This week’s PlayStation 2 classic comes from Japanese developer Nippon-Ichi and is actually the first in their popular line of strategy games (despite being the second released in America).
La Pucelle: Tactics follows a group of demon hunters as they uncover the dark secrets of their base, the Church of the Maiden, and the true identity of their goddess reborn. Naturally, everything has to be ridiculously cute in a Nippon Ichi game, so these demon hunters are young spunky teenagers who find themselves way over their heads in conspiracies.
If you’re fan of Nippon-Ichi’s ridiculously complex strategy games, then consider this one a tutorial. No, it’s not especially easy, but compared to their later games, the battle system is kind of shallow…unless you really enjoy collecting and raising monsters. The later games refine the blueprint this one laid out, and the characters are much less memorable than the Disgaea games.
The game is infamous in America for its high level of censorship. Every single cross was removed by publisher Mastiff to ditch any sign of religious symbolism. Not to mention, the cast of teenagers is hyper-sexualized. The 16 year old protagonist, Prier, has the bust and thighs of a full grown amazoness and wears a short enough skirt to not leave much to the imagination. Much of this is seen in the game’s concept art though, and doesn’t transfer into anything too offensive in pixelated sprites form.
La Pucelle: Tactics will be released this week on PSN as a PlayStation 2 Classic for $9.99. I’d give this one a glance if you’re a hardcore Nippon-Ichi fan interested in the roots of their style, but newcomers would do better to jump aboard with Disgaea like most American gamers did.