Based on the Shachibato! President, It’s Time for Battle! mobile game and anime of the same name, this new SRPG looks to offer a new experience that should put your tactical battling and business management skills to the test. Does it manage to be successful in what it sets out to do? Let’s take a look.
One day when out shopping for some new adventuring gear in preparation for the next expedition, a massive earthquake rumbles throughout the city. Upon stepping out from the rubble, you notice that right where your company office once stood, a mysterious portal has appeared! With no company or office left to work from, you must now delve into the dangerous business of dungeon exploration in order to rescue employees and restore your adventurers business!
Whilst the story does crop up every now & again during your time with the game, it honestly feels as though it takes a back seat to almost everything else once you get past the opening section. Given the way the game is structured with the New Game+ system, this is probably a god send really but does also mean the game can be over with relatively quickly (If you luck out for employees etc. Then around 10 hours is all you need to reach the end)
Outside of the VN styled dialogue sequences, the game takes up a fully 3D outlook when heading out into the dungeons. Characters and enemies are nicely detailed and take on a somewhat chibi look, some stages can even pack in quite a few characters on screen at once for bigger engagements. The stages themselves also sport a lot of variety, and range in quality too, as you battle through lava filed dungeons, desert oasis’s and town squares.
Sure the graphics aren’t much to write home about, but that does at least mean performance should be great for the most part My PC (R51600/16GB/RTX 2080ti) had absolutely no issues with the game unsurprisingly with 4K/60 a breeze, but being able to play on my laptop (Core i7/16GB/R9 M270X) at full HD was a nice sign as that means those with lower hardware can enjoy the game too. The only real issue here tho was the lack of Steam cloud save support so wasn’t able to use the same save and had to have two different saves running on each device.
The game sortof has two aspects to it, the money making dungeon crawling and the business management that comes with that money. Dungeon crawling sees you choose your destination (enemy composition and difficulty varies) and then head into the area to clear of foes and collect loot. If you’ve played the likes of Disgaea before, then you’ll have a rough idea of how these encounters will play out as you move the around the area trying to stay out of range of enemies to hit them first and avoiding traps. Fighting isn’t everything as you’ll need to collect loot, in the form of items or gems to mine, which goes towards your business coffers once expenses are paid at the end of the expedition.
Time and company management forms the other side of the game. Time is probably most crucial really as each task you do can take up a day or so, an expedition takes 3 for example, and there’s only 10 days in between each major battle at the gate. The limited amount of time also plays into how to manage the company as you need money to upgrade employees and facilities but then also need the time to actually implement the upgrades. It’s a balancing act you’ll never feel fully in control of to be honest, with the New Game+ really helping in streamlining your decision making so as not to waste time of something that may inevitably not be of much use.
Shachibato manages to meld both sides of its gameplay together well to create an interesting experience, but the lack of focus on either dungeon crawling or business management means they are relatively simple too. There’s little customisation or intuitive party building to be had on one side, and you’ll generally be managing time more than business – the New Game + mechanic can also make things a little easy on occasion. Still, there’s enough here to enjoy at the right price, and there’s certainly a decent foundation to expand on if the developers stick with this template for a sequel.