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!


Emily Wants To Play has come to mobile (and I wish it would go away again)

Six Reasons Why YOU Should Buy Soul Sacrifice Delta For $8!

Mega Man X Drinking Game: The Super Smashed Bros

Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Voodoome avatarVoodoome
Just got home from Deadpool and ... it's not good. I liked the jabs at Green Lantern and the previous movie Deadpool, but that was about it. The rest was just painfully forced dick jokes. Wife fell asleep.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Larxinostic rule34
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Looks like I'm not gonna be able to 100% Tearaway Unfolded until Monday at the least. I'm definitely writing about it this weekend and am trying my hardest to get my screenshots off of my PS4 (especially hard as I don't do social media anymore)
Darth Wachen avatarDarth Wachen
I've never done a blog before, so I may as well try one with a review of Stranger of Sword City....well, when I get entered into that contest of course
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Shakedown Hawaii is giving me good GTA vibes. I missed the topdown GTA games when they were a thing. I have to decide what platform to get it for since it's coming to 3DS/Vita/PS4/PC (probably the Vita version for moi).
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
You think your art sucks? Here's the rule34 I made of Larx yesterday. Look at it and despair.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Hey Dreamweaver? If you think your art sucks, you should have a look at my magnum opus. It's of Cloud from the popular game, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I never thought this would happen, but here I am. all of my 700+ pokemon gone in one day. My cart stopped working and there's nothing I can do. I quit, you can't just rebuild all that. Time to find something else.
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Tom Collins is a pretty great drink, and well suited for poutine. consumption
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
It may be because I've been drinking but... We need some dung beetles from ark for the front page. Move that dung on out.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Does anyone know how to get PS4 screenshots onto a PC without needing a flash drive? I don't have a spare.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
This is an example of how bad my drawings are. I honestly think drawing stick figures would've been easier on the eyes. :( The worst thing about this image is that this was made after I got BETTER. Trust me, you don't want to see my earlier stuff. T^T
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
So I received a mysterious box in the mail today. When I opened it I was blown away...The friends I've made here on Destructoid are amazing (More pics in the comments).
Parismio avatarParismio
FRISK PACIFIES YOUR FACE!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Woe is me. This month's Cblog theme is basically an excuse to draw pretty girls, and here I am with no time.
Gundy avatarGundy
Maybe one day I'll reach bronze rank in Rocket League...
Nathan D avatarNathan D
A very Bloodborne-y moment.
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Back in tip-top shape guys, feel waaaaay better than I have done these past few weeks. Plus my voice sounds slightly raspy now, meaning my Batman impression has been upgraded. Apologies to Gaj and Solar the most, my male-up kisses go to you: Xxxxxx
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wait... Is that...? Could it be...? It IS! Gravity Rush's Kat has taken a break from rushing and graviting to sacrifice some souls in Soul Sacrifice Delta! Which isn't even going for $8 on the PS Store right now! What a steal!
ScionVyse avatarScionVyse
Finally got my in game time down to under an hour in Super Metroid. I'm pretty happy about that.
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 -