Jeanne D'Arc: a review

A small review of a game I started around 4 years ago. Jeanne D'Arc is a tactics JRPG similar to Fire Emblem, I am glad I finally finished it! Here are some thoughts on it

📆 03 Mar 2023 📕 1036 words ⏳ 3 min. 🏷️ gaming review

For one reason or another, I don’t talk about gaming as often as I could. I would say its because I am busy doing more important things but honestly most of the time I just do things that are just as unproductive as playing videogames. Around a year ago I wrote about how I struggle to complete videogames. I actually mentioned the game I’ll talk about today!

Jeanne D’Arc is another game where I got to the final boss (probably) and I think I just went underleveled, the thing is, the game is a tactics game, which means, each playthrough is super long and it takes a while to finish a match. Thankfully, leveling up is not actually that difficult, I just have to get the time and willingness to do so.

So, as you might expect, I was stuck in the exact place I was back then. However, for some reason, I decided to grind and finally finish this. I took a look at some guides for some crafting recipes (one of the features of the game). I leveled up, and then, by what seems like divine intervention, I stumbled upon the game being featured on one of the latest episodes of Into The Aether, even if just for a minute or two, since it was a chat about the PSP in general (I was thrilled!). That was the final straw, I was definitely going to finish it.

Cover art of the game
Cover art of the game

What’s the game about anyway?

Jeanne D’Arc is a very fantastical take on the historical character. I have absolutely no idea of what the real story is but I am sure that an antropomorphic Lion doesn’t join Jeanne’s ranks at any point in time.

Regardless, the game stays fun and at some point you are able to craft new skills by combining them, which gives you access to a ton of new moves and gives use to some of the loot that gets a bit repetitive after a while.

Gameplay

The game is a tactical RPG, following a similar style to Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre. So you take turns in a battlefield grid where you control a set of characters with different skills and abilities.

Jeanne and a few other characters are armed with divine bracelets that allows them to transform (anime style) and get a sick armor, better stats and special moves for a couple of turns, so you have to wait for the right time to use them.

Storyline

The story itself is rather good in my opinion, and it sticks to the historical aspect, at least for the first half.

Once Jeanne’s hometown gets invaded by demons sent by England’s monarchy, she receives a special bracelet from a fallen knight and obtains the ability to transform into a sick armor, enhance her powers and fight against evil. She decides its her destiny to save France and finish the war along her friends Lianne and Roger, and so the adventure begins.

The fantasy approach takes over a bit more in the second half, and it loses a bit of the complexity of warfare, since all demons are objectively evil and must be defeated. Some scenes are just characters talking via text boxes, but there are a ton of high quality anime scenes, which are well done and dubbed too. They always caught my eye when they showed up.

Graphics

The game has a chibi style for most of the gameplay, but as I mentioned, the anime scenes are absolutely amazing and look pretty freaking awesome.

When doing special skills and moves I have to admit they weren’t really that cool animation wise. However, the audio effects were nice and it was always satisfying to see the numbers go down and the screen shake after a critical hit, or the little move the characters did when evading a dangerous attack.

Some of the most powerful attacks actually managed to lag my PSP, but I believe that’s because I was playing the game from a CSO file, which is more compressed than regular ISO files.

Music

The music is great, the only problem is that there’s not enough of it in the game itself, there’s a lot, but they don’t pan it out and some of the good music is only during dialogue scenes, which are only like 5% of what you do in this game.

The music during gameplay fits pretty well and it gets me in the mood for battle, but it gets a bit repetitive. I can see myself listening to the rest of the sountrack while doing other things, which is good! It doesn’t reach the heights of Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI and The Legend of Zelda, but pretty decent nonetheless…

I think my favorite songs would be The City of Paris, Elf, and the Victory Theme which was pretty good too!

Final thoughts

Anyways, I don’t think I need to explain more about the game, you like Fire Emblem? You will like this game. To me the story was not the main focus, I have to admit. After all I took my time with this one. I am just happy I got to finish a game after so long.

The game is also really replayable, I can always limit myself to a certain amount of characters, and after the story is done there is a ton of post-game content some more stages with stronger enemies that I still have to try out, someday.

During my final battle, I actually hit the start button by mistake and I had not picked the characters I wanted, but I was already a couple stages into the final boss, so I decided to just deal with it and I actually managed to win! I felt pretty cool with that too.

I am looking forward to whatever game I finish next though.

This is day 43 of #100DaysToOffload
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