• Allan Jenks

Game Review #435: Illusion of L’Phalcia (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Allan Jenks

Developer: Exe Create, Inc.

Publisher: KEMCO

Category: Adventure, Role-Playing, Simulation, Strategy

Release Date: 8.1.2019

Price: $12.99



Buy Illusion of L’Phalcia from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


Have I Mentioned My Love for RPGs?

I have been an RPG fan since I was a kid. I’ve always preferred a good single-player, turn-based jRPG title over a multiplayer team-based online experience. Sure, there’s a place for that too, but I just like escaping to my own private immersive world over trying to avoid a never-ending cycle of spawn-kills in the latest first-person shooter (read: I suck). Fortunately, there is no shortage of jRPGs on the Switch, and I have been fortunate enough to have reviewed many of the good ones, with today’s title being no exception.


KEMCO jRPGs on the Switch always tend to hit me in the nostalgia, and while sometimes a bit cookie-cutter, many of the titles they publish are a great value for the price, with some of those going beyond the call of duty—see what I did there? Anyway… Illusion of L’Phalcia does a great job at giving you your money’s worth, and then some!



A Wishing Sword, of Sorts…

We meet our hero, Ryser, in the kingdom of Freesia, along with his talking leopard partner, Cougar, as they return from another treasure hunt. Ryser is a seeker—basically your average Indiana Jones or Lara Croft type—and is on the hunt for the six pieces of the map that will lead him to the fabled Sword of Amal, a sword that will grant its owner any wish, as long as it is provided with the magic power needed. Most people just think the sword is a fairy tale made up to impress gullible children, but Ryser and Cougar believe it is real, and is the key to all the gold and delicious food they could ever hope to have.


Following a tip from a trusted information salesman, Ryser and Cougar head to the ruins of an abandoned temple in search of their next piece of the map, when they meet Tiana, a mysterious girl traversing the ancient ruins in search of a rare healing herb. Ryser, ever the entrepreneur, agrees to escort Tiana through the monster-infested ruins to find these herbs—for a reasonable fee, of course! It turns out that she is actually the princess of the kingdom of Gardenia, and is on the hunt for the same thing as you: The Sword of Amal. This unlikely band of treasure hunters decides to combine their efforts and search for the sword together, setting in motion an adventure that weaves together the fates of three kingdoms, and the lives of all the people of the world.



Have a Limit Break with a Few Friends

The battle system is familiar, yet new. Each character in your party has their own special skills unique to them, learned as you level up, but through the use of a rune system, can also each learn the same black and white magic skills across the board, as well as mixed magic when runes of both magic types are equipped. The battles are turn-based, with each different attack affecting different columns of enemies, some affecting vertical rows, some affecting horizontal rows, and some affecting all enemies or only one. The moves and abilities are varied enough in effect that is stays interesting throughout the grind, though I did start to develop strong favor toward a few moves from each character.


One of the more unique features of battle is the Skill Chain Attack, which is an attack using three of your characters that does not use MP. It works on a charge-based system, where you build up the limit bar more and more which each attack you land successfully, so it is basically like a limit break move, but with backup.



Audio & Video

The main exploration gameplay is set to 16-bit, top-down “modern-retro” graphics, with the classic KEMCO foreground dialogue animations of each of the main characters. During battles, the game shifts to a more PS1-era Final Fantasy graphic style. I really enjoyed the visuals in this game, and it felt quite well-polished and thoughtful. The music, while nothing mind-blowing, was executed quite well, and carried the moods of the game exactly where they needed to be. This game definitely looks, sounds, and feels more like a jRPG from a much higher price point than the sticker says it is.



Wrapping Up

Overall, I really enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) my time with Illusion of L’Phalcia. The scripts are good, the story is captivating and keeps you playing, and the love and care that went into making this game really shows. The leveling system is balanced, the enemies offer a decent challenge, but are never too horribly impossible to beat, and you even get a warning via a yellow-to-red-changing border around the screen when you are about to have a random encounter. If you are a jRPG fan like I am, then you will definitely want to pick up this game.


Score: 8.5/10


Buy Illusion of L’Phalcia from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


Follow KEMCO

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Follow Exe Create Inc.

Website / Twitter


*Review code was provided for review purposes.

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