NIS Classics Volume one is a compilation of NIS JRPGS mostly strategy ones, that have since either fallen into obscurity or are ones that are famous, other thanDisgaea. Speaking of which, all of the NIS games take place in the same universe but have different stories so you can play in any order and they share a lot of the over the top parody themes and purposefully over powered combat.
While both have similar atmospheres,each game has a different tone. Phantom Brave is wholesome and lighthearted while Soul Nomad is war related with a much different theme.In Phantom Brave, Marona the heroine can see Phantoms and she has this special power to see and communicate with Phantoms. She combines the Phantoms with trees, rocks and other object to assist her in combat.
Both Soul Nomad and Phantom Brave focus on the classic attack and dethrone Godtypes parodies and each focus on the characters journeys as they become more powerful.Soul Nomad focuses on the player, the main character and GIG, who’s something of an EXPY of Yami Yugi from Yu Gi Oh, vicious powerful beings that are spirit like and taking over an unassuming character to turn the tides in battle.Soul Nomad especially has that as too much being overpowered can result in an early bad ending. Unique to Soul Nomad is its branching storylines where you can get various endings depending on the choices you make.
You can create rooms and hire teammates depending on your preferences to help you in battle. Soul Nomad has a more streamlined form of grinding as you can hire teamates that are your same level but you can’t really visit your last battle unlike other NIS games which is kind of a shame especially when you want to try battles you liked again.Both games use a 2D isometric map where you can move your characters on the tiles though on Phantom Brave, it is much more flexible as you can simply point where you want to go and choose which command you like to go with.In Phantom Brave, you have to use items to summon your characters in order to help you defeat enemies in combat.
In Soul Nomad, the hero battles gigantic beings called World Eaters with a special sword. The sword is possessed by the spirit of GIG who used to direct the World Easters. Each time the hero uses the sword, he risks being take over by it so he has to walk a fine line before he loses himself completely.
Soul Nomad is more so for the fans of strategy games who don’t want to handle the kind of over the top complexities of Disgaea hence why its simplified compared to Disgaea.Phantom Brave’s biggest downfall is that the less items you can use to confine, means the less characters that will help you in battle. You have tobe careful who you bring into battle especially if they’ll leave after a few moves.Soul Nomad had quite a bit of scenes other than the choices you make that were oddly unskippable.
Both games has superb artstyle and I also really liked the hd-2d sprite style. The voice acting for both games were serviceable enough and the dialogue is as cheesy as ever. The music for both games was decent enough.
I personally found the choice of Reya who had an established backstory being a silent character to be unusual and strange. The characters for each games are tropey and you either love them or find them really obnoxious. Both games had quite a bit of extra content to go through.
Overall, I had a fun time playing this volume of the games.
It gets 4 out of 5 stars.
I do plan on reviewing the other compilation titles and it will especially focus on NIS Classics Volume 3 as it in particular has the format I've been meaning to cover for about years now.