I purchased it off the PS Store on day one since it’s a game I’ve been interested in for the past while.
However, I do believe I should have a) done more research of it and b) watched WALKTHROUGH videos of the Japanese version (if they exist. Never bothered looking for them.) beforehand because I didn’t know how punishing it would be.
I’ve been checking out opinions around the Net and the general consensus seems that it’s on par with other dungeon crawlers and that the game isn’t that difficult. It’s difficult to me because I don’t have much experience with dungeon crawlers so I’m not entirely sure how my gameplay strategy should be. (The last one that I stuck with was Eye of the Beholder (the first one) on the PC. I only managed to get to the 5th floor though before losing patience. XD I did enjoy hurling food rations as projectiles at monsters though.)
Anyway, the reason I label Unchained Blades as punishing (so far — based on the Prologue and Chapter 1) is that the difficulty spikes per floor level are insane and also, you have NO WAY of replenishing MP for your skills without resorting to a run back to the inn in the nearest village. Items and equipment are bloody expensive as well although you can make money from selling off materials or products created through fusing materials harvested or mined at various locations around dungeons. The problem is that the tools for getting said materials can be expensive too. 9___9
You’re pretty much doomed to grind and grind and grind until you have enough money to get better weapons & armor and enough levels to have beefy characters to survive the higher floors in dungeons.
On top of this, you have to do some monster hunting and capturing — and I emphasize HAVE TO as certain skills are only available to you if you have certain elements at your disposal. You see, each monster has some sort of elemental affinity known as Anima. Some of them have more than one too which is all fine and dandy until you realize that you have to level up your character’s charisma stat to gain enough capacity points so you can actually attach the needed monster to the character.
Capturing monsters, known as Unchaining, can be a chore since you have to whittle their HP (hitpoints) down below the halfway mark and it seems to be random meaning that you won’t be able to unchain every single creature you come across right off the bat. However, all creatures are DIFFERENT in terms of the HP amount that will trigger the Unchain option. Sometimes, you can get them once the HP reach 50% while others can be as low as 10% (like the HP bar is nearly empty). Dragging on battles is pretty much the only way to get an Unchain at times as you have to carefully chip away at an enemy’s health to make sure you don’t outright kill it.
To wrap this up, here’s someone that wrote a post that pretty much sums up my feelings about the game so far: