Published on December 5th, 2014 | by James Coles
Tears of Tiara II Heir to the Overlord PS3 Review
Summary: Overall Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord is a solid entry in the JRPG genre and worth a visit if you’re a fan of games of this type of ilk
Tears of Tiara II: Heir to Overlord
Primary Format – Games – Playstation 3
Game Genre – Role Playing Game
Distributor – Namco Bandai
Developer – AquaPlus
Rating – M
Reviewer – James Coles
Developed by AquaPlus and published by ATLUS, Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord is the follow up to Japanese tactical role-playing game Tears to Tiara, originally released in 2005 for the PC, and again three years later on the PS3. The original was never released in the west meaning Tears to Tiara II is the first in the series to make an appearance outside of Asia. Bursting with content and a very thorough story, Heir of the Overlord is the latest addition in the Japanese tactical role-playing genre.
The story of Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord begins with the province of Hispania struggling under the evil dominance of the Devine Empire. You take the role of a young boy named Hamil, a hard working boy who suffers day to day in heavy labour. One day, a girl named Tarte appears before Hamil and summons him to bear arms against the Imperial Empire, but Hamil prefers to keep his distance. It’s only when Tarte is kidnapped does Hamil spring into action, and becomes involved in a huge rebellion throughout Hispania against the Devine Empire.
As you would expect in a Japanese RPG, the game consists of a lot of narrative, with cut-scenes aplenty intertwined with turn based combat. If you are familiar with JRPG’s, Heir of the Overlord isn’t going to be something you haven’t seen before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. For one thing, the story is pretty intriguing, and less obscene than many games in its genre.
For example, the recent Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star, also released for PS3 earlier in the year, is a similar game classed in the same genre, but its story was a little more farfetched. However, although the cut scenes are executed in the typical JRPG style, sleekly produced and a pleasure on the eyes, they can go on for an exuberant amount of time.
Any scene in which lasts longer than 30 minutes is usually far too long to be able to hold my attention span, but Heir of the Overlord includes some scenes that run over double that length of time. In essence you could say that it’s good that the developers have been so detailed with the story, but I can’t help but feel a lot of what I was watching didn’t need to be as long as it was.
The combat system isn’t anything new or revolutionary. A host of options are presented to you and with careful thought and sound planning you can go through each fight with relative ease. That’s not to say that difficulty wise, Heir of the Overlord is a breeze, as it most certainly isn’t. On higher difficulty the game can be extremely punishing, but I found that to be a lot more enjoyable as it really emphasised the need to be smart with your combat strategies and tactics. For comparability purposes, think Final Fantasy Tactics and you’ll have a sound understanding of what the battles are like in Heir to the Overlord.
Heir of the Overlord is excellently voiced acted throughout, although there is no English dubbing. Everything in the game is text but that shouldn’t put you off playing the game. Wall after wall of text can be intimidating and a burden to have to sit through and read, but at no point did I feel frustrated having to do it. Graphically, the game is pretty decent.
Vibrant, pulsating colours lavish the screen throughout each narrative, but unfortunately, the game doesn’t utilize the full capabilities of the PS3. The musical score is pleasant, and easily where Heir to the Overlord succeeds the most in terms of overall presentation. Certain melodies throughout the adventure where a pleasure to listen to.
Overall Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord is a solid entry in the JRPG genre and worth a visit if you’re a fan of games of this type of ilk. You won’t find anything new here, and the overly long talking segments may reduce you to tears, but if you have the patience and time, you will have a good experience in the province of Hispania.