I’m not entirely sure how Battle Chasers: Nightwar [official site] has flown under my radar for so long. It feels like one of those games that has always been just on the periphery of my awareness. I know that it was a respectable success on Kickstarter. I know that it’s a hybrid of ARPG adventuring with JRPG style combat. I know that it’s based on a cult ’90s comic series by Darksiders creative director Joe Madureira, and now I know that it has been released.
I also know (on account of putting it there) that the incredibly ’90s animated intro is just after the jump.
It’s like the intro to the best ’90s action cartoon that never existed, isn’t it? Joe Mad’s ‘Anime is cool, but let’s make it BUFF’ art style is unmistakable, too. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a revival of short-lived comic series Battle Chasers, which ran through the end of the ’90s and hasn’t seen a new issue printed in 16 years. Word from Joe Mad and crew is that the comic will finally get its planned ending in a handful of new issues to be released sometime after the game.
The game itself is a hybrid of isometric action-RPGing as you navigate the overworld, dungeons and their various obstacles and traps. Evading hazards plays out in real time, but when you bump into something nasty that isn’t made of spikes or fire, it switches to a turn-based, JRPG-style combat engine thick with over-the-top attack animations. The official site also mentions that there are randomly generated dungeons, which is always a tempting proposition.
In addition to the original cast of the comic, the game brings adds one more protagonist to the mix, thanks to clearing a major Kickstarter stretch goal; newly designed demon-hunter Alumon, as seen Castlevania’ing it up with his chain-whip in the intro above. I’ve heard broadly positive things about the game, and hope to find some time to give it a proper look sometime in the coming weeks.