Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Chantelise

Review: Chantelise: A Tale of Two Sisters

2:15 PM on 08.05.2011 // Allistair Pinsof
  @DtoidAllistair

EasyGameStation is a doujin developer powered by fandom. Each of its games pay ode to the Japanese classics that came before them. Sometimes they feel like an inspired tribute (Recettear), while other times they border on being an unofficial sequel to an established franchise (Gunners Heart).

The only thing consistent in EGS' catalog, that jumps genre-to-genre, is quality. In that respect, Chantelise: A Tale of Two Sisters is no different.

Chantelise: A Tale of Two Sisters (PC)
Developer: EasyGameStation
Publisher: Carpe Fulgur
Released: July 29, 2011
MSRP: $8.99

Reccetear -- a unique blend of dungeon crawler and store management sim -- introduced many Western gamers to EGS when it came to Steam last fall. After the positive feedback, Carpe Fulgur, who translated Reccetear, decided to go ahead and bring Chantelise to the Western world.

Despite being a new release on Steam, Chantelise predates Reccetear by a year in its original Japan release. You could easily be mistaken, however, given that both games share the same engine and many art assets. However, the focus on hack n’ slash combat, its unique magic system and no-frills dungeon exploration distinguishes it from its successor. Mostly for the better.

Fans of Ys, Quintet's catalog, and Secret of Mana will feel right at home with Chantelise’s combat, which is far more developed than Recettear. Since this is a third-person adventure, you have the ability to evade, jump and combo enemy slimes to bits -- or do annihilated slimes just evaporate?

The combat is underwhelming at first due to the “spam x” linearity of it paired with enemy collision that takes some getting used to; a fault of the game’s dated, yet charming 2D sprites in a 3D world. Once you discover and understand the game's peculiar magic system, the merits of the combat unveil themselves and slowly addict.

Hidden in enemies, trees and barrels are gems which embody one of the four elements. At any time, you can pick them up and store up to six of them. In addition to each element having a different attack, combining multiple gems create new spells that can do anything from healing to summoning an elemental sidekick that will rain down icicles.

Since the gems are plentiful, they feel like a powerful but limited alternative to a projectile weapon. Spamming to your heart’s content will get you by early on, but strategically picking up gems eventually becomes essential to defeating certain bosses.

Because the order of gems is decided by the sequence you picked them up, you always face the danger of ruining a gem-chain for a healing spell or wasting a blue gem you could have used on a fire demon. The awareness and strategy of gem collection pairs nicely with the mindless swordplay.

By the end of the game, you’ll have memorized all the various gem orders for spells; racing frantically to pick up gems while dodging deathblow after deathblow from a boss creates a unique, frantic pace to the action.

Chantelise’s garish color pallet and cute character design may make you think this is a children’s game, but you would most certainly be disappointed by the game’s difficulty. The flow of the dungeons and tough boss fights earn the game the title of Demon’s Souls Jr. or, alternatively, Demon’s Happy Soul Time: XX Core Advance Plus. I know, I should name all of Atlus’s games, right?

Unlike Demon’s Souls, you won’t have to put up with traps or falling off an edge to your death every 30 minutes.  What you will have to put up with, though, is dredging through a level every time you die.
These aren’t the largest levels and some are linear enough to provide a straight path to the boss, but it still feels like needless, challenge-less busy work.

Having to quickly run through a level after failing a boss fight, just to fail again, is not fun. On an occasion, sliding through enemy formations has its own charm. It’s like fantasy soccer.

The game’s four worlds and fairly short final level don’t offer a great amount of variety beyond setting (each world is based off an element kind of like, well, a ton of other games.) Each world is composed of five or so rooms that are nothing more than battle arenas.

You must hunt every enemy in the room to unlock the door to the next and progress. Thankfully, these doors remain unlocked once completed the first time. Occasionally, you’ll need to platform or navigate a labyrinthine stage but these are by no means memorable for a positive reason.

Much like Recettear, you have a main town hub you return to in order to receive tips from the locals, trigger a story event or buy goods from the item shop. Since you don’t level-up -- beyond increasing item space and learning new spells from defeating bosses -- you’ll need to cash-in treasures and collected gold for improved gear.

Those wary of similar action-RPGs turning into grindfests will be happy to hear that I only faced this issue on the final boss, who is a total dick! If you make the most of the gem system and dodging, you’ll be able to progress through each level nicely. If, however, you are a worthless bum who is useless at videogames, you’ll be able to achieve success through mindless grinding. Keep an eye out for the jukebox; that thing is worth a ton!

Speaking of which, the soundtrack captures all the warmth and joy of a late 90s RPG. Man, I love those corny midi synths!

Chantelise is a fairly short game that can be completed within eight-hours by the skillful player, a couple more for worthless bums and nearly double for those determined to discover all of the game’s secrets -- there are a lot of them.

