Title: Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs
Platform: PC (reviewed)
Developer: Pixelated Milk
Release date: Out now
Tl;Dr: A fresh, loving homage to classic JRPGs
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It needs to be said that JRPGs are not necessarily my thing, I have tried multiple games and series and, for the most part, I don’t enjoy them, although there has been one or two that really caught my attention, and my time with them has always been a good one. Although not a JRPG at all, being made in Poland, Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs a wonderful love letter to classic old games of this genre; I also have to say that I really liked it! I mean really liked it!
The game starts you off easy, so to speak. You are Kay, a young noble boy with incredible hair, who, on his father’s death, is told that he is suddenly a king of an ancient city, and that it is his job to bring it back to it’s former glory. It’s a simple enough premise, made even more interesting by the fact that at the same time, you will need to pay off the country’s countless debts, as the tax man has finally come to collect his due.
You are not alone, however, as throughout your journey, you will amass a large collective of unique and lively characters, each of which has their own personal agenda to fulfil. I have to say, the characters are well written and memorable, who each have their own distinct personality, as well as likes and dislikes. I do like the effort that was put into ensuring the characters were as likeable as possible.
One thing that helped this was the voice acting, as every character in game has some. For the most part, it’s great; the voices match the faces, and really help to accentuate the characters’ personality. But there are a few little bits that really threw me out of my beloved immersion. One of two characters just seem to be phoning it in; it really jars to have some wonderfully voiced character talking whimsically about this new event, and then to have just the most disinterested voice actor muddying through a gasp of excitement.
There also seems to be some issues with translation. It’s nothing too major but sometimes what is shown on screen and what the characters are actually saying can be different things. As I said, it isn’t anything too nasty, but it can be confusing when a character says “Three months,” but the subtitles proudly reveal it is actually two.
I do really like this game; the characters are wonderful, the world is believable, and despite me not really being a fan of this particular genre, the combat is one of the areas where Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs really shines! It combines the tried and true turn-based systems that make up RPGs of old, and mixes it with systems used in more modern RPGs. I have to say it really gets me; it’s that kind of combat I long for in a strategic RPG, I plan where I place my characters before I unleash hell on all who oppose me, it’s fun!
Also I know I haven’t spoken much about the characters, but that’s because I want to reserve a few paragraphs for them! I mean, seriously, they are just so lovable. What really helps them is the way they are presented not just with the voice acting, which as I said can be hit or miss, but also with the humour lovingly written into the dialogue. There is a particular moment that sticks out for me; a ghost calls out to “that one with the funny hair,” it floored me, I adore self-referential humour and this game is just so full of it. I can’t sing the praises enough for whoever wrote the dialogue in this game, it just ticks all the boxes for me!
Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs is just the kind of game I have been looking for for quite a while. While an obvious love letter to JRPGs of old, it shakes off a lot of the cobwebs that the genre can sometimes hold, and brings a game that is just full of life, fun and replayablility. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play it again!
- Intuitive combat
- Laugh out loud humor
- 4th wall breaks!
- Town management flounders a little
- Voice acting is hit and miss
- I can’t think of a third reason (it’s really good)
Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs is rated PEGI12/ESRB Unrated as of writing, there is mild language used throughout the game and of course a bit of violence.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review copy of the game provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.