“I just can’t wait to be king”, the protagonist Kay mumbles throughout the game of Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs – Royal Edition. A Kickstarter funded project by Pixelated Milk that originally launched for PC and now on consoles.
Regalia is an SRPG, similar to the likes of Disgaea and Persona. It leans more towards Disgaea for its humour approach, while leaning to Persona for its character bonding. The story starts with you coming into heritance of a kingdom, only to find that it’s rundown. To make matters worse, a debt collector for your ancestors has come and he wants all of his money, or you’ll be swimming with the fishes. To pay this debt back, your characters look for answers about this debt while you, the new king, will embark on missions on the world map as you clear out nodes as well as acquire resources to build up your kingdom.
When going to a location on the map, you’ll be taken to a grid of nodes which consist of a campsite where you can save game, combat (which is self-explanatory), and text adventure (which is a text-only mission). Being an SRPG, the combat is based on a grid system where stats regulate which character will move first followed by an action or wait. During this, you can have 1-4 characters on the field. Attack options are broken down to a handful of abilities to use with no MP worries. There are cooldowns for your abilities though.
When not doing adventures in Regalia, your protagonist can build character bonds with other team members in town. Fans of Persona will easily identify with this structure as the dates will have some people absent yet others will be available for interaction. Talking to a person will allow you to hang out with them, which is where you can enhance how interested they are in you. Maxing out anyone won’t lead to your king romancing anyone though, as seen in Persona games. So no worries about your king shacking up with random characters you don’t like. New skills are unlocked for raising the social stat though, so the message is that ‘the power of friendship gives us strength’.
Regalia has a timer progression and while I didn’t have problems with it, there are people that might feel anxious watching it. Each chapter starts with you needing to finish x-amount of quests within x-amount of days. Travelling on the map, exploring nodes, building, interacting with characters, etc all require days to pass. 50 days passes really fast when you travel to a location that requires 4 days of travel followed by 8 days to explore. You need to figure out the best way to handle as many quests as you can, without backtracking.
During my playthrough, I had a few things that got to me more and more. The combat abilities I would choose would be an area of effect style, but I couldn’t rotate them. Tutorial screens during load sequences said press left, but that just slows down the combat. So I never learned how to do that. There’s a line of sight feature that says you can’t use an ability for a place you can’t see. This wouldn’t be a huge issue but I swear my characters needed eye exams. These 2 factors can make a lot of fights go on longer than they should over stuff that’s not an issue in any other SRPG.
Menus, although not a huge concern, did present a bothersome much like a fly in the room. You’re annoyed, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s hard to see what tab or what you’re looking at. There’s also a lag between button presses when switching between them. A delay lag seems to be found often in this game, most notably when selling stuff. It’s a very slow process selling stuff as you can sell only one item type and then the cursor goes to the top of the item list. Upon selling an item, it takes 7-9 seconds to process. That doesn’t sound like much but when trying to sell 20 items, it feels like an eternity.
Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs – Royal Edition is an easy-going SRPG packed with humour and an easy trophy list to platinum in one playthrough. There is also a separate trophy list for both America and Europe, so it’s possible to obtain two platinums. It makes for a pretty decent game of its genre, although it’s hard to stand up against giants like Disgaea. But at least with this, there are no necessary long grinds required.