Illusion of L’Phalcia review for PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also on: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: KEMCO
Developer: Exe-Create
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

I went into Illusion of L?Phalcia pretty sure I knew what to expect. After all, I?ve played more than my fair share of KEMCO games over the years, so I figured this would be more of the same : a fairly generic JRPG that draws heavily from the early days of the genre, with the same artwork and the same systems and the same…everything, really, that you?d see in all their other games.

And to some extent, this is true. Outside of the battle scenes, I think Illusion of L?Phalcia is probably interchangeable with, like, 90% (if not more) of the same assets as all those other KEMCO games. While the game makes a big deal about customizing your characters with runes, even the battles are your standard turn-based deal. Likewise, there?s the odd bit of voice acting here, but for the most part, the dialogues are the usual back and forth with characters sliding on and off the screen.

There are a couple of ways in which Illusion of L?Phalcia differs, however, and none of them are good. For one thing, this game is a lot wordier than most other KEMCO games. Dialogue scenes drag on forever, routinely running 10+ minutes, and there?s no option that I could see to make it automatic — which means that you?re scrolling through line after line of text.

Not only that, the dialogue is painfully boring. Even if most KEMCO games look generic, they?re often surprisingly off-beat. No such luck here. Once you get past the fact that the main character?s best friend is a talking leopard, everything here is by the book. The dialogue plods along, and basically exists only to dump massive amounts of exposition on you. What?s more, very little of it seems to matter, considering we?re talking about a pretty standard plot involving princesses, kingdoms, a jerky main character, and a legendary sword.

Illusion of L?Phalcia also makes tentative steps into the world of 3D animation. It?s not the first time KEMCO games have tried 3D, but they don?t do it often, and it looks absolutely awful here. Some excuses could be made for the fact this is actually a port of one of their older games…but still, we?re talking about a game that was originally released in 2014, not 1994. There?s no reason why the few scenes with 3D characters should look as bad as they do.

To be fair, if it weren?t for those shoddy 3D animations, there wouldn?t be a single thing in Illusion of L?Phalcia that?s even remotely memorable. It?s near the bottom of the barrel as far as KEMCO JRPGs go, and you?d be better off playing pretty much anything else they?ve brought over to consoles.

KEMCO provided us with a Illusion of L?Phalcia PS4/Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: C-