“Change Comes in Small Forces”
- System: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Square Enix, Lancarse
- Release Date: September 22, 2022
The DioField Chronicle from Square Enix at first seems like yet another RPG that has you taking a rag-tag team of mercenaries into a war to change the world through their actions. Partially, that is The DioField Chronicle but minus the equally overused turn-based system we see often in games like this and instead is oddly enough a strategic tactical title that peppers in some turn-based elements for some nice effect. Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect at first with The DioField Chronicle but after playing we realized that this is why we love Square Enix and developer Lancarse, they know how to adapt the RPG formula with modern alterations that just make for an enjoyable experience. Obviously, you want to know more now and we here at Honey’s Anime have you covered in our full review of The DioField Chronicle for the Nintendo Switch!
The story for The DioField Chronicle isn’t anything you haven’t heard of before. Born from the camaraderie, three allies have created a small mercenary unit and after saving the life of a woman, their team is allowed to join The Blue Fox who now can finally make changes in the war and possibly bring their dreams to fruition…again not the most outlandish story you’ve probably heard from an RPG. Where The DioField Chronicle shines isn’t with the story—though it does have some strong writing that keeps the tale engaging—with the gameplay and that is where this game shines. Players will take control of several warriors at one time on a constantly moving small battlefield. Like other real-time tactics titles, you can move one unit at a time or an entire group and tell them how best to approach a battle.
The DioField Chronicle gives players a nice amount of freedom as players are given the incentive to try and confuse the enemy by having some warriors fight in the front and others ambush the enemy for added damage and range of battle. You can’t just overwhelm even single enemies with a giant mosh pit of mercenaries, The DioField Chronicle will make you realize quickly that even a single unit can almost annihilate a team if you aren’t smart about their movements and abilities. We love the simple but satisfying tactical approach found in The DioField Chronicle and wish we saw it more often implemented in strategy games like this.
The DioField Chronicle isn’t all about real-time tactics, there are some cool little RPG concepts thrown in for good measure in and out of combat. Inside combat, players can utilize special skills—depending on the equipment your unit has—that can turn the tide of a battle quickly. Andrias Rhondarson—the assassin-like main character—can use special abilities that give quick but powerful attacks and let him quickly fall even the hardest foe. Likewise, the archer unit—Iscarion Colchester—can unleash mass amounts of arrows in a small area or even summon allies to help for even greater damage while keeping a safe distance. You can even summon powerful beings—like Bahamut—to obliterate squads in some fancy special moves! These skills are quite necessary for combat, especially against bosses who can sometimes absorb tons of damage before going down.
When you’re not cleverly moving your teams across battle, The DioField Chronicle has a Fire Emblem: Three Houses style of moving around where you can explore various locations at your base to buy weapons, talk to allies, take on quests and just absorb your small camp for information about the war. It’s nothing groundbreaking but we did like how each character has a nice amount to discuss whether it be how they are feeling about the current situation or their thoughts on the politics of The DioField Chronicle.
The DioField Chronicle isn’t easy, let us be very upfront about that. There are many battles where we BARELY survived and found ourselves restarting skirmishes more than we’d like to admit. Even on normal, The DioField Chronicle tests your strategic ability with only a few allies and how best to approach a group or ambush a small force. There are means to level up by taking small missions, and sometimes the game will force you to be a specific level to unlock main story events, we highly recommend doing them a few times just to power level or gain some gold to buy better equipment for your units.
We can only discuss the Nintendo Switch version of The DioField Chronicle but we have to say…visually this game is all over the map. There are times we were shocked at how The DioField Chronicle looked when the battlegrounds had a nice diorama-type look or when cutscenes played out. Then there were times we forgot what year we were in when we saw close-ups of characters and their sometimes questionable visual strength of this modern $59.99 game. Maybe it is just the power of the Nintendo Switch docked or handheld but The DioField Chronicle is a semi-old-looking title that could have passed for a game from several years ago.