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Kartia: The Word of Fate Game Sample - Playstation

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Published on Mar 22, 2011

Kartia is a delightful, if not somewhat linear, isometric Strategy/RPG that doesn't focus much on sidequests, but it is a straightforward tactical game with a wonderfully illustrated story and LOTS of text with two alternate plots to follow. Its appeal almost solely lies on how quickly you learn and understand the mechanics and how much you care to read, as some segments almost make you believe the game is a visual novel and not a tactical game (You literally start a characters' quest by choosing which to READ). As there are various exploits, the game can be moderately challenging or an utter joke. We uploaded the opening and several movies for this three years ago and it was one of our more popular uploads, but never had the technology to make a proper video for it until now.

It's a shame that the game is kinda underrated and of cult-classic status, but Atlus saw the potential of this one and released it overseas. It even has character designs by prolific designer Yoshitaka Amano, whose area of expertise stems from animations to illustrations, art books, and video games. Ever heard of Final Fantasy? Yeah, he did designs for nearly the whole series. It also features work from Kouji Okada, aka "Cozy Okada", one of the prominent directors and producers of Megami Tensei or "Megaten" games, as well as Kazuma Kaneko who also worked on this and most Megaten games. Well, you get the idea; some big names in the industry worked on this game. While this game could've been more elaborate given the sum of its parts, it's enjoyable nonetheless. The game is known as "Rebus" in Japan and "Legend of Kartia" in Europe.

The game tells the tale of two characters and their entourage, Toxa Classico on one side (a Free Knight with exceptional skill who is travelling to find his purpose) and Lacryma Christi on the other (a Shrine Warrior who believes duty comes before all else and whose extremist views of "Justice" often cloud her judgment on critical matters) who both get entangled in a quest to protect the sacred World Tree and save the world from those who would abuse "Kartia", magical cards which people use for everyday life. Both stories feature interesting, likeable characters (Troy ftw), love and betrayal, and significance, but are viewed from two different angles with the two parties seldom crossing paths. Whether you're stopping an evil political plot or preventing the usage of all-powerful "Forbidden Kartia", the game's story has twists and turns on both ends and the characters' personalities aren't overdone and fit them to a tee.

The graphics are actually pretty decent on a technical level, but nothing particularly amazing by Playstation standards. It avoids using a bunch of washed colors, displays rudimentary 3D, and has well-defined sprites and a variety of spell effects. The character illustrations are also nice though a bit extreme at times (like some of Lacryma's stills) and quite a few characters and enemies can be displayed on screen at once without any hiccups or framerate issues despite their relative scale. Some of the text could've been cleaner or easier to read, but that's about it. In other words, you can believe that it belongs on a 32bit platform, but it's not likely to wow anybody. The soundtrack is appropriate as it fits every situation and has the proper degree of atmosphere.

The gameplay is mostly your typical S/TRPG fare where characters can wear different types of equipment and take turns broken into phases attacking back and forth, but with some twists. For starters, most relevent actions in this game require "Kartia" which comes from three types: Silk, Mithril, and World Tree. These three types are used for magic, making equipment, and creating "Phantoms", soldiers you can make that come in three types: Common, Miles, and Shadow (where they hurt each other in a Rock-Paper-Scissors fashion). All characters share your pool of Kartia and the better the Kartia, the more you can do (but the ingredients are rarer, with World Tree being quite rare).

Having Kartia simply isn't enough though; you also need "Texts" and "Encrypters" are better at reading and incorporating more advanced texts than "Warriors". Texts can be earned at the Arena as well as hidden on various maps, where you can find them by altering the environment! Use fire to burn trees and wooden objects, use Earth to alter the landscape to your weapon advantage (Swords are most effective on even terrain, Axes hurt enemies below you, Spears hurt enemies above you), use Ice to freeze water, allowing units to travel across certain bodies of water. It's actually pretty cool. You can also use texts to enhance spells and can even create higher level or hidden spells by experimenting. If that doesn't strike your fancy, you can morph high level phantoms into legendary gear at the expense of their life, so they serve several purposes. If any human character dies, it's game over.

Enjoy.

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