#425 Faselei!

Posted: 23rd May 2017 by Jeroen in Games
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604th played so far

Genre: Strategy/Role-Playing
Platform: Neo Geo Pocket Color
Year of Release: 1999
Developer: Sacnoth
Publisher: SNK

Faselei! is a game that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find out more about, but one that’s quite tricky to do so. Released for the rather small Neo Geo Pocket Color, this strategy game doesn’t have a Wikipedia page and never seems to have been that big – despite being, it seems, one of the most notable games of the system.

To find it on the list is, to say the least, interesting. Obviously, with the little research I can do, I’m not quite sure why, but I’d like to find out. A strategy/RPG is my sort of game, so I have to give this a try.

Our Thoughts

Faselei, at its core, plays like a tactical RPG. In fact, in look and feel during the battles it mostly reminded me of Advance Wars, which doesn’t have RPG elements itself, but the initial impression worked as well. The turn based aspects feel quite differently developed, however, which is where the strategic part becomes interesting.

Rather than having a limit on move and attacks like a lot of these games have, keeping the pools separate and always giving you stuff to do with multiple characters, here you control one character with a bunch of actions per turn. These actions are turn, move forward, use an equipped weapon or other (often more situation specific) actions. You define these beforehand and everyone’s actions take place at once. It requires a bunch of planning and prep, making combat even more tactical and all about predicting what should happen. It’s a different challenge, and despite the limitations, I did enjoy it.

Sadly, I found that I became useless quite early on. Your ammo is limited, which left me running around trying to get my ally to kill the opponent instead. In part this was because I was supposed to equip between missions. I thought I had done – but I apparently failed to do so two missions in a row. I also found it hard to predict what to get versus when to save, so I suspect I never would have had enough ammo anyway, but it made the game quite difficult to get going.

The RPG elements themselves are fairly weak in comparison. You can buy upgrades and improve yourself, but I hadn’t found it to be strong for the sections I played. It seems to mostly be there to add flavour to the strategy. Not that I mind – it actually works quite well for me here.

Final Thoughts

Sadly, some interface or balancing issues meant that I aborted my playthrough a bit earlier than I really wanted to. I was still imporessed with what was there, considering how dense the content was and all the options that were present. I would love to see this game remade – it seems perfect for a mobile device and a bit of cleanup would make it perfect.