Each area of the game has a treasure box that can be unlocked by doing a specific action. Some of these require not getting hit for a certain amount of time or killing a hidden enemy somewhere in the room. Each of these treasure boxes contain valuable items that you won’t find otherwise. If you can’t find any, you can talk to the priest in town who provides hints at the cost of HP.

The story of Chantelise isn’t notable, but the dialogue is charming and succinct -- never keeping you from the action for too long. Thanks to the localization effort by Carpe Fulgur, the dialogue is amusing but lines like “cut the horsepoop” may be a bit too cute for some.

There are some genuinely funny moments though, such as when the two protagonists bicker about opening a door via methods that The Legend of Zelda’s Link would use. However, even Carpe Fulgur's admirable localization efforts can’t improve the expository dialogue and convoluted story.

Chantelise is a game made by three people and, in some respects, it shows. Recycled art assets, a small world and a problematic lock-on system serve as a constant reminder. For the action-RPG fan, these will be minor issues in what is an otherwise well-designed game.

Chantelise doesn’t have the epic adventure of Secret of Mana, but its unique magic system, challenging bosses and pleasant aesthetic will hook you.

Antipole (DSiWare [Reviewed], PC, Xbox Live Indie Games)
Developer: Saturnine Games
Publisher: Saturnine Games
Released: July 21, 2011 (DSiWare) / June 27, 2011 (PC) / January 21, 2011 (XBLIG)
MSRP: 500 Nintendo DSi Points / $4.99 / 400 Microsoft Points


THE VERDICT

7

Chantelise - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Chantelise


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Wanna Bet? Fall 2015 Finale

Conquest of Elysium 4 - Review

The PlayStation Vita: Twice as Bright

Video Gaming Bits -- Magical Date: Doki Doki Kokuhaku Daisakusen

Cheat Codes Ep. 83: Shut Up

Comments of the Week - Love Love Love

Sonic Generations Mod Retrospective 2 - COLORS

The meaning of The Witness (Part 2 of 3)

Venture into the Borderlands - Epilogue

Pokémon X Review - Fairy Enough

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Every time Nekro changes his avatar, God lets a child in a third-world country starve to death. When will the killing stop, Nekro?
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Undertale ending in anime version (don't watch it if you have not played it yet) !
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Pixie isn't my abfave demon, but this cosplay is hhnnggalicious
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
El Dango avatarEl Dango
What if the 'OOSE' thing in the new Bourne poster is deliberate? What if it's like the bad guy or something?
drmcscott avatardrmcscott
No more night Xcom. Cant sleep. No more night Xcom. Cant sleep. WOrk perofmence bad. No moe night Xconm. Nad. Cmat sleep. Hep me! HJkelp me!
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
SMT demons, huh? There's really only one choice.
Malthor avatarMalthor
One of my favourite demons from SMT is Samael, his death magic and Megido spell are always a great help( Megido especially made him the bane of golden hands in my last P4 playthrough). Plus he looks pretty badass.
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Favorite demon in Shin Megami Tensei, eh? Oh, I got many but so I'll just pick one for now whom is a beast in the Persona series. Yoshitsune--Hassou Tobi, Heat Riser = Don't fear the REAPER!
Flegma avatarFlegma
Played half an hour of Last Story. Yay, British voices! But the absence of colours makes me want to play other games instead, especially in this greyscale season.
HeyItsDad avatarHeyItsDad
There's not even enough reviews out to give Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth a rating on Metacritic...what's up with this?
ooktar avatarooktar
Dat Booty.
ooktar avatarooktar
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Just came across someone who tried to debate that people don't hate change - They hate BAD change - Ahahahahahahah!
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I miss Crash and Spyro. They had a fantastic trilogy on the ps1 and I loved every minute of it. Here's one of my favorite Spyro tracks, why not post one of your favorite tracks from wither of these great games.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Many thanks to a pal from time immemorial for his sneaky late birthday present to me of a digital Amazon gift card, which I promptly redeemed for this alluring beaut. Cheers! Viva la PS Vita~ [img]http://i.imgur.com/Cx3fPPb.png[/img]
Parismio avatarParismio
So I played xcom eu last night to get that xcom hype back. Half hour ago I already lost my brother, my best friends and my dog. Its been a stressful evening.
Nick R P Green avatarNick R P Green
Asides from a last proof read and any final edits, the script for my final 2015 reflection video is now complete. I will see this through to its conclusion. There'll be a blog version as always and once it's done and over with, I'll finally update my bio!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Gore Magala set complete! That only took like 15 or 16 tries!
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
AT LAST, THE FOUL SEEDS OF RAGE BORN FROM THE WITHERED PLANT OF LOVE BREAK THROUGH THE EARTHS CRUST TO GIVE RISE TO A HARVEST OF RAGE. A NEW BLOG WILL BE THE GRAIN AND THE BREAD, TO FEED THE GNAWING HUNGER OF HATRED ALL VITA LOVERS HARBOR.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -