Relevant for platform: PC
Let’s skip the compulsory thesis on how much Darkest Dungeon means for the genre of RPG tactics and roguelikes and how often the ideas from this game are copied. Let’s go straight to explaining why exactly Chronicle Aria it came out very close to the original and overall not bad.
However, the style here is not so dark and Gothic. Those who noticed the word “anime” on the review poster will immediately understand everything. Yes, the anime may be different, but in Chronicle Aria we are dealing with a more or less classic version – bright colors, bright-eyed boys and girls, beautiful clothes (but without fanaticism), corresponding art.
This despite the fact that the plot itself is quite dark – it features sinister cults that resurrect demons and make good people possessed. But in the anime, such a mixture of French with Nizhny Novgorod (here, as in this case, a dark story and a vivid picture) is quite common.
This whole orgy with demons and cultists is sort of tied to the past of the main character, young Princess Aria, and the power hidden within her. The princess, her even younger secretary and loyal bodyguard Teela (a boy-woman in the armor of a paladin) encountered all of these unpleasant occurrences during a pilgrimage to one of the villages of the entrusted kingdom. And there, they must dismantle their headquarters to plan and conduct operations against the sect.
Cultists here, of course, also look stylish and fashionable. Mask.
Rules of survival
The other pattern is generally clear and well known. There is a base village, where a blacksmith, an alchemist and a tavern owner offer their services. There’s also a black market where you can trade tokens for boss wins for cool gear; a church where we raise dearly fallen heroes and bless the living; as well as the main hall for special services (more on that later). As a result, trade, craft, hire heroes in the tavern – everything is in place.
Well, what kind of darkness and gothic here?
From there our services regularly organize excursions – not to the dungeons, but to various very picturesque open places. There, “at random”, meet enemies, traps, chests, kinds of ghosts who ask to find family rings for their rest, etc.
You may even meet a genie who will grant a wish.
When encountering opponents, the DD Battles are turn-based, with the placement of opponents face-to-face and an emphasis on the correct use of the heroes’ skills, their unique abilities. Additionally, you can enter your inventory for potions, switch positions, and go to defense.
Very often ours and enemies are missing during combat or hits are blocked, but this can be corrected by equipment bonuses.
Is our party the strongest?
In theory, you have to position the fighters correctly – get someone to move forward, leave someone behind. But in fact, situations where you or your enemies cannot reach from the front ranks, for example, archers or mages hiding behind the backs of paladins and warriors, rarely occur (well, at least it does happen). ). Therefore, it is more important not the arrangement, but the correct selection of the party.
Fortunately, there are many options. In addition to the paladins, mages, warriors and archers already mentioned, there are wizards, priests, druids, barbarians, thieves, monks, and even a cook. Each has their own impressive list of skills, talents, ultra-abilities, and traits.
These traits are acquired gradually, as you take certain actions. And some are very funny, recall what we saw in Darkest Dungeon and Rogue inheritance, – for example, due to myopia, the hero hits enemies in the front rows more accurately, and onychophagia (i.e. biting nails) gives 1 HP of regeneration each turn, but reduces the escape.
Each class also has its own “ults” – this is how this druid receives massive treatment every turn.
Almost all traits have their pros and cons, and this should also be taken into account when modifying / removing them on the character page. In addition, some give benefits at night, and penalties during the day or vice versa. Therefore, when you complete the quest, that also counts.
As a result, it is not easy to play even on “normal” which is very good and generally a rarity these days, while in such games there is often an imbalance between the difficulty levels. On the “hard”, of course, it’s usually impossible to breathe the toughest battles. There, in addition, all heroes, except those of the plot, are mortal and are not subject to revival in the church.
Many types of equipment are only suitable for one class or another.
Fatigue is the enemy of morality!
The situation is complicated by the mental problems of our wards – and here in this question Chronicle Aria went to Darkest Dungeon the closest.
The point is that endurance is spent moving around the cells of the dungeon, the reserves of which are limited. And in the same way, it is spent on all available actions – to clear the blockage that is blocking the path, forging ore, etc. When this ends, the heroes tire, start to lose their temper, and get nervous, inflicting stats penalties. And if their morale drops even more, the guys will start to be hysterical – they can voluntarily leave the team during the mission or start beating theirs in battle.
Here is Teela stabbing her pupil in the back, Princess Aria.
In addition, the spirit falls if we are defeated in the battle and refuse the quest simply because there is no more stamina and the heroes cannot perform important actions. You can restore your stamina and improve your mood while stopped, but you have to get there first. You can also drink soothing teas, but this is a rare and expensive pleasure.
It’s not always possible to see the image of a stopover, so it’s a great relief every time.
Brothels and casinos, unlike Darkest Dungeon, is not provided here. Therefore, more often than not, you need to set aside the main “hysterics” in reserve, allowing them to rest, and temporarily take other heroes into the squad so that they can perform side missions, grind food. ‘money, potions and equipment. There are many side effects here. Granted, they’re all built under two scenarios and are constantly being rehearsed, but such a grind for ‘roguelikes’ is a perfectly normal thing (although the variety, of course, wouldn’t hurt). Plus, there’s an arena where it’s a lot more fun – you can fight bosses when defeated and earn tokens to trade on the black market.
Finally, if the hero is completely discouraged, and even endowed with unhelpful character traits, he can be fired and a successor appointed (again, we remember Rogue inheritance!), to which all the accumulated experience of the predecessor will pass – and even a more or less decent feature chosen by us.
If a character is seriously injured in battle and falls unconscious, waiting for his comrades to take him, his fighting spirit deteriorates sharply.
The right people and the right things
As a result, to survive in Chronicle Aria it is very important to pump the general endurance of the team, which is carried out in the general hall of the village (in other buildings – other improvements). It is also important to take with you these heroes who can facilitate the passage of key places.
After all, some actions will be completely inaccessible if there are no corresponding items (like a shovel, torch, rope) or characters – for example, a thief will open almost all chests for free, and without it , you will need to buy keys. The magician can read most documents, journals and notes – this will help open all the important places on the map and determine where the enemies are and where the places to stop the rescue are.
Reading documents can give the hero new character traits.
As you can see, in Chronicle Aria lots of nuances and, in general, quite complex and rich mechanics. But all the more interesting. Yes, there are tasks that are primitive in their essence (but not by the way), there is a dearth of decent stuff in the later stages of the game, when basically the same items are being removed or created, which are barely able to strengthen your protections. But in general Chronicle Aria leaves a great impression like some kind of anime Darkest Dungeon… Do not hesitate to recommend it to all fans of the genre.
Benefits: interesting, intense and stimulating gameplay that incorporates many ideas from other representatives of the genre, but with its own “chips”; lots of really different characters who can be mentally unstable; excellent audio and visual performance.
Less: side quests are repetitive and primitive in nature; not all equipment is useful – a lot of garbage.
Source : The Verge