I’m only a few hours into anime RPG Ray Gigant but there’s already one thing about it I enjoy immensely: the battle system.
Like many JRPGs over the past 30 years, Ray Gigant uses a turn-based battle system — however, it’s the little things about this permutation that make it so enjoyable.
At its most basic, it’s reminiscent of the battle system in Xenogears with the overall design style of Etrian Odyssey.
In Xenogears, each party member has an amount of AP to use each turn — with each attack using up a different amount of AP. In Ray Gigant, however, your entire party shares from a communal amount that maxes out at 100 AP. And, unlike in Xenogears, you don’t get your AP fully restored after each round. Instead you only receive a token 5 AP back.
There are two main ways to gain AP: Have one of your three characters spend an entire turn resting (to receive 10 AP) or win the battle quickly. Winning a battle in one turn grants you 25 AP (and 5 less AP on each subsequent turn). Of course, if it takes you more than 25 AP to kill all enemies, you’ll experience a net loss and be even worse off for your next battle.
Moreover, in each dungeon there are monsters of different difficulties roaming about. However, these monsters don’t have stronger or weaker stats depending on the difficulty. Rather, “easy” monsters take half the normal AP to attack while “hard” monsters make your attacks cost double the normal AP.
Because of all the above, AP management is the key to battle in Ray Gigant. Instead of just mashing the attack button mindlessly to get through each battle, you are constantly thinking of the most cost efficient way to move through the dungeons. You are always paying attention to everything from how many hits it takes to kill a specific type of enemy to each enemy’s strength so you know if it is safe to rest a turn and take damage or not.
Of course, if you ever get bored of doing the maths in your head, you can always activate your special power and turn the battle system into a music game.
Ray Gigant was released in Japan for the PlayStation Vita on July 30, 2015. There is currently no word on a Western release.
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