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Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga (PC) artwork

Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga (PC) review

"“A tactically/strategically sound game Fire Emblem inspired SRPG” "

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I played this game on a whim and never given any serious thoughts about it, I was getting fed up of playing CNC Red Alert 2 and Yuri’s Revenge online every freaking single day and wanted to try out something a tactical/strategic game that’s fresh with new ideas.

And while I was browsing some random trivia in the Internet, I happened to stumble upon this particular game namely Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga. At first glance it certainly seems akin to the older Fire Emblem series, however once I tried playing it, I got instantly sucked into the game, taking away most of my free time strategizing and assembling the perfect build for my army.

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Although I never would have thought that this game was made using RPG Maker because the types of games, I have seen being made with this game development application tool was some typical indie JRPGs and indie horror games. I wasn’t aware that it’s also capable of creating such a splendid SRPG.

Before I get ahead of myself and discuss the nitty gritty details of its gameplay, I will try to briefly explain the story or plot of Symphony of War as I remember and understand from memory. From the get go, you will be given an option to choose your character’s respective gender may it be male or female, as well its corresponding traits or personal qualities. In the beginning you were nothing but a street urchin, as fate would have it, you got inducted to an imperial academy and emerged as a highly esteem military officer tasked to quell the rebellious general in the succession wars. You’ve beaten the rebel general, driving him into a corner and committing suicide. One of the higher ups decide to murder the empress and placing the blame on you as a scapegoat for convenience’s sake. From there begins a journey of countless blood-soaked battlefields.

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The lore and world building seems to be well-made and serviceable at the very least, although it uses the Chosen One Trope which gives our protagonist the best excuse to go on a campaign to fulfill their destiny through a series of tactical rampage with varying objectives.

The same could not be said to the character development of the cast, it lacks proper buildup and all of a sudden, they appear to be head over heels with the protagonist and there is somewhat lackluster in the motivation factor for helping our hero, in addition there doesn’t seem to be any extra stat increase or a new bonus ability when a certain relationship is pursued as it was widely known and considered a defining staple of the Fire Emblem Games. Now onto the exciting part which is the gameplay aspect and the number one factor.

As obviously stated, the developers introduced a couple of innovations into this SRPG aside from solely borrowing ideas on its predecessor. A fusion between Heroes Of Might And Magic V and Fire Emblem into one game, creating something peculiar in a good way. Many types of playstyles are applicable, only imagination is the limit as there are ample number of units to choose from with their respective side upgrades as it was in Heroes V, whether you want a purely offensive lineup or a well-balanced unit formation. The option is there to be creative and it never punishes the players.

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During battles, there’s many types objectives and structures that provides precious resources ranging from gems, iron, and even horses which is necessary for upgrading your army into higher tier units, so these are the priority of capturing these strategic points. Players of heroes of might and magic games might be familiar with this kind of stuff.

The sound quality is pretty nice and each mission has its own set of different soundtracks to amplify the thematic feel of every varying mission it never gets tiring and you always look forward to the next campaign after the another, it’s called Symphony of War for a reason alright.

In terms of graphics or its visual representation, I really like how diverse each character unit’s designs looks, oozing with personality and their specialize skillsets. The same could not be said to the overall graphics of the game considering it was made using RPG Maker after all, due to the limitation of the engine, somehow looks very simplistic and uninspiring to say the least. Nonetheless I am willing to forgive such shortcomings as the gameplay aspects itself is most engaging and addicting at the same time. Without the irritating features such as permanent death and frustrating mechanics like excessive grinding for the sake of powering up your favorite units at their peak condition.

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Despite having 30 chapters, the length of the game is rather short, if your only after for the main questline that is, completing the other side quests will take the game a little bit longer to finish for it requires grinding in leveling each and every one of your units.

I might have given this game a higher score, although I encounter a couple of setbacks with the game itself such as having my save file got softlocked on chapter 30 that prevented me from finishing the game sooner, making me wait for the bug fixed to arrive the week after.

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Nevertheless I recommend this indie game to tactical enthusiasts who appreciate a decent challenge and you do not need to be a Fire Emblem fan to enjoy this title, I am not a fan myself yet I relish every moment of it.

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Community review by templarseeker (February 17, 2023)

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