LifeisXbox’s The DioField Chronicle review | The DioField Chronicle is an ambitious project to say the least. Brought to us by Square Enix we dive into a world shattered and divided at the seams. Where nations rage and ravage lands, searching to increase their power and influence across the lands. You play as a mercenary group called the Blue Foxes in a land yet to be set upon by war, but that will quickly change as the story progresses. For another empire has set its gaze upon your nation’s Jade supply. A mystical stone that is used in the art of war. You can be employed by any and all who has the money to pay for your services. In a world where (geo) political interests are high, you will run through many plot twists along the way. Where backstabbing is just another Monday for most of this world’s inhabitants. Yes, welcome… To The DioField Chronicle. Interested to hear what we have to say? Then wait no more and get ready for a doozy… Enjoy!
Most Memorable Moment
My most memorable moment was when I was in a certain mission. I was nearly going to get wiped when one of the enemies that I felled dropped an orb that replenished my mana. I quickly rushed to get it, popped all of my skills and won with an extraordinary feat of endurance on my will to not get killed!
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Music| Hands down one of the best aspects about this one has to be the soundtrack. By far! The attention to detail in every single note and tune just carries this game into another dimension. While some other choices that the game’s direction take are… questionable. I’m at least glad and truthfully happy to hear such attention to detail was put into the game’s sound design (musically). While the battle noises are often just repeats, the music definitely deserves an appraisal from this guy.
- Visuals| I was actually stunned by how neat the different story cutscenes were. Often they switched between drawn and CGI cutscenes, and both were done with care and love. The drawn scenes look as if they were made on old parchment while the CGI ones really were created with love. The in-game details are wonderfully done as well. I found myself really liking some of the after-glow effects when you used your bigger spells or summons. And yes, this game has summons just like Final Fantasy. With bright and flashy colors this charmed its way into my memory banks and got me to like the game a tad bit more.
- Voiced story| But my biggest praise goes to the talent that they employed to voice the characters. Mind you, not every bit is narrated. Some parts of conversation are just ‘hmms’ and ‘but what…’ blurbs while you just read the text. But it’s when they are voicing their character that you feel the weight of their presence. No one was phoning their lines in and that is just wonderful for a game of this magnitude. While I do find it odd that they didn’t really voice the entire thing, a weird decision in my opinion, I have to give them a big thumb’s up for the love and dedication on every line that they did deliver.
- Gets stale quick| While combat is a big portion of the game. And they clearly spent a lot of time in developing an intricate battle system with the time pausing and the skill trees and whatnot. I couldn’t help but feel bored after the umpteenth time I entered a fight. And why, I hear you ask? Well. Because battles play out the same way… Every. Single. Time. You see what is ahead of you so you know what is coming. And once you got a good thing going? It’s just rinse and repeat. You just do your combo, wipe the mob and proceed. That… That just feels kind of like lazy craftsmanship. And then there are the special summons. These are huge beasts that come to your aid on a one-time summon. But the only summon that I found myself returning to each and every single time was Bahamut. Even there, there’s this intricate system, and yet you will resort to the same strategy every time again.
- Too wide| While it presents itself as yet another grand real-time turn-based strategy-esque game? It comes over as rather a bit too big for its britches. The further down the rabbit hole you go, the more possibilities you unlock at your base camp and the more ‘complex’ things just get in regards of managing things. The moment I went from chapter 1 to chapter 2 for instance, my quest log filled itself up with 11 quests right out of the gate. 1 Main mission and the rest all filler side quests. And while I like me some nice content. You can’t really skip the side missions unless you really want a hard time. Why? Because the game wants you to grind out everything. And why do you think they want that? Read that in the next topic.
- Grindy McGee| Grinding is a huge thing that makes this game a chore really. The game works with leveling systems. But, that doesn’t mean that leveling up really does a lot for you. No, what really gets your traction going in this game is the Skill Points. These are mostly granted by doing extra side stuff during your missions. Fail one? And no extra skill point. Going further down the game? You’ll have a hard time if you don’t get a lot of skill points for your squad. And that is what really bothers me the most honestly. You can’t really progress comfortably without having to go on these dumbfounded missions and try to nail literally every single objective. For instance, I nearly had gone through an entire mission with flawless precision. I end up at the boss battle. Killed both of them for the first time, killed the first of the boss twins, and right at the last second, the guy just clobbers one of my guys, incapacitating him and making me lose the secondary objective which was … No KO’s in your team. Yeah, that really sucked. But don’t worry, you can go back and redo that entire mission again if you like to.
- Politics| It leans very heavily on a story-driven political side-show. And while sure, every game needs to have their story, I really don’t get why they chose to cram a political story down our throats for a world that we haven’t even visited yet in other games. Sure, if this was an ongoing series I would get why one of the games would give us a more intricate view on the deeper narrative of that world. But this just feels… Woof… If I may be fully honest? I actually fell asleep during one of the cutscenes because it was just so… Boring. Way too much exposition about stuff that I couldn’t care less about.
What we Disliked
- Obnoxious boss battles| While I do love me a good boss battle, bosses in The DioField Chronicle were not a thing I was looking forward to. Boss battles have multiple lives. Why? God knows why, that’s why. And don’t think that when you knock ‘m down once, you’ll be getting much out of it either! Sure, they may drop some healing orbs, and if you’re really lucky some mana regeneration to cast your spells. But that really doesn’t give you a full bar of anything if you’re nearly at the end of your bars. And do you think that they get easier then? Nope. They just come back with their full life total and ready for another go. At the same time, you’re just trying to survive. Especially if you’ve got a mission where those skill points are locked behind a ‘do not get incapacitated’ tick. Honestly, this is more than likely done for one reason, and one reason alone. To not make it obvious that there is barely anything worthwhile in the main story missions otherwise. To fill that timer up. If it weren’t for these kinds of things? The game would be over in 25~ish hours instead of 35~ish.
How long to beat the story | 35+ hours.
How long to achieve 1000G | 40+ hours.
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