The graphics were a big question for many people, but it is an SRPG and a lot of new IP SRPGs have had bad graphics. Disgaea in particular had some jaggy looking sprites that I never noticed until somebody pointed it out to me. I guess people get hung up on that sort of thing. It looks a hell of a lot better than Spectral Force 3
Atlus also did a pretty good job with the voice actors, with only a few rare rough spots. Mission 11 in particular has a really cheesy line when Leona dies. Jude runs over, holds her and screams "NOOOO LEONA! *dramatic pause* SHE WAS ONLY 17!" and I couldn't stop laughing at it. Not in a bad way, but in a kinda "you were almost a Jill Sandwich" way. The voice acting throughout isn't Oscar caliber, but anybody going into a game with Nazi skeletons thinking it was going to be is out of their minds. What we get however is pretty top notch voice acting delivered through visual novel type talk scenes.
The best feature is the reel clips from the war. It adds to the game by giving a history channel-esque presentation that lets the supernatural aspects be a progression to learning some bits and pieces about the war. They are really well done and I like to think that I actually learned a bit while playing Operation Darkness.
I kinda had to learn a lot for Operation Darkness since the game forces you to think of new strategies for each battle. The random nature of each mission assures that there will be a new way to die presented at every turn. I guess I just haven't really played a type of game in a while that didn't immediately tell me how to approach everything. I just started playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2 and I realized how different it is when the unplanned death of one character will change how you approach each level. It kinda brings me back to the NES days of figuring out how things work to get to the next point.
I wouldn't recommend Operation Darkness to just anyone. I couldn't even recommend the demo since it just throws you into battle without teaching about the Auto-Restoration skill or how it works. I will however defend that it was a worthwhile game for a system that had no Strategy games on it.
LOOK WHO CAME: