Final Fantasy Tactics introduced a lot of people to the Strategy RPG genre.  While the biggest attraction to gamers might have been the Final Fantasy name, a well executed SRPG game was found underneath.  Since then other titles have been released in the SRPG genre like Tactics Ogre and Disgaea.  While these games have developed a following, they are difficult to find and can fetch large numbers on eBay because they had such a small run.  It would seem that creating a good SRPG is difficult, and when you have created one it is in high demand.


Spectral Souls: Resurrection of the Ethereal Empires tries to bring the SRPG experience to the PSP.  You follow three different factions through a war on the world of Neverland where you take these armies through battles over different landscapes.  Eventually this determines who rules over Neverland.

Whoa!  Did I travel back to the ’90’s?  This looks like something that I would have seen on the PS1.   The character models on the battlefield all are big heads with small bodies.  They make small movements when moving and attacking.  Still, every character has so few animations that they look incredibly static.


Spectral Souls does feature some nice lighting effects, especially when spells are cast.  The spells burn with a fire spell while a cool chill goes over the ice spells.  A black fog covers the area when a darkness spell is cast.  Most of the spells have swirls and drops in the area that they are cast in.


The character portraits actually look well drawn and have a nice resolution.  They all have an anime look to them, typical of this genre.  They do occasionally change expressions, but those are few and far between.

The music has a medieval feeling to it.  Trumpets blare while the percussion drives the beat forward.  A flute provides the melody and strings add accents.  Each of the three armies has their own theme songs.  One of them is more ominous in tone, while another is more upbeat and playful.  When entering specific areas the music changes to indicate that the battle has come.  Still, the music all starts to sound the same after a while.


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