In my early gaming days I always found myself caught up in any RPG I could get my grubby preteen hands on, finding their immersive gameplay and storytelling more intriguing than your everyday racing or shooter game. Among my time with them I always found a soft spot for Japanese tales, mostly thanks to the old-school Final Fantasy games and Dragon Warrior, the latter still to this day releasing new titles. Putting it plain and simple the JRPG genre is still alive and kicking and another piece of the quite successful jigsaw has found its place.
With the gaming industry now saturated in blockbuster games from the usual high-end developers, you don’t see many titles from the JRPG scene selling millions, but it hasn’t stopped some independent studios having a stab at and delivering the same level of enjoyment you would see nearly 20 years ago. Developer Aldorlea Games had that in mind when creating Undefeated, a classic role-playing adventure that doesn’t skip on the humor while still delivering a healthy dose of serious storytelling.
You follow the three main heroes of Undefeated Marcus, Bastien and Fela, reluctant conscripts fresh from the press that are drafted into the fight against the poisonous wasteland and its nasty plants and creatures. For years they have kept their noisy neighbours at bay until they started creeping into their homeland, prompting the trio to journey into the unknown and stop the threat.
The premise for Undefeated is traditional to its core and the gameplay mechanics themselves fare no different. The 16-bit overworld features plenty of different locations to visit, some offering a different feel to the other, be it a forest, town or dungeon. The in-game map will help you on your journey, highlighting on occasion sub-maps of smaller locations, also giving you a heads up of nearby enemies so you can avoid a run-in if you’re not feeling up to it.
The game bolsters over 30 hours of gameplay which is ample for a role-playing experience. Within this time you’ll immerse yourself in the main story, 16-side quests and much more, that of which can be experienced differently when game is changed to fit both casual and hardcore players. Between all that content for me the most fun came whilst battling the many creatures you meet on your adventure. You can attack, defend, guard and use special and magic sorcery to defeat your enemies using an easy point and click system, which to be honest is a classic template of the JRPG genre. The character models for the game’s heroes and enemies are also well created, testament to how good the art direction for the game is.
Undefeated is an enjoyable JRPG experience that not only brings you back to your days playing the classic but builds on it to even make the experience more fresh. If you’re fan of the genre then waste no time getting your feet firmly into the polished and solid gameplay and storytelling this little gem has to offer.