gamescom latam: Metaphor: ReFantazio a dazzling debut of a new franchise

metaphor, metaphor refantazio

If there’s one thing we all know as a fact by now is that Atlus is REALLY good at crafting beautiful looking games if the Persona series is any indication. And now that I finally got a chance to give their brand-new game a look at gamescom latam, they surely know how to knock them RPGs out of the park as Metaphor: ReFantazio took showgoers’ breaths away with its hot new approach to established mechanics under incredible looking art.

Much like last year’s Brazil Game Show Persona 3 Reload demo, Metaphor: ReFantazio‘s showing at gamescom latam offered players the choice of more than one path through the game. One solely focused on introducing the game’s core loop and a little bit of its world, while the other two were more combat oriented, with a slice being dedicated to dungeon crawling and the latter a big, bad, boss bash aimed at more experienced Atlus RPG fans.

Having had the opportunity to play through all three paths, it’s safe to say that Metaphor isn’t a mere Persona knock-off, but a thing of its own thanks to some extremely clever design decisions. While not a whole lot of its story has been divulged so far, the bit that there is in the demo led me to know that our group of heroes is formed by a varied bunch of beings, not all of them extremely well liked by those around them, including the handful of folks that are rescued by them along the way.

metaphor, metaphor refantazio
Enemies come in all shapes and ridiculous sizes.

The main character whose name is summed up by Travelling Boy is accompanied by a Navi-like fairy and two other party members, one a soldier of sorts wearing battle armor with horns adorning his head and a female elf who can summon a huge ghostly knight to fight alongside her. All three scenarios have the group fight a number of enemies both big and small, which helped portray what seems to be the game’s biggest draw when it comes to combat: inflicting status effects before actually entering a fight.

In a similar way to Trails Through Daybreak, another RPG that I’m currently reviewing for the site, Metaphor allows you to roam the field and hit enemies prior to engaging them in turn-based combat. Some, if weak enough, can even die  outright, making navigating levels quicker and more streamlined. Now, if your current enemy is slightly stronger though, by attacking them a certain number of times, their guard ends up being broken, wherein they enter a state of dizziness, allowing you to get plenty of hits in during the actual RPG combat.

As for commands, attacks and item usage, if you’re played any of the recent Atlus games you’ll know much of what Metaphor has to offer, but even then there are some slight twists to the traditional formula. Magic and special attacks rely on MP to be used but are also dependent on a sort of advantage bar above the screen, so if you haven’t built it up by attacking the enemy sufficiently before engaging them, you’re not able to cast right away. 

Then there are the commands that are based upon which character is currently selected and their inherent magical ally. When using these, much stronger versions of that specific party member’s core skills will be put to use, usually resulting in an attack that hits more than one foe, with the disadvantage of eating up a decent chunk of your magic meter. These came in extremely handy during the tougher battles such as the ones during the gauntlet and the dungeon crawling segments, where meatier enemies stood in our way.

metaphor, metaphor refantazio
Oh so stylish!

All of this, of course, comes in tandem with the established and extremely fun strength and weakness system that stems from Shin Megami Tensei, that is to say you’re gonna have to keep an eye out for elemental affinities both in your favor and against you since enemies will favor using them to kick your butt to the ground. In the demo, that aspect of gameplay came in the form of a fire deficiency that a certain minotaur boss happened to have which was certainly exploited by the group.

In regards to visual flair, if all the media released for the game so far hasn’t made it clear to you, yes, Metaphor: ReFantazio is absolutely goddamn baby-spanking beautiful. It’s kind of ridiculous how well Atlus has been putting current gen HD to use in providing some of the best looking anime-inspired graphics in gaming and this game is no exception. If you’ve enjoyed their work with their recent releases and their incredible presentation you won’t be disappointed with what this one has in store for you.

Luckily for all of us, Metaphor: ReFantazio is coming very soon. October 11th is the release date for this baby and it will be hitting all major consoles with the sole exception of the Switch, as well as the PC. And you can be sure that we will be talking about it with a full review around that time. Until then, you are welcome to salivate over the game by having a look at the gorgeous screenshots provided in this preview.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *