Unchained Blades Hits PSN Today, Is it the PSP RPG for You?

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Unchained Blades Hits PSN Today, Is it the PSP RPG for You?

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… a guy with unusually long hair falling out of the sky and crashing head-first into a temple. Oops. This is how you’ll be introduced to everyone’s favorite Dragon. In short, Emperor Fang is an arrogant jerk who goes to a heavenly temple in the skies and demands that the creator of the world, Goddess Clunea, find him the strongest guy in the world so he can kick more ass and take more names. She basically laughs in his face and smacks him down to earth in a weakened state. Now that he’s a ‘fledgling’, a child-beast in the form of a humanoid teen, he’s forced to go through living temples called Titans to find the Goddess again and get his revenge.

Unchained Blades for PSP

After 300+ hours of time spent with the game, I feel I might have the qualifications to give it a score of badass/10. Which means 11. Maybe 11.5. But since I can’t actually score games I’ve worked on (some people might call that cheating), just remember the part where I started yelling at the screen because my favorite character, who is a Golem, started crushing on a loli Mandrake (this is actually a lot less creepy in context… okay, it’s kind of creepy in context too).

As someone who isn’t normally into dungeon crawlers, I wasn’t sure what to expect when playing Unchained Blades. I like fighting and I like dungeons, sure, but being a JRPG fan I love having my fully developed cast of characters and an engaging story even more. I’ve just never felt close to the “create your own character” thing. Or maybe I’m just lazy and don’t feel like picking out my mage’s hair color.

Unchained Blades for PSPUnchained Blades for PSP

Luckily, this game gave me the best of both worlds. I had the pleasure of playing with an intimate, animated cast with their own goals, personalities, and relationships. When Tiana, a princess of the Phoenix Clan, proclaimed she wanted to turn into a ‘big, spiky dragon’, I wanted to slap her silly and ask what the hell kind of fantasies she was having involving dragons in the middle of the night. When Demon Clan Sylvie awkwardly avoided conversations concerning her mysterious brother Lucius, I wanted to know what thoughts were hiding in the back of her mind. I wasn’t travelling with faces and stats of my own creation; I was travelling with people who had stories to tell, and I was the one meant to discover them.

Unchained Blades for PSPUnchained Blades for PSP

I was also worried that the combat would get repetitive, since, you know, it’s not a dungeon crawler if you’re not going through endlessly large dungeons and fighting difficult battles. Unchained Blades takes care of this as well by giving you various types of combat to play with. The first type includes traditional turn-based battles, in which you fight using up to four members of your party by blasting enemies with a series of fast, flashy and furious spells and skills. Along with that, you can charm the pants off of your enemies and bring them to your side so they become Followers, ready to either back you up in a fight (in fact, sixteen of these guys can be brought into battle at a time) or take damage in your place. Another type includes battles where your party is kicked to the curb and your Followers take the stage, fighting in battles presented by pressing a series of buttons on queue. Think DDR, only you’re dancing with your fingers and you might be a lizard instead.

The fully-fledged (get it? Because kids in the game are called fledglings hah) title Unchained Blades hits PSN today for a mere $29.99. Don’t complain, I got like 80 hours out of this game my first time around, not including side quests and a certain epilogue involving a 100-floor tower. Let’s see if you’re strong enough to meet with the Goddess and have a wish or two granted at the end. I bet you’re not. Go on. Prove me wrong.

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14 Author Replies

  • looks good, i’m glad the PSP is being supported, its a great system. As for Vita support ….. I want games made for the Vita from the ground up. Having psp games on the Vita is a great feature, but they dont stack up to games made for the Vita.

  • @48. Incorrect. I have both Gungir and Unchained Blades sitting on my PS3 HDD. A little education for you. There are TWO stages to PSP> Vita certification. The first, flags the game so it can be xfered from a PS3 to a Vita, come the second phase of validation it actually appears on an updated Vita store menu.

    Neither Gungir nor Unchained Blades can be played on the Vita, not through tranfer via a PS3, not through being downloaded from the store. Not at all. Capiche?

  • I ve been a Sony fan boy since the deal to integrate the PlayStation with SNES. But these days it seems like they dont care about the Consumer at ALL.. I bought the stupid PlayStation phone on day one and let me tell you it was a waste. I thought I would be redeemed with the purchase of the Vita in my girlfriend eye but she is sitting here laughing at me now. I just want to say thank you to Xseed and all the other developers out there that remember driving force behind the Video game business. Who listen and cater to us THANK YOU

  • This looks like 7th Dragon 2020 for PSP!
    Any chance it coming stateside Exceed?

    How is our Black Rock Shooter THE GAME coming along Exceed?

  • @52 wow thats weird? the japanese version works fine on the vita? Maybe Xseed an atlus did something to the game that’s got it playing up Or maybe it’s something on Sony’s end. The PS3’s just had an update maybe thats got something to do with it.

    Problems do happen but Atlus and Xseed are always pretty quick at sorting them out. Im in the UK so your lucky it’s out. Capiche?

  • The good thing about PSP releases is that its also can be compatible with the PS Vita if Sony so decides.- Up scaled and filtered to make it look awesome on the OLED screen

    This will tide me over until EXXIV!


  • @Coolworlds. Its not weird, its SCEA’s approval process, which I just explained step by step. Japan’s PSP digital store is LEAGUES beyond SCEA or SCEE. The problem is that full digital PSN PSP compatibility with the Vita was promised when the device was first announced, reiterated by Yoshida in several interviews and has since been whittled down and run over with redacted ink to the point where “some” titles will be available and/ or compatible. Its not cool to throw around consumer trust, capiche?

    And this is out of XSEED and Atlus’ hands mostly, all they can do is nag – its up to Sony to approve. Altus staff contacted SCEA the day after Gungir went live and its been two weeks since then.

  • @Christian399 okay 2 weeks is taking the mick just a bit. Still it came out a year ago in japan i think i can wait a bit more to play it on my VITA in english. Some titles i’ve been waiting for years+ to come out and im still waiting. Heck im still super annoyed at sega over removing Phantasy star portable 2 after it was on psn EU for 2 months ( i sooo wanted to play that! )

    I know it seems like they’re whittling features down, but we are also getting PS1 games now with added support and the system just keeps better the longer i’ve had it. I do feel bad for guy’s that have bought it and can’t play it on their VIta’s though. I keep looking at all the awesome titles out in japan at the moment or about to come out and all i can think is wow that’ll be cool if i get to play it… eventually.

  • @sackboygundam, XSeed is not in charge of the localization (if it’s still going on really) of BRS: The Game. That’s NISA~.

    In regards to the price, I don’t know what are some of you reading but most new digital games for the PSP go for that price. Gungnir is, right now, listed for that price. I think it’s quite unfair to complain about the price when every other new digital release goes for the same. Not to mention, XSeed did take their chances bringing overseas a title belonging to a genre that, at best, can be considered niche~.

    I’ll admit that initially I was a bit put off by the price; but that’s mostly my bias towards digital releases. I’ll absolutely get this within a month with or without Vita support just to support XSeed. And all in all, thank you XSeed not only for delivering new games but also for doing so for less popular platforms such as the PSP~.

  • I would buy this in a heartbeat if I could play it on my Vita =(

  • Yay! I’ve been waiting for this game for a while now! * goes to psn store* Thanks XSEED!

  • Xseed U have become a valuable team for me since u are the reason we are getting Ragnarok Odyssey! LOVE U 4 THAT!

  • BTW y no word about Ragnarok odyssey on the ps blog? when is it coming out? GameStop pre-order list says its coming on august 8…. any real indication? Its one of my most have games and im dying to get my hands on it.

    • August 8th is a placeholder date from Gamestop. We’re still holding for a “Summer 2012” release date, but we’ll give more news when we’re all set to go!

  • Is SCEA being lame about PSP games because they’re scared of someone finding a code that’s vulnerable to homebrew or modding or whatever again? Whatever it is, it’s crap when Europe or Japan already flags a game to be transferable from PS3 to Vita and we keep dragging our feet over here.

  • why all the jRPG keep going to handheld systems?

    PS3 needs more jRPG.

  • you got 80 hrs you say. Well quality over quantity, but hats off to still making software for PSP

    • Yup! There’s a lot of gameplay to be had. We’re estimating between 60-80 hours to be safe, but I did a straight playthrough that lasted 80 on the dot!

  • Just love the way you guys at XSEED communicate. So sincere, sharp wit, yet still pro. Props for that preemptive price-whine cut.

  • I’d be all over this if it weren’t for the goddess stuff in the game.

    • Hm? Would you mind expanding further on that thought? I can give you my personal input on any concerns you might have.

  • Now what i’ve thought which would be a excellent idea is why can’t this be on the Ps Vita as well.

  • i wanrt this badly but after using the vita, going back to the psp is just not possible

  • i see it a sony problem with psp titles working on the vita and not the developer fault i always wonder that. too bad in this day and age the psp died in the west years ago. i love the psp but sony had made too many mistakes only to make the same mistake with vita. the problem was the psp had was that its software mainly gear toward the eastern world at launch and the same mistake had been done with vita in reversed. now its the titles seem to b geared to the western audience at launch instead of a global launch . its time to kill off the psp if the vita is to succeed all theses psp games could had help the vita in terms of sells. ex. final fantasy type zero would had sold vita to a global audience it .what is wrong with the people at sony.

  • I bought this game even though i don’t usually like dungeon crawler.
    I thought since it was released by Xseed that it would be funa bit at least, but after 2 hours all i can say is it was a waste of money.

  • Hey is this thing compatible with the Vita… JUST kidding I can read.

  • All the PSP bashing comments here are a real shame. It’s still a great system. Let’s encourage it to live for as long as possible! I understand wanting PSP games to be playable on Vita, but why wish for the death of a great system? I, for one, will be buying NBA 2K13 on PSP later this year to show my support.

    Buy the component cables and leave your PSP hooked up to a TV as a console permanently. Take it on vacation like I do. Most hotels have TVs with component hookups meaning you can play timeless games like Buzz, Monopoly, or Scrabble with a room full of people without having to lug a console around. In other words, I like TV output on devices that are clearly capable of handling it, and won’t upgrade to a Vita until Sony releases a revision with that feature.

    Keep in mind, fickle ones, Vita’s problem in NA is in no way related to people buying too many PSPs. It has more to do with the completely botched launch, marketing, price point, and nickel and diming people for every last thing. Putting a different end on a USB cable just to make people buy the Sony-branded one is really an indefensible form of greed. At least they were generous with the standard headphone jack, so we don’t have to buy official Vita headphones!

  • @74 the psp is taking away from the vita library . final fan asy type zero could had been a system sellers on vita. the sooner the psp died the faster the vita library will grow.

  • also i believe the price was right for the system. i give u the marketing is a problem and far as nickel and diming that wouldn’t effect the sales as much since the avg person wouldn’t have known the prices to each part

  • Long Live PSP.
    VITA compatibility would have been nice, but I’ve no problem playing it on PSP.
    The only PSP games I absolutely must play on VITA is the ones we have to control the camera with the directional Pad.

  • @ 75-76 – With obscure titles like Gungnir and Unchained Blades, both niche japanese games, being among the sparse NA releases the last couple of months, PSP is hardly taking away from the Vita library. Barely anyone is making PSP games today! What an ill-informed theory! Most developers are choosing to skip both PSP and Vita outright in NA, due to the PSP’s piracy-filled vastly dwindled English-speaking audience and Vita being near-DOA at launch. A game such as FF0 would not magically save the Vita in the US.

    Also, I can barely make out your point with all that unintelligible grammar and spelling. Use “affect” with an “a” as a verb and “effect” with an “e” as a noun.

    Long live PSP!

  • So is this like Wizardry/Legend of Grimrock? As in you never get to see your characters’ bodies during combat?

  • Is this compatible with Vita?

  • Sadly if this doesnt work on VITA then theres no reason to buy it…
    I didnt get a new portable console just to go back to my old one…

    I love XSEED and I will buy this game only if it ever becomes compatible with the vita

  • I think it well be for vita as well cause a lot games for the psp can be played on the vita. I’m waiting for they update the vita for ps1 games as well.

  • @78 u seem to be ghe one who had ill info . i talking about on a global Level we lost final fantasy type zero . we not getting the new digimon . we nt getting prinny 3 . we havent gotten a gundam game because they all in development for the psp these titles could very well drive the sale of the vita in japan. Drive sales up and more games would be coming to vita .

  • I think most of you are getting the wrong idea. The problem here isn’t the PSP, the problem here is the very limited backward compatibility Sony is offering. Do not take this comment as bashing either, at most is constructive criticism. If the Vita would have full backwards compatibility then more people would consider buying a Vita instead of sticking to a PSP. But as things stand now where new games (the few that are still being released in the West anyway) aren’t certified to be played on the Vita, you can’t help but feel that you have only half a feature. It’s in Sony’s best interest to find a way of providing full backwards compatibility with the PSP PSN store so that people can get the most out of their PS Vitas~.

  • oh sweet got my money and will buy this for sure

  • I have a PSP still but I would really love to hear this game playing on my VITA. It would be a shame to backstep one system after buying the newest $250 one. Hopefully we have some good sightings by the next ps store update. Either way though, thanks for working hard to make amazing games XSEED!!!! That’s why you’re among my favorite companies! Keep up the good work.

  • Xseed is one of those special game companies that not only shows great love in their products, but shows great love for the fans! Thanks to them we have received many JRPGs that would never have seen the light of day over here. Now if only we could get more tales of heroes, we’d be set!

  • to sidestep the psp needing to died comment . i would love to say xseed thanks you for the years of great gaming experiences we have gotten from you guys..

  • i haven’t touched my psp in over 2years nor do I own a vita for that matter. But after reading this and getting interested enough to check out some videos (thank you MoogleTheDarkKnight) I’m going to go ahead and dust off my psp and give it a try. Its been too long since i played a jrpg like this and not like this, it looks very unique.

  • bring to vita!!!! that is all

  • o also Ragnarok Odyssey :’) i love you guys for being the ones to localize it.. Must have game for my baby vita “summer 2012” makes me so happy its almost here

  • No dual audio = no buying, thanks for nothing Xseed….

  • You should also consider a Shadow Hearts HD collection.

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