Jikandia: The Timeless Land (PSP)

By Moe Rantala

Published on Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Graphics: 7.00
Sound: 7.00
Replays: 8.00
Gamelength: 8.00

Jikandia: The Timeless Land brings you a very simple concept, with a deep execution in this great game.

At first, Jikandia looks ridiculously simple and it can be downright confusing at first. However, as you figure things out, you immediately discover the deep gameplay. This game is pretty rich, but it’s easily accessible by people of many varieties.

This is where the real magic of the game starts. When you pick which stage you want to take on, you also pick how long you want to play on that stage. Anywhere from as short as 3, to as long as 30 minutes. Here’s how gameplay works. Each level in the stage has a certain goal. Kill enemies! Find treasure! Go to next level! and so on and so forth. As you complete these goals within the time limit (each level has its own individual time limit separate from the one you pick before starting), you gain a star. When you gain enough stars, you can enter a super mode for a short duration, which makes you move faster and hit a lot harder. Treasure chests also vary in rarity, and that’s the beauty of this game. The longer you make your time, the more often you’ll get the rarer and better chests, with rarer and better items. If you only play for 3 minutes, you have a 1% chance per level of getting a purple (the best) chest. If you play for 30, the chance per level of a purple chest is 4%, and the chance of a red, the next best chest, is 10%. Playing for 3 minutes, your chance of a wooden chest, the worst chest, is a whopping 75%, but at 30 it is only 39%. You basically pick how you want to play, and that’s why this game has some awesome gameplay.

As you progress through the levels, you gain items and pieces of magic quartz, as well as temporary power ups that last through the stage. Finally, at the 1:30 mark, the boss appears at the very next door you go through. With only 1:30 to beat the boss, who tend to get more difficult as you go through the harder stages, getting lots of power ups and having the star power is certainly important for beating the bosses, but it isn’t always necessary. So really, the game is all about finding your favorite style of play, and that is why it’s great.

The magic quartz system allows you to power up your character and allies, since the game doesn’t let you level up in traditional RPG ways. You obtain pieces of magic quartz in levels and by completing goals for someone in the bar, and they do things like increase your attack speed or strength, make you immune to poison, make your attacks cause the enemies to get dizzy or poisoned, etc. Obviously, the better pieces are found in the more difficult levels, the better chests, and the harder objectives from the achievement man.

The graphic style is very simple, but it works well for the game. The bosses themselves are actually pretty complex compared to the rest of the enemies and characters, and overall it’s just a pleasant experience. It isn’t mind blowing by any means, but it is enjoyable. The music is also very simple, but it also works really well with what we have. It’s not generic, but it is simple.

The only real complaint I have about this game is the text boxes. You press x to advance the text faster, but the thing is the text boxes, except in the tutorials, can only hold like 3 words. So you press x, because the text is going slow, and all of a sudden you’ve missed that line and are on to the next. It’s really, really annoying sometimes. You can also press start to just fast forward through everything, but you don’t really get any story that way.

Jikandia is a pretty fun game, and there are lots of things to accomplish and try to do, and with the varying weapon types there isn’t really any one way to play the game, so it’s pretty neat that way. It’s a simple, fun game, and you should definitely check it out.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Aksys Games

Overall Rating: 8.00

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