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Revenant Dogma review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch


Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4
Publisher: Kemco
Developer: Exe-Create
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-10
Online: Yes
ESRB: E10+

Note to self: don’t play Kemco games too close together. Otherwise, you’ll start playing one — Revenant Dogma, in this case — and it’ll easily blend into the last one you played (say, a couple of weeks ago), and the fact that it’s the same kind of retro-looking RPG as all the other Kemco RPGs will make it awfully hard to differentiate it from all the others in your head.

Actually, that’s not true. Revenant Dogma stands out from the other Kemco RPGs by the sheer volume of story it contains. Whereas most other Kemco RPGs just start off with one paint-by-numbers story, Revenant Dogma has two lengthy cutscenes in its first hour: one to set the stage, and then another one about a half-hour in that re-explains everything it just told you. It’s not that the story is all that complicated — warring races, enemies forced to co-exist, etc. — it’s just that the game really likes its exposition.

Beyond that, Revenant Dogma is pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Turn-based battles (now in 2.5D!), graphics that owe a heavy debt to the era of 8- and 16-bit gaming, a useless map that gives you a vague idea of where to go next — if you’ve played literally any of the many, many other Kemco RPGs, you’ll find this looks awfully familiar.

That said, it’s good to see that Revenant Dogma continues its predecessors’ tradition of having characters who aren’t totally loathsome and who seem to like each other. Maybe it’s just the games I’ve played, but a lot of the time when you’re managing parties, it seems like the game goes out of its way to make everyone as obnoxious as possible, both individually and towards each other. By contrast, while the characters in Revenant Dogma aren’t all best friends, their interactions are generally characterized by humour and camaraderie.

Admittedly, the good-natured dialogue isn’t enough to lift Revenant Dogma out of the realm of your standard RPG — not when such hefty portions of it are devoted to telling instead of showing. But that’s Kemco for you: RPGs that do little things here and there very well, but that, on the whole, don’t do anything spectacular.

Kemco provided us with a Revenant Dogma PS4/Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: C+