Phantasmaburbia is a somber rpg developed by Greg Lobanov that was released on Halloween. The game centers around four teenagers that are guided along by spirits of the past in order to protect their town from dark ghosts. Seems like fitting game to be released on Halloween, doesn't it?
About the Game & Thoughts
Phantasmaburbia is a fun game; don't let the graphics deter you from considering buying this gem. I personally find the graphics to be both appealing and fitting to the game. However, I know there are some out there who wouldn't jump on a game with similar graphic styles.
The game starts you off as one of the characters and teaches you the mechanics of the game, while increasing the difficulty at a good pace. You're introduced to each of the teens one at a time, each with their spirit guide. It is great that you're introduced to them one at a time, as you get to learn more about them, and you get introduced to their spirit guide's powers without getting overwhelmed. Eventually you meet up with others, learn how to use some of the spirit's special powers together.
Phantasmaburbia keeps the action alive with a fun and interesting twist in battles: there are special moves that your spirit guides can use, that require you to gather energy in different ways for each spirit. Opponents also have special moves that you partake in, in order to lower the damage that the attack does, or make it fail all together. The battles don't get too complicated, and a lot of the time you'll find that they end relatively quick. Through my game play, I found myself only ever needing to use special attacks, or certain skills, during the boss fights.
You go through dungeons fighting (or avoiding) monsters, solving enjoyable puzzles that aren't overly complex (but aren't too simplistic either). Each dungeon has puzzles unique to their theme. For an example, in the water dungeon, your puzzles consist of you moving pieces to get water flowing to certain points. I have had a lot of fun with the puzzles, there was never a point in the game where I sat there stuck or dreading playing the game again. I always wanted to get back into the game and continue on with the story, to learn more of the characters and why everything is happening.
Another thing that kept me enjoying and coming back to the game was is the music. It may not seem like much at first, but it evolves into some great pieces of work. I’m big on music in games: for me it can make the game comparatively better than others with mediocre music. Music should fit the game, and be pleasing to listen to… it helps makes any game more memorable.
If you're hesitant about this game because you've played jrpg games and couldn't stand the constant random battles, hours of grinding to the next level, lengthy fights that you can't leave (or are punished if you flee before the end), or the overly complex puzzles,then this is the game for you! There's none of that, and it's great. You get to enjoy the story, you don't have to worry about getting stuck or frustrated at some point in the game. You get to enjoy the game.
It will be a fun game for anyone who has enjoyed these types of games in the past, as well as those who may not have enjoyed rpgs in the past. While it may not yet out on steam, you can purchase it on their website and upvote it on steam greenlight! It's only 14.99 (it is 9.99 as of this date, but it'll go back up to 14.99 soon), and you can purchase it here! It is only on windows as of now, but it should be released on mac soon enough. And for those running windows 8, I believe it will be optimized to run on windows 8 soon too! And for you who are still on the fence, there is a demo available for playing!