Girl and Dragon: Illusion Beast Contract Cryptract (2016)

[少女とドラゴン ~幻獣契約クリプトラクト~]

Girl and Dragon: Illusion Beast Contract Cryptract (2016)

Publisher: Mobage
Developer: Lionsfilm Limited
Platform: Web/PS4/Playstation Vita

A lord leads his personal army against fierce magic beasts amid a power struggle in the Empire.

This is a turn-based RPG where you take a party of four up against one to four enemies. You have a rock-paper-scissors elemental triad (water, fire, grasstree) and the light-dark dyad. Each character has two active combat abilities, a passive ability and a leadership ability that's activated if they're at the head of the party. The active abilities may or may not includes various status effects. There is also an auto-battle option that works well enough except in the case of close battles, in which the AI will make dumb decisions that get your party wiped.

There are six star levels for the characters. Most characters, except for your starting Pokémoncharacters and a few others, only have a single upgrade. The eponymous contract comes into play with the five-stars, who get a special upgrade option when combined with the right characters. Besides the basic stats of HP, attack, defense, and speed, there is also charisma, which affects victory bonuses, and class affinities. (For instance, Lucifer is a Warrior type strong against God characters and Perseus is a Hero type strong against Shaman characters.)

One thing nice about the game is that five-stars actually come rather easily. The real challenge is both maxing their levels and then upping their charisma by combining them with multiple copies of themselves. You level by combining characters. Typically, you use monsters as level fodder. There is also a stat bonus allotment that can be fulfilled by fusing with monsters known as Happiness. You can also equip accessories and upgrade them for additional stat boosts.

There's a main quest with three difficulty levels and a couple gaiden, a variety of side quests to include character quests and farming quests. There is also an arena for head-to-head battles and a guild system known as Union which I don't really do anything with.

There is also a gacha system with multiple currencies for draws. You can pay for draws, but it'd be ridiculous to do so if you ask me. Particularly early in the game, crystals come easy and you also get points for free draws easily (and there are at least two five-stars you have a good chance of getting from the free draws).

If a character doesn't factor into the main story or have a character quest, then they have essentially no characterization whatsoever. It'd be nice if there was something like the Fate Episodes of GBF, but instead most of the cast are mere ciphers. Some of the quest stories are better than others, but generally the writing isn't terribly impressive.

The game looks fairly nice with generally attractive character designs and nice detailed models. However, those models appear to Flash puppets, so the animation is rather wonky. (The Gainaxing on a lot of the females looks particularly silly.) Depending on your tastes, you may or may not appreciate that upgrading female characters tends to result in them losing about 20% of their clothes and going up a couple cup sizes. (I do, however, like that going up a star level generally has the characters get older, so you can imagine character development that the story fails to provide.)

The music is okay but not great. The main quest is almost entirely narrated by your girl Friday Liz, likely as cost-saving measure, and so you only get performances by the different characters in the character quests. Voice clips during battle tend to be limited, without much variation in the lines. (Almost every character goes "Yaru na" or "Yaru ne" when hit, for instance.) Also, it doesn't seem like any high-profile seiyuu are in the cast, which may or may not disappoint. Some of the monster noises, particularly the Capybaras, are really obnoxious. If it's any indication, I usually keep the tab for the game muted.

This is an exceedingly average game. My completionist tendencies and the readiness with which the game provides characters are what keep me going, but I don't have all that much enthusiasm for it. You can definitely do worse, but it's not worth putting down any money for.