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Brave Story: New Traveler Game Sample - PSP

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Published on Apr 21, 2011

Here's our first official PSP video! We'll start off simple with "Brave Story: New Traveler", an all-around decent, relatively old-school RPG for the Playstation Portable.

BS:NT is a fairly early PSP RPG, originally presented in Japan in 2006 by SCEI and in North America in 2007 courtesy of Xseed Games. It was released simultaneously with two other Japan-only games, "Brave Story: Wataru no Bouken" for PS2 and "Brave Story: Boku no Kioku to Negai" for Nintendo DS, though the PSP game is oddly a successor to the aforementioned titles, story-wise. It is loosely based on the original Japanese fantasy novel and manga, "Brave Story", by Miyuki Miyabe and Yoichiro Ono, and developed by Game Republic.

The novel deals with the trials and tribulations of a young 5th Grade student named Wataru Mitani, who is struggling to lead a normal life after his parents get divorced and his mother attempts suicide. As he grips with reality one day at school, he hears about an abandoned, unfinished building where students claim a ghost lives. He is with his uncle when he sees an old man go into the building. Wataru follows him and accidentally stumbles through the "Porta Nectere" into the world of "Vision", where dreams can come true and where one can change fate, but he must go on a dangerous journey and prove his bravery, thus beginning his journey.

Brave Story in general has become a fairly popular franchise-- The novel was made available in English by Viz Media, the Japanese anime studio GONZO created an animated film with Warner Bros. Japan which also donated a small amount of money to charity to help sick children, and various soundtracks were released as well as memoribalia. In BS:NT, you are Tatsuya, an ordinary 11-year-old boy who loves video games and is (barely) hanging with his best friend, Miki, when she chases after her dog, Kratos, who runs off. Kratos soon returns to Tatsuya without Miki, barking to get his attention. After reluctantly following the dog, he is shocked to see Miki on the ground unconscious. Miki has been mysteriously stricken by a unknown illness where she may never wake up and is rushed to the hospital, and her parents lament and fear the worse. Overwhelmed with grief, Tatsuya goes on the roof to cry when he hears a mysterious voice that tells him that he can save his friend if he is brave. Answering the call of the voice, the Porta Nectere shows him the way to "Vision" where he is known as the "New Traveler".

Vision is a fantasy world where myths and monsters live, where people constantly need help, and where a variety of species live in harmony. In other words, it's not so different from the setting in a conventional JRPG. Your mission is the same as in the novel and other Travelers: To find the "Wayfinder" who tells you what must be done; collect five gemstones to go to the Tower of Destiny, where the Goddess grants each Traveler one wish. The game plays like many turn-based JRPGs you've played before with standard-issue traits, just with its own little spin on things. Let's talk about its less common features.

"Unity" attacks (which are two or three person team attacks) will not use up all participating characters' actions, just the action of who initiates it. Characters can replenish Bravura Points (think MP) simply by issuing regular attacks or with items. Enemies do not directly give money; you must sell items rewarded to you or pick up pay at a "Highlander Branch". You can also fight "Crazed" monsters who are much larger and more powerful than normal foes, but give more experience and greater rewards. The game also has a competitive, cute bird battling mini-game called "Bird Brawls" where you can use "Goalfinchs" that you've caught at various locations in the world. Birds can net you prizes in battle and be traded for goods, as well as pitted against a friend.

While not remotely unique to the game, BS:NT gives detailed stats of your quests, accessory crafting chart, monster bestiary, and other things. With 100 accessories to craft, dozens of quests to do, almost 150 different enemies to face, and various skills and items to gather, there's quite a bit to do in BS:NT. The visuals are good, the audio is decent, but the best aspect of this game is perhaps the load times-- they are very low even on a UMD. The game has high encounter rates and gets kinda boring in spots, but has a good localization and the option to select both English and Japanese voices.

This is a video of the game in action. Enjoy.

Format Recorded: UMD
Media/Distribution: UMD
Notes: Editor slowed Bird Brawl a little. I don't possess the footage to resave the video.

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