Jeanne d'Arc

Moby ID: 36099
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Description

It is the 15th century, the time of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. A young French girl from the village of Domremy trying to assist her father with his daily labors discovers a mysterious object: an armlet that binds magically on her wrist. Soon the village is being attacked and finding the first sword she can, she steps forth to encounter the enemy, some humanoid beasts. Taking strength from the armlet, hearing a mysterious voice and having for assistance her close friends, she manages to defeat them and embarks on a long quest to help her countrymen and vanquish the evil forces invading France.

Jeanne d'Arc is a turn-based strategy RPG game of the Japanese variety, that fuses medieval history with fantasy and the craziness of Japanese anime. This is a well known story retold through tactical battles one after another, while game dialog along with hand drawn cutscenes twist the story into different territories from the original.

It is a story of teen friendship and dedication, remorseless war, evil magic, unavoidable death, heartache abandonment and purifying hope. Jeanne joins the army and along with 14 other companions with different skills and personalities march to face England's Henry VI's troops. With her are other armlet wielders, able to use them and transform into fearsome warriors able to strike down evil at its core. The game features a map to move through locations where the battles which push the story forward happen along with free stages that add nothing more than fun, strong items and difficult bosses.

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Credits (PSP version)

346 People (315 developers, 31 thanks) · View all

Produced By
Director
Production/Game Design
Scenario Writers
Programming
  • ALGOLAB
Lead Programmer
Main Programmer
Battle System Programmer
Event System Programmer
3D System & Tool
3D System & Menu
Event Scripters
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 49 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 15 ratings with 2 reviews)

Solid Historical-Fantasy Recreation

The Good
Jeanne D'Arc takes the historical story of Joan of Arc and puts it into an alternate reality world where elves and anthropomorphic animals live with humans in 15th century Europe. Even though it's fantasy, for history buffs like me, it was a blast that they took locations and events (even if they fictionalized the actual look and outcome of some of them) from Joan's real life adventures and translated it here.

Squad tactical combat, the heart of this game, is well implemented. All movement/battles take place on a grid of squares, but the real strategy is to arrange your comrades so that they assist each other by performing "Burning Auras" to enhance attacks.

Additionally, some of your teammates have the ability to transform into a more powerful armored warrior/mage/priest, but those are only temporary and of limited use in each battle, so you must be wise in using those at the right moments.

The mission designs are varied and interesting, from basic hack n' slash to escape objectives to escort/protection. The enemy AI is decent -- while not great, it seems to know how to take advantage of its characters' abilities and strategies such flanking your weaker members.

Jeanne has nice mix of characters in her party, from said animals and elves to very lively humans. The band of adventurers gain experience when they deal damage (or cast spells) in combat, but even those not participating gain some after each successful battle so that they do not fall behind.

As with most games in this genre, the other fun part of the game is equipping your team. The system here uses boost gems to grant new abilities (i.e. being able to attack twice or counter-attack during an enemy's turn), boost statistics, or gain spells. It's highly customizable so you can tailor them to your play style. You can also combine gems to create new ones should you not be able to find them in monster drops.

The presentation is top notch in every regard. The look is very clean and while not that advanced in technology, I would say it easily has some of the best graphics in the two dozen or so PSP games I've enjoyed. Art direction is sharp and well integrated, so that the 3D game and the anime movies all are consistent and tight. In fact, I enjoyed the anime so much (and to be honest I'm not a big anime fan), I purchased the new PSP 3000 recently just so I can rewatch it on my TV.

The music is excellent, as is the voice acting. I love the French accents in all the actors/actresses!

The Bad
I have very few complaints about Jeanne. If I did have to name a few, the first that comes to mind is that you have no way to "undo" an action. You can easily activate something inadvertently and while it won't ruin the entire battle, it could be a big setback in terms of not being able to create the correct "Burning Aura" chain or getting the right experience to your character's advancement.

The money implementation is also a bit weak. That is, basically by mid-game you have a huge hoard of gold but nothing to really spend it on as most sellers only sell mediocre equipment, and the more useful pieces need to be won in combat or side quests.

I think the character introductions could also have been spaced out a bit better. Again, by mid-game you have almost the entire party established, so the pace is a bit strained.

The other effect is that some characters never get used as they are outclassed almost immediately by someone new that joined. There's a specific case early in the game where you are introduced to some wonderful new additions, but only a handful of missions later, other characters join that you will definitely use over the those that just joined earlier.

The Bottom Line
This is highly recommended to anyone interested in fantasy squad combat gaming. The story is solid and has a few genuinely good plot twists, and again I will reiterate the tie-ins with history are executed well.

There are approximately 36 missions total, and most battles are worth replaying as the second time around the enemies and equipment to be looted are different, so even though there isn't infinite replay value, there is a lot of game to be enjoyed.

PSP · by grimbergen (433) · 2008

A delicious tactical JRPG

The Good
Jean d'Arc is by far on of the lengthiest games that I have played on PSP. Perhaps this doesn't fit the philosophy of short "fixes" on the handhelds, but it sure gives you a nice sense of accomplishment when the last boss falls.

One of the best things I can remember and that was not covered by blefuscu's excellent review was game's attention to details. For instance, whenever you equip character with a new sword/axe/bow/staff/etc. it is visible in-game in their hands/paws.

The Bad
I did not like the fact that the game introduces some mechanics that last only for couple of missions. One of the characters is, for instance, able to set up ladders. It would be perhaps nice if game allowed you to optionally use ladders on more missions. This way you could then, for example, choose between sneaking behind enemies using ladders or going brute force.

The Bottom Line
Jeanne d'Arc was my introduction to tactical JPRGs and I definitely became a fan of the genre.

PSP · by Rorco Reggz (1) · 2009

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Jeanne d'Arc appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – #4 PSP Game of the Year
    • 2007 – PSP Action Game of the Year

Analytics

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Frankenfed.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added December 6, 2008. Last modified February 22, 2023.