps to keep things interesting. You see, the way that the characters are designed in Glorious Savior is all straight out of the KEMCO playbook, with a pleasing anime style and pleasant enough looking backdrops.

The big twist comes in the battle screen, where the action suddenly switches to a 3D viewpoint, the characters much larger than usual, giving battles a pretty dynamic look. It helps too, because you’ll be looking at the battle screen approximately every 30 seconds, as the amount of random battles in this game is truly ridiculous. In fact, it really kills any flow that Glorious Savior manages to get going. 

Other than the graphics, the sounds are also exactly as you would expect too – swishing swords and spells, stirring battle music and so on and so forth. 

The story found in Glorious Savior is interesting; very much like KEMCO usually manage to deliver. We play as Rain, a noble who is given a mission to retrieve a stolen sword, the Hero’s Sword. This is a relic from when the Overlord was defeated. Of course, we can’t complete this mission alone and so we are joined by Viola, Soleil and April as we attempt to recover the sword. Through various means, we end up 300 years in the past, just in time to face the Overlord the first time around! The question is, will Rain et al ever see home again, or are they stuck in the past? 

Glorious Savior review 2
The twist is in the combat

With the story nailed on and the presentation discussed, it is time to look at the gameplay. Most of this is much the same as we have seen in countless KEMCO games before – our team wander around on the world map, having battles every ten paces, until we reach the destination we were aiming for – either a town to advance the story, or a dungeon to go and explore. So far, so good. However, there are a couple of things that set Glorious Savior apart from the rest…

The first difference is the presence of a Weapon Fairy, Cobalt, who comes with us. His job is to take the weapons that we find and upgrade them with new powers and extra attacks, using meteorites that we also come across. These weapons can have spirits added to them as well, giving extra powers such as the ability to see secret passages in the dungeons or to have additional health given to the wielder. With a whole lot of weapons to collect, from four different archetypes, including bow, guns, swords and staffs, there is a lot of flexibility here to make your team’s loadout unique to you. 

This mechanic also carries through into the main combat screen, adding another layer of complexity. Each character can equip multiple weapons (and as you go on, they can equip up to four, but it is only two as you start the game) and if a weapon is not used in battle, it begins to build up an Aura charge. Once the Aura is full, attacking with the weapon can trigger a “Fever State”; when this occurs, the character with the Fever can attack multiple times for free, usually adding some special conditions to the foes, lowering their defence, for instance. Managing the character’s various weapons and picking the right attack at the right time can add to the challenge. Of course, with the amount of fighting you’re going to do in Glorious Savior, it is easier to get your characters to do it themselves, and the strategy can be set to allow you just to press Y and auto battle to your heart’s content. 

Another new feature is the Fairy’s Garden level, where you can go to challenge various dungeons in an attempt to recover the Fairy King. These dungeons are made up of ten levels, and as you go deeper into the dungeon, the difficulty ramps up steadily, culminating in a fight against a demon at the bottom. If you can kill the demon, the dungeon is cleared, and the next one is unlocked. These dungeons have the possibility of finding rare weapons as you explore, with fairies in there to help, whether that be by healing the party or carrying out the weapons that you have found – when you beat the boss, you are only allowed to keep one weapon you have obtained, so these transport fairies are a big help. These levels add a lot to the challenge, and the opportunities there are very tempting. 

Glorious Savior review 3
A middle-of-the-road experience

Glorious Savior does have its stumbling blocks however, and the economy seems to be one. Usually, in a KEMCO game, by about halfway through I’m drowning in gold, but Glorious Savior seems very mean, giving paltry amounts for fighting. The health items and things you need to buy are also stupidly expensive, and so you constantly feel in a state of stress, especially as the team isn’t healed between fights. If you are poisoned in one fight, you will still be poisoned in the next ten seconds later, unless you can afford the item to purge poison. 

All in all, the annoyances of Glorious Savior are pretty much balanced by the new mechanics, and as a result this is a very middle of the road game – it never quite tips over the edge into greatness, but neither does it fall into the pit of oblivion. The fights are far, far too numerous though, and it is this that is the big nail in the coffin. Glorious Savior is an RPG that feels more of chore to play than a pleasure, and that is not a happy state of affairs. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Good story
  • Interesting weapon and fighting mechanics
Cons:
  • Why so many random encounters?
  • Game economy feels very expensive
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, KEMCO
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 12 April 2024 | £12.49
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Good story</li> <li>Interesting weapon and fighting mechanics</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Why so many random encounters?</li> <li>Game economy feels very expensive</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, KEMCO</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 12 April 2024 | £12.49</li> </ul>Glorious Savior Review
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