Originally introduced to the world in the form of a short-lived comic book series in the 90s, Battle Chasers has found new life in the video game world. Originally released for PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 in 2017 to rave reviews, the game was then ported to the Switch last year. Now, earlier this August, the game made its way to iOS and Android devices. Incredibly, Battle Chasers: Nightwar has remained largely intact during the transition and is one of the best mobile JRPGs available.

More Than Chasing Battles

Battle Chasers: Nightwar has a straightforward, yet intriguing, story. Your crew crash lands on an island, scattering members across the map. While trying to reunite, they discover a dark secret that leads them on a much deeper adventure. It’s a fun story on its own but is truly brought to life by the wonderfully animated cutscenes. These are presented in a beautiful comic book art style, and as you make your way through the 30+ hour journey, you’ll always be excited when the next part of the story unfolds.

Engaging Gameplay

The gameplay driving the story is primarily broken up into three distinct areas; the Overworld map, Exploration Areas, and Combat. The Overworld Map is how your party will get around the world, moving between the wide variety of locations the game has to offer. This map is littered with enemies, appearing as red icons on the screen. Approaching one will trigger a battle; there are (thankfully) no random encounters in Battle Chasers.

On the Overworld Map, you will come across locations known as Explorable Areas. While players must follow set routes on the Overworld Map, the Explorable Areas allow you to take control of your party and freely move them around. Each character has a special ability they can use in these instances, such as Garrison’s dash that helps avoid traps and Calibretto’s ability to heal the party between battles. These skills are important; understanding when to use them is critical to staying alive. Enemies in Explorable Areas are fully modeled characters, and some have unique behaviors. Gunslingers might attempt to attack you on sight, while others may be slightly obscured from your vision due to an invisibility spell. Contacting them will trigger combat, just like on the Overworld map.

THEGAMER VIDEO OF THE DAY

The combat screen will take up a significant chunk of your playtime and is the most engaging part of the game. Battles play out in a turn-based fashion and a queue at the top of the screen keeps track of upcoming moves. Basic attacks are performed instantly, while some special attacks may take a few turns to perform. Special attacks use up Mana and Overcharge; the latter of which builds up by performing basic attacks and is removed after each battle. It’s a unique feature, and one that adds depth to combat. It’s usually best to perform some basic attacks first and build up your Overcharge during easier battles and save your Mana pool for the more serious encounters. Each character also has the option to defend each turn, a feature that is only useful during specific scenarios.

One great aspect of the game is how it keeps the player engaged by unlocking new features at regular intervals. One combat mechanic in particular, Burst attacks, aren’t even revealed until you are a few hours into the game. The same goes for crafting, fishing, and skills for your characters. Later, the content flow is reduced to a trickle, but by then there is already such a wealth of content for you to explore that you never run out of fun things to do.

Is That A Palette Swap?

Not all is perfect with Battle Chasers, however, as a few issues prevent it from reaching its full potential. The first is simply the recycling of enemy types. While the enemies are all beautifully animated, it’s a shame that many enemies at higher levels are simple palette swaps of enemies encountered earlier in the game. Battling new foes with unique abilities is a highlight of the early game and is somewhat lacking later on. There are also portions of the game that are not well paced and are either extremely easy or incredibly difficult. You might find yourself grinding it out a bit or picking up a few side quests before you are able to progress.

The other issues pertain directly to the optimization quality for mobile devices. Since the game is playable on a wide range of devices, it would have been nice to include options to modify the graphical quality. During my time with the game, I encountered a few moments of slowdown when entering and exiting combat. It never devolved to the point of crashing the game, but it was definitely noticeable and became frustrating during extended play sessions. The graphics do look gorgeous, even when compared to their console counterparts, but I would rather the world look a little less beautiful than sacrifice my beloved frames-per-second. A simple ‘Graphics Quality’ option would have been much appreciated.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar is easily one of the most impressive JRPGs on mobile devices. Its goofy name gives it a bad first impression and make it look like the rest of the garbage on the app stores. If you’re willing to look past the name (and price point of $9.99), you’re in for one of the best mobile experiences in recent memory. Battle Chasers: Nightwar pays homage to the classics while making a mark all its own.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

An Android review copy ofBattle Chasers: Nightwar was provided to TheGamer for this review. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is currently available on mobile devices.

READ NEXT: The 10 PS1 JRPGs With The Best Storylines, Ranked

arcane league
Don't Play League Of Legends Just Because You Like Arcane

If Arcane sparked your interest in League of Legends, there are better ways to experience Runeterra than playing the game.

Read Next
About The Author