Fans of Japanese role-playing games (JRPG) of the 1990s will be happy to hear that “Celestian Tales: Old North” plays like some of the best ones while avoiding the clichés that held them back and adding modern gameplay elements. Developer Ekuator Games is clearly a fan of the JRPG genre, but it has made it a mission to ensure that “Celestian Tales” won’t fall victim to some of the genre’s occasional weaknesses.
One aspect that fans will appreciate is the player is not the “chosen one” who saves the world, as reported by Siliconera. Also, the world isn’t going to end anytime soon, nor is there a fabled mystical beast that just happens to be real for a convenient climax. Instead, players are faced with the horrors of war and must fight others to survive.
It seems like “Celestian Tales” won’t be as black-and-white as other games of the JRPG genre. It's made clear that the protagonist has to go to war and protect his or her family while doing so. The game also will have a moral choice system to ensure that each one will have an impact on the story, giving players a difficult situation when making a very important decision.
Furthermore, gameplay won’t simply be about leveling up and getting the best loot, as the player’s chosen noble must also see if anyone in the player’s army is a spy from the opposing side. This reflects the paranoia of war and should provide for suspenseful moments in the game’s intriguing story.
While Ekuator is making sure the game doesn’t fall into the same trappings that plague some JRPGs, the company isn’t ashamed of the genre as the game will have classic turn-based combat. Graphics are also reminiscent of the older games in the JRPG genre, with an overhead camera and 2D character figures roaming the screen.
“Celestian Tales: Old North” is set for an August release and can be pre-ordered on the game’s Steam page. Fans of classic JRPG games like “Suikoden” who are tired of the genre’s clichés should probably keep an eye on “Celestian Tales.”