August 8, 2014 8:40 AM | Lena LeRay
As a fan of the turn-based strategy RPG genre, I walked into Rime Berta with a lot of experience under my belt. That turned out to be a good thing, because the game doesn't bother with things like tutorials. It sticks to genre conventions, making it easy to pick up if you already know how these games work, but it offers a couple of surprises. The first of those was that I lost the second battle and the second was that when I retreated from that battle, I got to keep all the experience my units had gained in the fight. Japanese developer NEXT-SOFT+ made Rime Berta to be a challenge for fans of the genre and they have succeeded.
At the beginning of the game, the player is told of a tower. A long time ago, the people dwelling within created a "hallows" which had wish-granting powers. Once word of that got out, people started coming around trying to obtain it, so some of the people left the tower and settled at its base to protect it. Recently, the people of the town have been hit by a terrible sickness, and now one girl, Livia, is venturing into the tower to try and get her hands on the "hallows" of legend and save the people she grew up with.
Once Livia gets into the tower, she runs into an autonomous puppet who agrees to fight for her in exchange for getting to go past the tower guardians and see what's farther along. Affi, the puppet, thus becomes one of the player's first units in the game. Others offer to join the party after a battle ends.
There are actually three levels of difficulty in the game, with the normal difficulty being the one that handed me a defeat almost immediately. The easy difficulty is much easier, but the lack of a tutorial still makes Rime Berta a sub-optimal game for those seeking to get into the genre. One nice feature is that the difficulty setting can be changed in between battles once a game has been started, so there is some flexibility. The fact that you can lose a battle or quit it early and still retain all experience gains, though, makes it fun to level rather than frustrating. You can try different tactics, see how they play out, and still come out with something for the time put in.
Aside from changing difficulty on the fly, there are a couple of other nice options in the game. The full Japanese version of the game is available from the title options menu, and both the English and Japanese versions of the game have Japanese voice acting which can be enabled and disabled. Some options must be set from the game launcher, though, including resolution (which is capped at 1280 x 800), enabling gamepad controls, and connecting one's Twitter account to the game for 1-button quick sharing of screenshots.
If you already enjoy this kind of game, Rime Berta is likely to be right up your alley. If you don't like this kind of game or haven't tried any of this kind of game before, you might not want to get it. Its regular price (which includes the 22-track soundtrack) is 14.99, but it's currently on sale for $11.99 as a lunch discount. Right now it's only available via Playism, with no announcements made about later releases on other platforms.