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Natural Doctrine Preview

Scheduled release date:
September 16, 2014
NIS America
Kadokawa Games
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
September 23, 2014

For those who appreciate in-depth, turn-based strategy experiences, they’ll be all over Natural Doctrine when it releases for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Vita on September 16.

It was a PS4 launch title for Japan and although review scores weren’t exactly through the roof, we all know that such games are designed specifically for the niche crowd. As such, I see this game as suffering from a potential White Knight Chronicles situation. It caters to a very particular group and that group simply wants the wonderfully intricate gameplay; everything else is secondary.

From what I’ve read, the game is indeed complex…perhaps too complex. There are some import reviews that cite the game’s cumbersome and often confusing interface. However, the game will start with a series of tutorials, and I’m hoping that if you’re a turn-based strategy vet, that’s all you’ll need. If not, trial and error is often part of the experience in this genre. We strategy/RPG buffs typically embrace the opportunity to sit back, plan, and yes, even cogitate. The only problem is that if there’s a distinct lack of direction and we have to struggle through the first few hours, Natural Doctrine might start to feel like a chore.

The good news is that no matter how it starts, once you’ve got a handle on things, you should really be able to give into the turn-based goodness. Each battle presents the player with a lengthy task, and that task could indeed take hours to complete. Some of the longer battles will give you the blessed option of a checkpoint but otherwise, death means starting the whole thing over. This sort of punishing difficulty isn’t common to the genre, believe it or not, so we’ll have to see how the fans respond. Difficult tasks don’t deter this diligent group of gamers, and learning more about a game’s many mechanics and systems is part of the fun. …just don’t overdo it, Kadokawa.