As you will read in our review, NIS Classics Vol 1 it’s a great way to replay or retrieve some of the most important titles released by NIS throughout its long history. The collection, consisting of two titles, was released on August 31 for Nintendo Switch and includes works from the JRPG genre, which has always been particularly popular in Japan, or Phantom Brave and Soul Nomad & the World Eaters. Unfortunately, there is a huge difference between the two titles in terms of quality, but now it is enough to get lost in more frills, it is time to dive into a sea of memories.
Phantom Brave is the favorite pupil
The first title that we will be able to touch thanks to NIS Classics Vol. 1 is Phantom Brave. Obviously, at the launch of the software it is possible to select which of the two available productions you want to start, but this is the first game proposed by the development company Nippon Ichi Software. Phantom Brave seems to have received some sort of “preferential treatment“With respect to the second title, or Soul Nomad & the World Eater; this is because the team has worked to insert the definitive version of Phantom Brave, which therefore includes both The Hermuda Triangle that We Meet Again. A factor that squeezes the eye to fans and those who lived the pre 16: 9 era, is the possibility of being able to put the screen in 4: 3, a nice way to relive one hundred percent the experience proposed in 2004.
The adventure begins in the worst way, that is with a failed mission during which our party will be decimated. A character, however, will manage to survive, albeit in the form of a Phantom. And it is for this reason that he will take care of the young girl who was orphaned by that mission, such Marona. Phantom Brave “borrows” what has always distinguished the older JRPGs, namely the turn-based structure, presenting an apparently simple experience but which, in reality, will become more and more complex and articulated as the hours go by, in particular since not all the game mechanics will be explained to us and it will be our task to discover them. We are talking about a choice that may seem bizarre to the eyes of the youngest, but in reality it is about a classic for all those titles that have more years on their shoulders, which literally had to be discovered for both the plot and the gameplay. Obviously, with the porting it would have been better to add some messages in the tutorial, but in the end we preferred to offer a production as faithful as possible to the original.
An undeserved treatment
The second production that goes to make up NIS Classics Vol 1 is Soul Nomad & the Wold Eaters. This title is characterized by a really great idea, but which, due to a rather marked background crypticity, could become frustrating to say the least. In fact, players will have the opportunity to use a sword that has within it the soul of Gig, the Lord of Death, and can also choose to become a real shell for this most powerful soul, so you can easily defeat your enemies. This, in theory, would make us virtually invincible, given that in-game we will be free to use his soul when and how we want, but the reality is a bit more complex. In case of abuse, in fact, the game will be over for the Lord of Death will have obtained such power that he can destroy all creation. How do you understand this? Just wrong, and the absence of any indication on this mechanic could make it difficult for many to even understand why the Game-Over has come about.
From a playful point of view, however, we want to specify in the review that this second title of NIS Classics Vol 1 really makes itself felt: you can play with the party as much and as you like, experimenting with new options you can use on the battlefield. Furthermore, it is possible to create a series of parties to be recalled in the game in order to be able to manage better combat against large groups of enemies. Furthermore, as easily understood from its structure, Soul Nomad & the World Eaters will present different endings related to the choices you will make. So why was it “badly treated” by the developers? Well, basically because this version of the game hasn’t been refurbished by the team at all, unlike Phantom Brave, which has instead been able to count on evident graphical improvements; really the resolution remained the same as the original, although fortunately the assets have been upscaled.
During our test we did not notice any kind of technical problem. Of course, we are talking about a particularly light product and we certainly can claim that it is not very user-friendly, since no option has been added to clarify some mechanics, as already explained above. NIS Classics Vol 1 is a title born and designed for those who know the titles in question and who want to retrieve them without having to pull their consoles out of the drawer, preferring to aim at their own reference niche. In other words, the experience is literally on a one-to-one scale, consequently proving to be a great way to retrieve two very different JRPGs that can make different types of players happy. Having said that, is it therefore worth buying such a production? Well, it all depends on the type of player you are: JRPG devourers who want to recover two timeless classics shouldn’t miss it, but all newcomers and not very accustomed to the genre should consider the purchase much more carefully.