Review of Akatsuki no Kiseki Open Beta Test



Akatsuki no Kiseki open beta test has ended as of 11 am (JST), 30th August 2016. The official launch of the game will be 3 pm, 31st August 2016. I have played the OBT extensively, and will provide a review for those interested in finding more about this new Falcom game.

Story

In the OBT, only the prologue  first chapter were available. The game starts with Nacht Weiss deserting a mercenary group after all his fellow comrade mercenaries got killed in battle. He goes to Crossbell to become a bracer, hoping to live a peaceful life as a bracer. On the day of his bracer exam, he meets Chloe Barnett, a girl with a strong sense of justice. The two passes the exam together and become half-fledged bracers. From there they are given various tasks by the Crossbell Bracer guild and the story unfolds.

In terms of timeline, this game happens some time during the early stage Ao no Kiseki. This is made very clear in the game as the main events of Zero no Kiseki has already passed while the main events of Ao no Kiseki (involving a certain big blue tree) has yet to transpire.

One important thing to note is that in the OBT, no characters from Sen no Kiseki were present. According to the official website, the story involves Crossbell State, Liberl Kingdom, and the Principality of Remiferia. For now it’s safe to assume there won’t be Erebonian Empire and Rean & co. for a while.

Whithin the two chapters, Nacht and Chloe goes around doing odd jobs and occasionally solve big cases… very much like Estelle and Joshua did in Sora no Kiseki (Trails in the sky) FC. As for the quality of the story, it’s  on par with any other flagship title in the Kiseki series. It is definitely not a cheap attempt to enter the freemium game market by Falcom. For this I will say to Kiseki fans... PLAY IT!

Gameplay

Most of the gameplay of Akatsuki follows the exact same formula as the other Kiseki games. However, the dungeon exploration of Akatsuki is quite different from the rest.

To put it simply, Akatsuki is a “dungeon crawler turn-based battle RPG”. The exploration in the game is done in the dungeon crawler fashion with tile-based movements and turn-based actions. Unlike most dungeon crawler RPGs, upon interaction with a monster, the game transits to the usual turn-based battle of the Kiseki series.

Most dungeons have a fixed number of monsters and treasures shown on the top right-hand corner of the screen. You’re not required to kill all monsters to clear most dungeons. All you need to do is kill the required monsters and find the exit.

The battles (attacks, spells, crafts, and S-crafts) work in almost the exact same way as the other Kiseki games. What is different here is that you can switch party members in mid-battle. You can have up to 8 party members in total; 4 fighting members and 4 reserve members. There is also a 9th member in the form of friend support character. You can have add a really strong friend and use his character in your fighting party to help with dungeons you otherwise will struggle with.

Another new feature in Akatsuki are elemental attacks. In flagship Kiseki games, you would need to equip accessories that imbue your characters with an element. In Akatsuki, all characters belong to an element, and their non-spell attacks will all be of that element. Likewise, they will take more damage from elemental attacks they are weak against.

Other than these two features, Kiseki fans should be familiar with the other aspects of battle, such as S-breaks, turn order, and delays.

The spells usable by characters are determined by the quartz and master quartz they are equipped with. Unlike flagship Kiseki games, quartz have much weaker effects here. For example, an attack quartz 1 adds 10 STR rather than 10% STR. You have to use red sepith stones to upgrade a quartz to strengthen it. Upgrading an attack quartz 1 ten times will make it attack quartz 1 + 10.

Weapons and armours require many upgrade unlike in flagship Kiseki games. Rather than buying stronger weapons and armours from shops every new chapter, in Akatsuki , each character only has one weapon and armour that has to be upgraded with mira and raw materials such as copper.

Gacha, training, awakening

Here comes the part that makes Akatsuki different. Like it or not, this is a freemium browser game, and it has all the features freemium games are known for.

Gacha plays a big part in building up your fighting strength. There are characters of six different rarities in Akatsuki, from 1 star to 6 star. The same character of a higher rarity will have more crafts and higher base stats. The game gives you a 2 star (known as rare) Nacht, as well as the other main characters of Akatsuki. You have to either gacha for higher rarity versions of these characters or awaken them.

Awakening is a concept freemium games player should be familiar with. In Akatsuki, you have to get a character to the maximum level of 30, and then feed it with the characters of the same rarity (which is obtained by gacha). The success rate is lower for higher rarity characters, but it can be increased by feeding coloured Mishies. Success rate can be increased to 100% by either feeding a character with the same character with the same rarity or by feeding a rainbow Misshie.

Another way to obtain characters up to rarity of 4 star is by gacha. There are many types of gacha in Akatsuki. Story, friend support, bonus support, and OBT gacha (which has ended as the OBT is over). Each gacha uses a different type of currency to acquire. Story gacha uses story gacha tickets, friend support gacha uses either friend support points or friend support ticket, and the bonus support gacha uses bonus support tickets. All currency except bonus support tickets can be obtained for free. The various tickets can be obtained from quests, and friend points can be obtained by selecting friends before starting dungeon quests. Selecting a registered friend gives 20 friend support points and selecting a non-friend gives 10 friend support points, but you will be able to send a friend request to that player at the end of the quest.

There was no way to obtain the golden tickets in the OBT, but it is almost certainly requires real money to purchase. This is because bonus support gacha gives you a 100% chance of obtaining a 5 star rarity character, whereas the other gacha gives up to 4 star at most. And even the 4 star are incredibly difficult to get.

The final way to obtain high rarity characters are by recruitment tickets, which can be earned  by clearing optional training missions. In the OBT, 4 star Scherazard and the main characters of Akatsuki can be obtained by getting 120 of their respective recruitment tickets. I barely started chapter 1 before the OBT ended, but I had 60/120 Scherazard recruitment tickets from all the training missions available up till that point.

Characters can be levelled up in battles, or by feeding them with other characters. Misshies are high experience feeds (very much like Alpacas in School Idol Festival or Angels in Granblue Fantasy), and they can be obtained by gacha or recruitment tickets. Feeding a character with the same character of the same rarity in training will increase his craft level.

Bracer Coins

This is a game currency that can be purchased with real money or from quests and dungeons. It can be used to expand inventory space and buy AP charge potions. AP are action points which are required for training battles and dungeons. Bracer coins can be purchased by Webmoney or Bitcash which are both available on our website. Do take note that you have to purchase UJJ coins and convert those to Bracer Coins. Below is a table which shows the conversion rate of the currencies.

 Userjoy Japan Coin (100yen = 100 UJJ coin) Bracer Coin
500 360
1000 750
2000 1500
3000 2250
5000 3800
10000 7800

 

Purchase UJJ Coins here.

Airship Ainsel

The last unique feature of Akatsuki is the Airship Ainsel. The Airship does a whole bunch of things. You need to firstly unlock rooms on the airship at a cheap mira price, and then convert the room into rooms with specific functions. Next you need to put a character into the room to perform whatever function that room serves. The various functions can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 12 hours in real time to complete depending on their complexity. I haven't unlocked all the functions of the Airship yet, but here are the available ones up to ship rank 11. 

Crew Cabin

This room allows you to put a crew member in it to boost your experience gained during battles and increase the number of maximum ship crew. crew member with high battle strength is recommended.

Accounting room

This room allows you to put a crew member in it to invest IBC stocks, septium, or gems to get mira in return. crew member with high battle strength is recommended.

Sepith production room

This room allows you to put a crew member in it to refine septium into sepith or convert basic sepith (earth, wind, fire, water) to advanced sepith (time, space, mirage). An arts type crew member is recommended here.

Dungeon exploration room

This room allows you to put up to four crew members in it to explore dungeons to gain experience and items. The higher the overall battle strength the tougher dungeons you can explore.

Kitchen

This room allows you to put a crew member to cook, turning ingredients into food that can be used in battles. A crew member with high battle strength is recommended.

Sepith refinement room

This room allows you to put a crew member to turn sepith into power-up stones, which are used to level up master quartz. An arts type crew member is recommended.

Orbment workshop

This room allows you to put a crew member to create rare quartz from sepith. An arts type crew member is recommended.

Conclusion

As far as freemium games go, this is a REALLY good one. Fans of the series should definitely play it, as the story is canon. We will also be able to see the Principality of Remiferia for the first time. One does not have to pay to progress through the main story, although I believe the battles are eventually going to get so tough that non-paying players will have to grind a lot to be able to progress. I say this based on my experience with Granblue Fantasy. Still, the awakening feature means that you can eventually obtain 6 star characters even without paying.

For those who missed 4 star Noel from the pre-register campaign, it’s not too late to get free strong characters. There’s an ongoing login bonus campaign that gives you 4 star Lloyd on the third day and 4 star Elie on the seventh day of login. Although missing Noel is a big loss because she has strong wide-area attacks…

I myself will continue to play Akatsuki till the very end, and will continue to write guides for it. Do continue checking my blog if you need more information on this game.