I should point out that I bought this game through the Playism website and got my Steam key when it came out (while my profile says I have 0.1 hours on file my non-Steam game is 4 hours in at the time of this review).
This game is awesome. I started playing it in hour long sessions because of time constraints and I always look forward to going back to it.
You should know that this game is old school hard but also fair. Dragon Warrior was a hard game but if you stocked up on healing items, equipped yourself with the best equipment you can find, and knew your limits – you could make it through no problem. Artifact Adventure follows this same kind of philosophy — there are no cheap tricks.
It does use random battles but the encounter rate is manageable. I have failed to run from battles but I find that more often then not, I can run.
The game does not hold your hand. There is no quest log and sometimes you discover something and there’s no way to know what it is. What I absolutely love about this game is that you are rewarded well for exploring. If there’s one thing that I hate from RPGs is going through a detour only to find an antidote that you’ll never use. No, this game gives you much needed gold, new equipment, and some new powers.
The music reminds me of Dragon Warrior, the graphics feel just right, and piloting an airship from the get-go is just so cool. I can’t believe that I have never seen a jRPG with an open world because it seems like a concept that should have been done before (especially with the popularity of series like the Elder Scrolls or The Witcher).
The game is broken down in chunks that don’t consume too much time. So far I can finish a dungeon in 15-20 minutes while fighting most random battles.
My main gripe with the game is that certain elements were not translated really well. Artifacts aren’t always clear so you’re never sure what you’re assigning to your character. I have given a MP consuming spell to my warrior class (a class with no MP) thinking I was giving him a DEF boost.
I definitely recommend this game and invite you to take a peek at my Let’s Play series of the game to get an idea of what it’s like: