Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden Review (eShop Conversion)

Voice Rating of Cards: Beasts of the Burden - Screenshot 1/6
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Unattached)

Fun fact: at this time last year, we only learned of the existence of Voice of Cards: Isle Dragon Roars. Not only that game and its sequel—Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden—Results since then, but now we’ve got another sequel in Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden. As you might expect, this latest entry is largely cut from the same fabric as its predecessors, but with some meaningful knots and knots here and there that help give it a personality. its.

The Beasts of Burden tells the story of a girl named Al’e (by default, you can name her whatever you want) who dreams of one day seeing the stars. Al’e lives in an underground village besieged by frequent monster attacks, which are slowly destroying their limited supply and the remaining inhabitants. Al’e is a fairly capable warrior, but while she is fending off another horde of monsters, another group of monsters tries to sneak into the village and kill everyone there. Grieving the loss of his mother and friends, Al’e is later attacked by a mysterious boy who wants to help. There, she learns that she holds a special power that allows her to control monsters to do her bidding. Armed with this newfound ability and aided by a new ally, Al’e embarks on a quest for revenge against those behind the incident that destroyed her home.

Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden Review - Screenshot 2/6
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Notably, The Beasts of Burden has a darker tone than its predecessors. This is a story about people whose lives have been ruined by monsters and the burning hatred they harbor as a result of their trauma. Even so, this is still not necessarily the same as a heavy stories; There are still plenty of compelling moments to be found throughout as your band travels across the wasteland. In many ways, this story feels more episodic than its predecessors. You don’t start with a well-defined mission objective like slaying a dragon or helping an amnesiac girl regain her memory this time, but this works in favor of The Beasts of Burden. Whether you’re searching for the missing members of the circus in the desert or tracking down a legendary monster lurking on the other side of the lake of fire, each chapter feels like a meaningful contribution. for your team’s character development.

It’s also worth reiterating that the narrator has been turned on again, this time featuring a first female Game Master. Carin Gilfry did a great job at setting the mood, infusing the story with her own personality, feeling somewhere in between the two previous GMs in terms of energy. She’s a little more serious than Mark Atherlay, but also a bit more playful than Todd Haberkorn, as evidenced by little things like her exclamation when you get a fatal hit or the way she compliment Al’e when she gets a new outfit. We felt that she delivered a powerful performance like her predecessors, drawing us into the story in a way that helped spark the imagination to fill in the gaps between all the cards. static.

Voice Rating of Cards: Beasts of the Burden - Screenshot 3/6
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Beasts of Burden follows the same basic pattern of the previous two games, which means it’s a relatively simple JRPG armed with a lot of cards. The Overworld is a series of cards that are placed face down and you can only see what’s on the reverse by moving your totem – representing your party – to the next adjacent card. There’s something oddly fascinating about slowly exploring the layout of a new area, as you never know what you might find right in front of your eyes. That face-down card could be just another wall, or there could be a treasure chest or a secret cave there. And while it can be a bit slow to map out a new area, your ability to quickly jump to any previously flipped card means you don’t have to go back and forth through long fields or wastelands over and over again. .

The underworld here often feels a bit more pulled and focused than the open seas of The Forsaken Maiden, and the same goes for the dungeons, but we felt that the focus on more linear and tight environment in favor of The Beasts of Burden. Only when you get to the point where a certain area feels a bit stale will you come to the end of it. Additionally, a more focused approach allows for better puzzle design and environmental gimmicks. For example, a dungeon is a bit more like a maze and consists of a series of rooms connected by darts; Progress is made by finding new mines and moving on to unlock new tracks. You’ll never find any gimmicks or puzzles that are overly combative, but we felt this area was a bit more interesting than the previous two entries.

Card Voice Rating: Beasts of the Burden - Screenshot 4/6
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

This is an old fashioned JRPG, it won’t take you long to get into a random encounter while out and about. Here, things work out the way you’d expect of a traditional turn-based combat system, though with an interesting caveat that ‘mana’ is shared by your party in a shared pool. Everyone will generate at least one gem at the start of their turn, and any card other than your basic item, defense, or attack will cost you gems to mint. Planning your turn a little in advance is necessary as you must consider that using a particular attack or skill with a character could mean that the next time there will not be enough gems to use them.

All in all, it seems that the difficulty level here is pretty low, but boss fights can definitely cause some noticeable resistance and face higher level enemies when you get to a new area for sure. will motivate your team a little more. While it is still desirable that the enemy push you a little further, it is hard to argue that the current difficulty is not perfect for the cozy, warm atmosphere being created here. The Beasts of Burden is by no means a game to stress you out (aside from the slightly intense boss fights), and it does an excellent job at providing just enough resistance to maintain its appeal. lead during a ten to fifteen hour run.

The Beasts of Burden’s new title feature is its monster capture system, which adds a level of depth to your character-building and combat options. Basically, every enemy you fight — including bosses — can be subdued by Al’e and turned into a card that can be equipped to any of your characters. Each card has a unique and useful action, such as a powerful elemental attack or a defensive attack if you get a certain roll of the dice, and each character can have max. up to four of them are equipped at the same time. Furthermore, each card has a star rating of one to five, with higher ranks of the same card having stronger versions of that card’s effect.

Voice Rating of Cards: Beasts of the Burden - Screenshot 5/6
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Get new enemy cards based on random chance; you are sometimes given an option after the battle to choose a treasure chest card, and one of these options usually has a new enemy card in it. While some may not enjoy this catcher randomness, we feel that the new cards are split at a well-measured rate and you can always buy consumables to enhance or guarantee your chance of getting a treasure chest selection after the war is over. You don’t need to crush these cards unless you’re looking for higher ranks of specific cards and even then it doesn’t seem to take too long until you get what you’re looking for. search.

We think this monster taming mechanic adds a lot to The Beasts of Burden’s combat system, as this now delivers a soft tier system for tried and tested turn-based battles. effectively. Tweaking your character’s stats with gear and then pairing them with monster cards makes the best of those changes giving you plenty of room to experiment with party composition. Additionally, the ability to upgrade these cards by collecting better ranked versions of them adds a distinct form of leveling beyond the rote leveling system. It’s not a radical re-creation of the combat system we’ve seen in three games now, but it does feel like a meaningful evolution of what came before.

If you want to pause your quest, Game Parlor is back again to give you a more traditional card game that acts as a nice distraction from the main plot. Here, the goal is to take turns trying to create similar pairs and sets of cards to give yourself more points, while also doing so in a way that doesn’t give your enemies too much of a chance to get through. friend. Like many traditional card games, it has a great combination of skill and luck to win, and you can also choose to add special rules like card skills and random events. if you want a little more flavor. It’s fun whether you’re playing against the AI ​​or with someone on the couch next to you, and winning the Game Parlor also gives you nice cosmetic rewards like new card backs.

Card Voice Review: Beasts of the Burden - Screenshot 6/6
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

In terms of presentation, The Beasts of Burden follows in the footsteps of its predecessors when creatively expressing the entire fantasy world through cards. Kimihiko Fujisaka’s character designs for all the card art are as excellent as ever, while elements like the underworld card are laid out on an old wooden table or a separate felt-lined tray The special included for the ‘battle screen’ makes all this in the real world as if you were sitting in a flaming pub somewhere across from a GM reading the cards as they recounted everything. rank. We also appreciate all the little details around cards to help instill them with a little more magic. For example, in their intro, most mini-bosses will shake the entire screen and create an energy shock wave when their card hits the table, which really puts these enemies on hold. cross-section on conventional forage.

The soundtrack, once again directed by Keiichi Okabe, Oliver Good and Shotaro Seo, does an outstanding job of mixing sad bass piano notes and relaxing sequences to provide a relaxing atmosphere. remarkable. The music has an almost sleepy quality, but it pairs perfectly with the soothing narration, warm lighting, and generally slow-paced gameplay. This is definitely a game that we recommend playing with headphones in handheld mode, if you can, if you can, you can easily absorb some of the subtleties in these tracks.

In case you haven’t gathered from everything so far, The Beasts of Burden is quite similar to its two predecessors. If you’re not attracted to either of those, or you feel like you’ve enjoyed playing one or both, The Beasts of Burden certainly won’t change your mind. At the bottom, it’s still a pretty short and simple JRPG that doesn’t have much of a chance with its mechanics. However, we think The Beasts of Burden is the best example of the Voice of Cards concept. The world design has a tighter feel to it, the monster capture only provides a little more depth to the battle, and overall it feels like the developers have delved deeper into what they’re trying to accomplish. with these games.

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