Ryu’s Musings – Chantelise (J-RPG)

Posted on August 2nd, 2011 by Ryu Sheng |

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Language: English
Original Developer: EasyGameStation
Publisher: Carpe Fulgur
Type: J-RPG

Five years ago, a witch’s curse beneath the red moon turned Chante into a fairy. Now she and her sister Elise search for a way to transform her back into a human, and in their travels they come across a particular town, which is home to a number of nearby ruins, as well as a peculiar shopkeeper named Aira, and a strange, mercurial fortune-teller who calls herself Elma. Could this place hold the key to returning Chante to normal? Or will it lead to more answers than our two sisters ever wanted to know?…

This is one of the games I’ve been eagerly awaiting this year, and sadly it doesn’t really live upto my expectations.

Carpe Fulgur brought us Recettear, which was quite frankly awesome, and a game I’m still frequently playing (in it’s endless mode). So I was really looking forward to Chantelise.

I did at one point have the original western version of the game which came from a now defunct company called DGM (I believe, can’t quite remember lol). Their version had a few bus in it, and their translation tended towards the worst forms of engrish, primarily I think because it was a double translation. Japanese to french, to english.

However despite that I can’t help but feel that the translation was closer to the original japanese version. After playing for a few hours the Carpe Fulgur version screams re-write. This isn’t bad per-say, on the one had I wish they’d just translated the original japanese version, and tidied up the engrish a bit. On the other hand some of the comments that come out are bloody funny. But again I don’t like over westernising stuff. If you’re going to the trouble of brining a game, anime, movie, manga whatever over it’s because you think it will do well. So sell it on it’s merits, don’t rework it just because you think it May sell better with a western tint to it. While this May be true, it will also cause the loss of sales as people (like me) who prefer to keep things original as possible, will look elsewhere.

When Carpe licensed the game EGS went back to the game and tweaked some of the mobs and bosses in various ways. Which leads to the question, why didn’t they fix the bugs?

I haven’t encountered any game breaking bugs, just a few annoying ones that on one occasion got me killed, but mostly just annoy the hell out of you. There’s been a lot of complaints about certain elements of the game, one of the biggest is the low health beep. Think of a high pitched repeating beep, going on and on and on and on and on. After a few seconds I went and got my self killed just so it would be over hehe. The Steam forums were filled with people wanting either it removed or the pitched lowered which resulted in SpaceDrake (one of the minds over at CF) to respond with:

Psh, have you people never played Zelda or something
The Beep™ stays in, end of discussion

This, as far as I could read, was a tongue in cheek response, however as usually happens on the net some people decided he was being malicious and opened up on him. Never played Zelda, so no comment on that from me, but I tend to have iTunes blaring at the same time now so it doesn’t bother me 😀

The price tag on this game is half that of Recettear, coming in at £6.10, though it has 10% off at the minute so until 5th August it’s £5.84 (yeah a huge saving there lol). This was a wise decision on CF’s part, since if they’d put it out at Recettear’s £12.99 this would never sell, at it’s current price tag it’s an okay buy. I say this because while I’m dissatisfied with the game itself, Carpe Fulgur are a company worth supporting.

So what’s wrong with the game? Well firstly it shows it’s age. The environments you run around are rather jagged, and at times remind me of my old SNES games, even to the pixilated look of the environment. The characters are rather well done, though that’s to be expected given the type of game it is. However there is a lot of graphics issues in the game. One of the ones I noticed is the “wave”. This is where the characters stand in the environment, there’s a line running horizontal to Elise’s feet that moves with her, creating a wave in the environment. I’ve also noticed a bit of tearing at times though these aren’t frequent and don’t last for very long.

The game itself is short, and I do mean short. According to Carpe Fulgur the game should take you about 10hours to complete, however the average being reported on steam seems to be closer to 4.5/5hours.

The other aspect that this game lacks is replayability. Once you’ve completed the game that’s it. Recettear has endless replayability with it’s various modes, Chantelise has nothing to it. You could replay it if you have OCD and want to find every treasure chest in the game, and there is a time trial option, but frankly I found this rather uninteresting. After you’ve finished the game it ends up bring relegated to a time filler game, as in if you have a few mins spare; load up a time trial.

Carpe Fulgur are already working on a patch for the game which will fix a number of issues, none are really critical, but some are rather misleading and a bit confusing, such as the first and second upgrade messages being totally wrong.

EGS are also apparently considering adding steamworks and achievements to the game, and I have to ask, why? Both would be excellent in Recettear, especially with achievements and cloud saves. In Chantelise though it’s pointless, there’s no open environment for achievements, and cloud isn’t really needed. Steam forums are full of people asking for achievements, but lets face it, in a game where you literally go from point A to point B with nothing to do in-between other than killing everything, there’s no need for achievements. The only one that could really be added are the hidden treasure chests, but that seems like a waste of effort to me. Especially in a game this old. Did I mention this game predates Recettear? Recettear could do well with achievements, but not this game.

Carpe Fulgur come through on their promise in some regards however. As with Recettear this is a DRM free game, purchasable from Gamers Gate, Impulse and a slew of others. Also available on Steam, with their DRM, ie: you need a Steam account to play it.

A demo is available from Steam, also from the Chantelise website, and other Digital stores. The lack of a website for Chantelise is a bit of bad timing on their part IMO. The stark white page with a bit of text is not the best introduction to the game.

Overall the game is okay, nothing more or less. But it’s worth picking up just to support Carpe Fulgur. Hopefully the next game will be better.

Now for some screen shots of the game:

 

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Welcome to your home base, you’ll be seeing a lot of it!!

 

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     This be the woman that tortures you with food made from your kills, and sells you your gear

 

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This big brute is the first boss, ready to pound you into a pancake!!

 

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Just in case you’re easily confused this grimoire has pretty pictures!!

 

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Run girl run!! It be after you!!

 

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Who’s that smoking back there??

 

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So…..the treasure is over there?

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