God Wars: Future Past follows Princess Kaguya, a girl who’s set to be sacrificed to the volcano of Mount Fuji in an attempt to prevent the end of the world, as she’s rescued by her childhood friend Kintaro. With Kaguya refusing to be killed without the knowledge of why this is happening to her, she journeys to find her mother and to learn of the reasons behind her actions.
God Wars takes a lot of inspiration from Japanese folklore with the historical Japanese book Kojiki, and the ancient figure Shaka being fused together to create a single story. It’s interesting to experience these stories for the first time, and the legendary characters who come to life in a video game, as I’m heavily intrigued by Japanese folklore and history. It’s clearly very anime-inspired with a few cliches thrown in – which you may or may not like – but it’s humour and exuberant characters will likely keep your attention.
God Wars is a tactical RPG which means that, yes, sadly I’m not very good at it. You prepare your team and set them off to battle on a square grid, ensuring that they’re positioned in a way that won’t be fatal to them. Once you’re happy with the position of your team, it’s up to you if they should attack, guard, use an item or ability, with each character having different strengths. With thirty different job classes, a vast array of equipment and an equally as boisterous amount of skills to learn, you can shape your character however you’d like — it’s pretty clear who should be doing what, though.
As mentioned before, God Wars is a fairly difficult game but there are easier difficulty options if you feel that you’d like them — there’s no shame in this, after all! Being a game that’s got such a great emphasis on tactics and strategy, you might already feel that you have enough on your plate without worrying about if an enemy is likely to wipe you out in the next turn or not – easy is still pretty challenging, though. Regardless of how you tackle God Wars, you’ll want to be patient as you battle through each stage as a blunder could set you back a fair bit of progress.
One of my favourite artists, Mino Taro, has worked on the character design in God Wars and, like always, I’m blown away by his distinct style and masterful work. His art style is unique and easily identifiable, and seeing his work here is very satisfying. Opposite to the 2D portraits used in conversation, battles uses 3D chibi-inspired models which are rather cute — despite the serious story tackled in the game itself, these visuals never felt as if they didn’t fit. It looks and runs smoothly across both PS4 and Vita, although I preferred to play this particular game on Sony’s splendid little handheld.
The voice-acting for this one is a mixed bag. The main cast give solid performances (I’m pretty sure that Christine Marie Cabanos is the one giving Kaguya such a lovely performance) but minor characters sound pretty dreadful. Over-acted and exaggerated, many of the side characters sound animated and out of place, and there was more than a couple of times where I wondered if some voice-actors and actresses were given any direction at all. The soundtrack doesn’t feature the same missteps and whilst it isn’t something I’d find myself listening to outside of the game, it provided a suitable atmosphere for the game.
God Wars: Future Past should impress those with a love for Japanese folklore and TRPG’s, and even if the genre isn’t your cup of tea you might still find enjoyment due to the narrative — just turn it on easy! I do believe that this game is perfectly suited for Vita, although there’s no issues in playing it on PS4, but it being visual novel and TRPG hybrid lends itself to being portable. Whilst some of the dialogue can be hit or miss and feel a little out of place, overall God Wars is solid TRPG and we all know that we don’t get many of those on either system anymore.