Game Review #420: Asdivine Dios (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Allan Jenks
Developer: EXE Create, Inc.
Category: Adventure, Role-Playing, Simulation, Strategy
Release Date: 7.4.2019
Buy Asdivine Dios from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
I ♥ Me Some KEMCO
I find that I have, more or less, become the unofficial KEMCO RPG reviewer for JP’s SWITCHMANIA, and the more titles I play, the more okay with this I am. The title I am reviewing today is part of the Asdivine universe, though it does not directly pertain to either of the other two titles I have played for the Switch, Asdivine Hearts and Asdivine Hearts II, as far as story is concerned. There are some repeat characters, however, and many of the battle mechanics are similar, but this game feels like its own thing, and is, by far, my favorite in the Asdivine series. Let’s talk some more about this awesome and addicting RPG: Asdivine Dios.
Asdivine Dios is set in the world of Asdivine, where you play as Izayoi, the deity of Asdivine. You’ve never particularly liked humans, but you have always had a live-and-let-live kind of philosophy as a deity. A dark force known as “Murk” has grown so strong that you have lost most of your magic, including your ability to leave your mortal form. The Murk has turned the animals into monsters, and the world is quickly becoming overrun. Together with your companions, the spirits of the three pillars, you set out on a journey across Asdivine to track down the source of the Murk and save the world from destruction.
The Spirits That Guide You
You will first be joined by Iris, The Spirit of Light; a bubbly and optimistic spirit with an affinity for humans. You will soon be joined by Minerva, The Spirit of Shadow; a shy, reserved spirit. She is the youngest of the three spirits, and has a strong aversion to humans, but an even stronger aversion to Iris. Finally, you will be joined by Freya, The Spirit of Harmony, the eldest of the three, with a personality that is cheerful and bubbly, yet at the same time sadistic.
Each of the three spirits specialize in their own respective types of magic: light, shadow, and void. While they do level up their specialized magic type faster than other magic types, all three can be learned—with the help of some accessory rings—by all characters, which creates a rather large variety of combinations for the unison attacks, which I will discuss in a little more detail shortly.
One of the rules that comes along with writing a review for KEMCO is that I can’t give away any spoilers—which is a great rule, because spoilers suck—but I will say that the story kept me engaged the entire way through, and there are multiple endings, one of which adds an entire extra chapter to the game, which I appreciated quite a bit. I put about 30 hours into the game before I got to the first ending, but I spent a good 6 or so of those hours grinding EXP to level up my characters to level 999—I also bought the extra EXP DLC for the game, so expect that to take about 15 hours or so without it.
Back to the Grind
Speaking of grinding for EXP, I have to say, with the combination of the extra EXP DLC and a setting that allows you to auto-win any battles with enemies you’ve out-leveled, it was a very painless—and frankly, enjoyable—experience for me. I always try to max out my characters in RPGs—I still have a 20-year-old save on my childhood copy of Chrono Trigger that I fear will someday soon leave this mortal coil in unison with its companion battery of roughly the same age—but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy the process, so I am happy to say that Asdivine Dios is the most enjoyable grind experience in a video game that I have had. It’s almost like just opening dozens upon dozens of treasure chests once you get leveled up enough to auto-complete the big kahunas.
As far as the battle system goes when you do have to actually fight the enemies, I found it to be a very well-rounded system, with maybe a few too many abilities to choose from, but almost every single ability is useful and unique. I found myself finding extra fights to pick than necessary in dungeons, just so I could try out all of the different moves I was unlocking.
On top of all of the different abilities that each character can learn, they can also perform what are called “Unison” attacks, which combine two different characters’ individual abilities with one another to make an entirely new attack. This gave me some serious Chrono Trigger vibes, but since you also get to pick different abilities from each character to form multiple combinations for each pair of characters, it also kind of gave me a bit of a Skyrim alchemy table vibe.
You have the ability, like in the other entries in the Asdivine universe, to upgrade and modify your weapons, armor, and accessories. Unlike in Asdivine Hearts II, where your starter weapon can get so jacked up early on in the game that you basically have to downgrade and re-level any new weapons you find as you progress, in Asdivine Dios, the new weapons that appear as you progress remain relevant with their stats, allowing you to upgrade to a new, unmodified weapon you found in a treasure chest or a merchant’s table without dropping 60 ATK points and waiting around until you can upgrade it back to something close to what you once had. This feels much more balanced, and it really encourages you to play around with the different weapons you obtain, in order to combine status effects and buffs to see what works best for you.
The Spirits of Audio & Video
Visually, this is another “Modern Retro” throwback-looking game, but it is done quite well. It has a very GBA feel to it, but with the usual beautifully-illustrated anime-style foreground dialogue illustrations of the characters that I have come to love with my KEMCO RPGs. The music is better than mediocre, but nothing too incredibly special either. It gets the job done, has its moments in key parts of the game, and it doesn’t annoy me in the process, so I won’t complain.
Asdivine Dios has been my favorite KEMCO title to date, and I have put more time into it than probably all of the other KEMCO titles I have played on the Switch combined. If you are a jRPG fan and want a game to sink a few weeks into while ignoring the rest of your library, then Asdivine Dios is a good title to pick up. Check it out!
Buy Asdivine Dios from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
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*Review code provided by KEMCO