Welcome back to another installment of SRC Scenario Round-Up, where we bring your attention to the most interesting fan-made scenarios for this SRPG engine. (If you have no idea what SRC is or need a refresher, go here)
The previous installments of these posts tended to split itself on a variety of creators, but for this one, we will be looking at the works of 米屋, a talented scenario designer with a heavy focus on Toku-like scenarios compared to the usual Mecha fare.
米屋’s first scenario is a crossover that mainly focuses on two series – Kamen Rider Ryuki and Blade (parts of both words making up the name of the scenario) and in fact begins by offering you a choice of which series to begin with at the start similar to how regular SRW games would offer you a choice of main character.
In this case though, rather than making a choice and sticking with it until a New Game+, the scenario is designed around playing both up to the point where they eventually connect. The game encourages to alternative between both viewpoints, such as placing most Equipment drops in one branch while offering much more money drops for unit upgrades in the other, with characters being able to share items and moneys from both sides.
Outside of the unique plot progression structure, while the gameplay doesn’t take too many liberties from regular SRW gameplay, it boasts very strong itemization compared to the usual SRW fare.
For example, rather than items with simple number boosts, there are a wide variety of useful equippable weapons and accessories – for example, the pair of “Slow Start” and Rocket Start” items, where the former penalizes your stats until you reach the maximum Morale where you turn into a powerhouse while the latter gives you massive stat boosts at the cost of setting a cap on your maximum Morale and slowly draining your energy – eventually leaving you helpless if you don’t finish the battle swiftly and decisively.
Another example are the “Muffler” items – which provide an interesting combination of special properties to specific elements (e.g Red Muffler and Fire Attacks) with a resistance.
While the two Kamen Rider series play a big part in the plot, the story takes a surprising turn in its final moments, leading to…
Having found his footing, 米屋 finally kicks his creativity into overdrive – while the sequel to 蒼龍剣Ｚ still retains a focus on Kamen Rider with the inclusion of more series such as Agito, ZO and Kabuto, it also mixes in an eclectic combination of series such as Powerpuff Girls Z, Touhou Project and Rockman to provide an interesting outcome.
Many standard game mechanics of SRW has been tweaked just for this scenario – for example, most Spirit Commands received a rebalance and you will now have to think about using them more carefully rather than simply spamming them every turn. There are also a variety of new ones, especially certain expensive new Spirits that have the gimmick of lasting until the end of the level instead of only one turn.
Once again, itemization plays a very important part in the gameplay – 近江英雄伝説 brings in the concept of Battle Masteries, where beating the stage under a certain time limit will reward you for good play – in this case, a “Coin of Fate” for every one earned.
These coins are tradeable at the Kourindou shop for a wide variety of items – thus offering you freeform itemization of your characters compared to the previous scenario where items would be doled out by storyline progression.
In addition, the items of the previous scenario reappear as secret items with tweaks – for example, the elemental “Mufflers” are now joined by “Emblem” items and reworked – the former now includes a weakness to go along with its advantages but makes up for it by providing special abilities (such as reducing the cost of Spirit Commands) and a unique attack for each one, while the Emblem item provides you with an elemental resistance and changes all your attacks to the corresponding element – thus making a combination of these item a potential strong 1-2 combo.
There is however one drawback to this scenario – the difficulty level. This scenario is aimed at “Expert level” players and thus requires very tight strategizing, planning and Japanese comprehension (in order to read important special abilities and so on). However, if a challenge is what you seek, you’ll definitely find it here in spades.
Well, I suppose the other drawback is that this scenario was meant to have sequels. While the main arc around Kamen Rider ZO is resolved, it ends with an ending sequence that sets up the expectation for more… but just like Giant Robo, the author has expressed the sentiment that he is unable to finish it, and thus the story ends on only the 2nd arc…
From here on, 米屋 would move on to do “original” material rather than crossovers with licensed materials starting with Life Joker.
Life Joker takes some of its underlying mechanics from 近江英雄伝説 but is an overall more linear experience. It introduces a “Fire Emblem”-like ranking system where a player is ranked on certain aspects of his strategy such as Turns Taken, Damage Taken/Units Lost, and fulfilling special stage objectives which allows you to challenge yourself to achieve the highest rank per stage.
The scenario is once again incomplete, though it still has a good 20 stages or so to play which is still a decent portion to consume.
Overall though, it does feel like this scenario is mostly just a warm-up to…
Currently on-going, Shadow Slayers Chi is an Urban Fantasy Japanese Supers genre scenario featuring many new mechanics to shake up the standard SRW gameplay.
SSC character development involves a mini-talent tree system – whenever you Rank Up a character, you get to choose from one of 3 special abilities per tier that will likely end up cementing your playstyle for that character – whether it be through access to new attacks or passives.
Potentially inspired by the SaGa series, each character has a certain amount of “Life Points” available to them – instead of focusing on a large number of deployed characters, SSC’s battles tend to involve a smaller amount of playable characters instead and thus making the survival of each one important.
Thus, LPs can be spent to revive characters who are knocked down, allowing them to continue the battle. They can also be spent on other effects such as curing Status Ailments or providing a 1-time 100% hit bonus.
But of course, in order to prevent flagrant abuse, overusing LP points lowers your battle ranking score at the end of the level, a system carried over from Life Joker – which allows the player to control his own challenge setting depending on how much he cares about bragging rights.
With the emphasis on a small, elite group of individuals taking on a horde of monsters, SSC has a partner system which allows you to pair up two characters together, granting them stat bonuses when within close proximity of each other, additional attacks and finally, a special “Double Spirit” similar to the one in SRW: Original Generations which uses up SP from both characters to cast.
Each character is balanced in a way that rotating partnership is the order of the day depending on the battle, and exploring the possible set-ups are interesting.
And that’s it for this installment! As usual, if you have any suggestions on SRC scenarios for me to look into and feature, feel free to leave a comment