Empire of Angels IV

What is the purpose of Empire of Angels IV? As an overly average strategy game that accomplishes nothing and has no strategy, a fan service game that has no fan service, and an RPG where the story doesn’t match the tone; I’m still wondering that very question.

In Empire of Angels IV, there is a pervy zombie apocalypse and the only way to stop it is to beat the clothing off your foes. You meet plenty of characters who are vital to the storyline for the one scene where you meet them and the one where you resolve their problem then they became flavour text. If I’ve missed vital background by skipping the first three games, I do apologize. Little to nothing is explained as you’re dragged from location to location by the nose- for example, at one point we reach a warrior village where there’s a trial nearby that everyone who goes to dies, but they have to complete it or else…

Something? Why are they sending all their warriors to die there? If nobody can complete the trial, and nothing horrible is happening to them for not completing the trial- it seems like the worst thing you can do is try to complete the trial. Anyway, the heroes arrive and, of course, that means we’ll do this impossible trial no problem- so one of the girls we meet in the village decides to go and try to solo the trial before we get there because she’s worried we might succeed, because…. reasons.

Now, you may have heard this one before because it’s a sadly common RPG trope- but just think about how little sense that scenario makes in a fleshed out world where people use some degree of logic. There’s no explanation, no time to get engaged with any little story arc before it’s obsolete, no real banter, and even the characters who are walking one dimensional harem archetypes are just as goofy in fate of the world situations as they are talking about dinner.

Everyone is female in this game, and their colourful, varied portraits and attitudes have ‘waifu bait’ written all over it. However, I can’t see how actually playing the game would satisfy that. The in game combat sprites are chibi, and between spell effects and the stripping to their skivvies animation it comes off as very silly- but it doesn’t really come off as charming, cute or sexy at any point so it won’t appeal for those looking for any of that in their waifu game. It’d be like three people asking for a steak, roast chicken and salmon- and instead of each getting what they want, they’re all given a salad with a mix of meat juices dripped all over it instead.

If this is a diet fan service game, it goes into negative calories on the strategy part. There are no items, no abilities to choose, no equipment, no progression and no real thought to forming your party. The only micro management is you can pick between a few classes to advance to for each of your team members, popular class choices like duellist, sorceress, or girl who handles giant balls like a trained seal. You don’t even benefit from previous choices, for example in the caster tree your base class has a healing spell, but if you pick the sorceress for your first progression you lose that spell.

The simple nature does keep downtime zero, and with short cut scenes the pace of the game is fight. It is acceptable, generally you have either some paths with foes or a big room with foes, you have some side objectives for extra loot such as finishing a battle in less than ten turns, but while for all intents and purposes this is a turn based strategy game- the word strategy really doesn’t belong.

There’s no resource management due to rapid mana regeneration, no real tactics beyond gang up and avoid being too clumped for area attacks, no customization gives you no tools to utilize, and very little in terms of buffs and crowd control. Almost everything in the game is the same- you take your cluster, swarm the first thing, and then move on to the second group of foes like rats. This is an all right game, it is very simple, has colourful art with dated combat sprites, forgettable sound and story, and minimal engagement in combat or characters. There was nothing that really stood out as bad while playing, but there’s also nothing I can say to encourage people to play it. I don’t really understand who the game is going to appeal to, since it doesn’t appeal to strategy players who want even mild depth, it doesn’t have any appeal for those who want a fan service game, and it doesn’t have any appeal for those looking for a solid RPG story to play through. I think this may be the most utterly mundane game I’ve ever played.

~~Alex Cumming~~

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