Also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows
Empires of Angels IV may be the most recent entry in a series that's been around for nearly 30 years, but most of us in the West had never heard of it before this entry. Don't feel bad; while the series dates back to 1993, this is the first time it's made the jump to consoles, and if I'm not mistaken, the first time it's left China. The best way to describe Empire of Angels is Baby's First Fire Emblem made entirely out of waifus. It's a strategy RPG with (for the most part) really simple mechanics, but literally every character in the entire game is female, and while I could be mistaken, I'm pretty sure the smallest cup size in the game (according or character bios) is C. If it weren't full of fanservice for the sake of fanservice, would it really be EastAsiaSoft?
The story of the game, while nothing special, is perfectly fine. You're soldiers in an empire's army tasked with investigating why people are turning into "Namtars," darkness-touched people who become crazed and violent. From there, you meet a whole cast of waifus with diverse designs, backstories, and abilities, and while the story never gets "gripping" per se, and the ending is a bit lackluster, the interactions between the characters was enough to keep me playing. In the narrative scenes between battles, there's a very nice drawn art style used whereas in battle, a chibi style is used for the characters models that reminds me a bit of a lower effort SD Gundam except with boobs instead of robots. The whole game looks a bit bland for a 2021 release, truthfully - not bad by any means but also nothing that the PS3 or Xbox 360 would have had much trouble pulling off, either.
In addition to the main missions, there are a plethora of side missions that flesh out the characters' backstories, personalities, and relationships with one another as well as unlocking their final class upgrade. There are also side quests to unlock new abilities for your summonable pet unit as well as repeatable random battles you can use to grind money or experience although there's not much need to grind either as the game's difficulty curve is pretty fair, and there are no shops in which to use gold. The exception is if you're trying to do every character's side quests; I found myself stuck with a level 20 character who had to solo a side quest with a level 50 opponent. That definitely required a lot of monotonous level grinding. Thankfully, the music is pretty great for the most part, so while the level grinding is arguably even more dull than in most SRPGs since there's no benefit to racking up gold as well as experience, the nice soundtrack makes it a little more tolerable.
I do need to give a shoutout to my buddy, Joshua French, though for giving the game's script a MUCH needed retranslation before the English release. In the opening cinematic, you can see the somehow-worse-than-Google-Translate quality of the original translation since that cinematic was coded so that he couldn't fix it, but he retranslated the entire script for the rest of the game, and the difference in quality is astounding. Aside from a couple of SUPER minor issues that anyone who's not a grammar nerd wouldn't even have noticed, it reads as if it were originally written in English, not Chinese. The story may not being anything special, but you wouldn't even be able to tell what the story was supposed to be if it weren't for Joshua's hard work.
Empire of Angels IV is a solid middle-of-the-road game for the most part. It's totally playable and pretty enjoyable, but it's definitely nothing that will stand out that much. The fact that EVERY character is an anime waifu is novel, but as far as story and gameplay go, it's pretty average. The combat is fun, but it's not going to have you addicted the way Super Robot Wars, SD Gundam, and Fire Emblem will; it's the kind of game of which you'll probably play a mission or two and then switch to something else for a while. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you'll probably play this as a side game or pallet cleanser between other big, narrative driven games. It's definitely fun, though, and at just $20, I have no problem recommending this to fans of SRPGs or pointlessly big breasted anime waifus.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.