What happens when you mix Japanese idols with a crazy fun jrpg? You get Tokyo Mirage Sessions is what! A stylish jrpg that is like no other really, mixing a great combat system, amazing visuals and character designs and Japanese pop all into one neat little package. I have only been playing for about 6 or 7 hours now but I am already in love with it!
Platforms: Wii U
At its core, Tokyo Mirage Sessions is a solid jrpg that combines elements of the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem to create a unique experience. Experienced SMT fans will instantly recognize classic spells such as Zio, Bufu and Dia while Fire Emblem Fans should be able to recognize the iconic weapons triangle. When combined, you get a game that feels very SMT but with added depth thanks to enemies (and your party) having additional weaknesses based on their weapon.
Another cool addition is the sessions system, which rewards the player for abusing an enemies weakness. In previous SMT games, hitting an enemies weakness would reward the player with an additional turn. Ensuring you had a well balanced team that could hit multiple weaknesses was always a key to success in previous SMT games. The same goes for Tokyo Mirage Sessions, where hitting an enemies weakness will trigger a session allowing for multiple hits to be strung together. By using a skill that the enemy is weak to (whether it be an elemental weakness or weapons based weakness) other members who have session skills that correspond to that type of skill will follow up the attack with their sessions skill. For example, if you use an electric type move on an enemy who is weak to it, and another member has the “Elec-Lung” skill (a session skill that triggers off of a electric skill), then the member with “Elec-Lung” will use their skill on the enemy who was hit. If then you have another member who has a skill that triggers off of lance skills (which “Elec-Lung” is) then he will follow up with his own. You can create some crazy combos if you have the right mix of session skills that work off each other, so ensuring you have skills that abuse enemies weaknesses and session skills that can trigger off of those weaknesses are key to ensuring victory.
Though the battle system is really fun and unique, perhaps my favorite aspect of the game is its rich idol flavor. You don’t really see Japanese idols in video games much outside of rhythm games, so the whole feel of Tokyo Mirage Sessions is special compared to other jrpg’s. Character designs are flashy and appealing, making each character stand out from each other. Everything from the menus to the backgrounds in the hub world are bright and colorful, giving the game the bright “pop” feel that is found in Japanese pop idols.
The game really comes alive during its animated scenes that happen throughout the main story. During these scenes, the music and animation blend together so well it feels like you are watching and anime or an animated music video for a popular Japanese idol. The fact that the songs were arranged by the composer for the famous idol franchise Love Live and sung by famous Japanese idols made these scenes stand out even more. As a fan of Japanese pop and idols in general (I was pretty addicted to the Love Live: School Idol Festival game for quite some time) these animated performances were amazing to watch. Even the animated scenes that weren’t accompanied with a performance and were just normal cut-scenes stood out to me because of how cool everything looked.
For anyone who owns a Wii U and is into Japanese idols or Japanese Pop in general, check out Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. It’s a game nothing like anything else I have played, and it’s interesting mix of Shin Megami Tensei gameplay with Fire Emblem is quite a treat for fans of both. If your just looking for a good jrpg, I think Tokyo Mirage Sessions can stand up there with the best of them thanks to a fun and deep battle system and a unique style unlike any other jrpg’s I have ever played.