After releasing on PC earlier this year publisher Playism and Japanese developer Grayfax Software have now brought their JRPG game Orangeblood over to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. I got the opportunity to review it on PlayStation 4 so if you’re a fan of JRPGs let me tell you whether this one should be on your radar or not.
Orangeblood takes place in a city called New Koza which in this world is on an island just off the coast of Okinawa. New Koza has a very futuristic/cyberpunk look to it with flying cars, shady gangs, hip hop music, and more all setting the scene. With the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 almost here this game’s setting was just what I needed to help tide me over. The story in the game follows a girl named Vanilla who has been hired out of prison to take down some gangs in the city. She can’t do it alone though so she’ll be teaming up with three other girls to get the job done. The game is presented from a top-down viewpoint and you’re free to explore the city but is isn’t easy. The map isn’t very helpful as it barely shows anything in terms of where to go. It was really up to me to memorize a lot of things in order to know my way around.
Enemies in the game appear in the overworld and when you run into them you are thrown into some good old-fashioned turn-based combat. If you’ve played any other JRPG with this style of battle system then you’ll know exactly what to expect here. Battles in the game start off pretty easy but they do get tougher and require more thought as you progress. Each of the girls in this game attacks using guns such as shotguns, assault rifles, SMGs, sniper rifles, and so on. Each of them has their pros and cons in how much damage they do and how often you can attack with them so see what works best for you. I liked using the assault rifles and sniper rifles the best as one does a ton of damage while the other allows you to attack in longer bursts.
Something to keep in mind though is that each gun’s ammo is tied to an AP system in the game. What happens here is that every time you shoot your AP goes down until it hits zero. At that point your gun reloads but during this time your character becomes more vulnerable. Because of this it’s best to do the reload manually. Guns can also have different elemental damage types applied to them and enemies are weak to different ones. During battles you can analyze your foes to see which types they are vulnerable to letting you pick the most effective attack to hit them with. Another element in battle is the skills system. Anytime you land attacks in battle you’ll build up skill points and when you have enough you can spend them to grant buffs to your attack output, health, bonuses for your whole party and more.
The battles in the game were fine but they didn’t really do anything new to stand out to me. I also felt like I was constantly being thrown into them at times with just one fight happening after another which got a bit tiresome. Something else that got a bit tiresome was the dialog which comes across as too edgy just for the sake of it. There is a lot of mature language in this game so keep this JRPG away from the kids. I don’t have a problem with that on principle but when it’s constantly being said it gets very irritating quickly to me. The style of the game is really good though with some great pixel art graphics and a catchy hip hop soundtrack to accompany it.
Orangeblood is by no means a must-play JRPG but it does have some redeeming qualities. The look and sound of it are the best parts and while the combat system didn’t impress me it worked well enough for me to see it through. It’s really too bad that the story and dialog weren’t better otherwise I could more highly recommend this one.
*Orangeblood is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.