Nintendo’s handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS, is one the best-selling handheld gaming systems of all time. It boasts nearly seventy-three million sales across its various versions (The Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 2DS, and Nintendo 3DS XL). With so many households carrying this powerful gaming system, it makes sense that numerous developers would want to take advantage of the system’s unique capabilities. Hit-Point, the developer of the 3DS RPG game entitled Machine Knight, is no exception to this. They’ve taken advantage of the 3DS system’s continued popularity and longevity by releasing roleplaying title via the system’s eShop.
Machine Knight is a Japanese roleplaying game that follows standard roleplaying formulas. You’ll collect characters, increase their levels, acquire new gear, and take on new challenges as you progress through the game. Best of all, you can do this all from a small, handheld device, allowing you to take a full-fledged roleplaying game with you wherever you go.
This game has even been released for Android and iOS, though the Nintendo 3DS version has more features that are KEMCO-published and Hit-Point-developed title Machine Knight is an excellent eShop title for the Nintendo 3DS that is well worth picking up and checking out. In this article, we will break down what Machine Knight is, how it fits into its genre, and even provide some tips on completing the game easily. Machine Knight is well worth the investment, but what makes it great? With hundreds upon hundreds of high-quality video games available for Nintendo’s hit handheld system, why should someone put money down for Machine Knight?
What Is Machine Knight?
Machine Knight is a Japanese roleplaying game that follows standard JRPG formats. These games tend to follow a heavily story-based game-play principle while offering numerous roleplaying elements. These elements include decision-making, character and party customization, random gear drops, numerous items, and unique abilities.
Japanese roleplaying games often feature a wide array of different combat systems. Some combat systems revolve around side-facing combat, with enemies on the right and players on the left. Other Japanese roleplaying game combat systems show only the enemies while players are represented by panels at the bottom or top of the screen. Some modern Japanese roleplaying games even offer real-time, three-dimensional combat. For Hit-Point’s Machine Knight game, combat is performed via a split screen that utilizes the unique hardware of the Nintendo 3DS handheld system. Available actions for the player are shown on panels contained within the bottom screen. Characters and enemies, however, are displayed on the top screen—the screen which features the notorious three-dimensional viewing method of the Nintendo 3DS system.
The game itself is reminiscent of common roleplaying video games—particularly those created with RPG Maker. The pacing of the game is a bit slow, initially, but that is to be expected from Japanese roleplaying games like this one. Machine Knight eventually picks up, particularly in the speed of its story, and becomes a JRPG which could rival many popular titles in the genre.
Each character in the game—Frain, the main character, and his two female acquaintances—has a unique feature called a board. The board is used to control the leveling of the characters themselves and also the advancement and acquisition of their own unique abilities. Ordinarily, in Japanese roleplaying games, particularly those crafted with RPG Maker, leveling is done automatically through a pre-defined scaling system. Abilities aren’t typically upgradeable, either—rather, they’re pre-defined and purchasable. Players will then sort through the abilities that they most desire for their characters. Machine Knight challenges these norms by providing players will multiple choices that can be made. By the end of the game, one player’s character setup will likely be quite different from the character setup of another character. It strongly depends on the choices made throughout the game.
Machine Knight is an excellent follow up to paid games that were previously created by Hit-Point. They also developed RPG Fantasy Chronicle and RPG Dark Gate. These video games were not free, unlike Machine Knight which does not cost any money. While other roleplaying games that Hit-Point has developed were less than excellent (or even terrible), Machine Knight proves that any developer can rise from their past failures. They have built on elements from their previous titles, expanding on those elements in ways that rejuvenate and revive them as a game development company. If you’re hesitant to pick up Machine Knight solely because you did not enjoy previous titles from Hit-Point, give the game a chance. You may be impressed with how much the company has grown.
Why Players Love Playing Machine Knight
Japanese roleplaying games appeal to a very niche audience. They have a tendency to be quite formulaic and fall prey to common tropes. While many Japanese roleplaying games can feature significant differences between one another, the basis of the games is always similar. In a Japanese roleplaying game, players can always expect anime-esque and dramatic storytelling. Typically, the story of the game centers around a high-risk concept (commonly, this concept revolves around the entire world being on the brink of destruction).
As far as game-play is concerned, it often follows the same concept as other games in the Japanese roleplaying game genre. Regardless of the game-play style (turn-based, sequence-based, or even real-time), the overall concepts will remain the same. Players will have abilities, spells, and skills that require time delays or ability points (often called magic points or even skill points). These skills are more powerful than normal attacks, which are also an option. Players can also use items, but those are expendable and not always worth wasting an action.
All of this translates to similar game-play, allowing players to always have their expectations in the correct place. Similar terminology allows players of Japanese roleplaying games to pick up almost any game in the genre and understand how to play the game itself. For example, a bandage is a common item in Japanese roleplaying games. Players who are familiar with Japanese roleplaying games will know that a bandage typically restores a small amount of health to a single character. So, without having read the description of the bandage for a new Japanese roleplaying game that features the item, a seasoned player of the genre can confidently use the bandage with accurate expectations as to its effects.
Machine Knight is no exception to this rule. The game follows common tropes for Japanese roleplaying games. Players who are familiar with Japanese roleplaying games will find familiarity and commonality when playing this game. This works in Machine Knight’s favor, as it does with other Japanese roleplaying games. Players who enjoy other Japanese roleplaying games will enjoy Hit-Point’s successful game in the genre—certainly more than they’d enjoy the development company’s previous titles. Unfortunately, the consistency with other Japanese roleplaying games also means that Machine Knight appeals almost exclusively to a particular audience while alienating those who do not enjoy Japanese roleplaying games.
Players enjoy Machine Knight primarily because it is a familiar experience for those who have previously enjoyed Japanese roleplaying games from various developers. Playing a game of Machine Knight feels a bit like greeting an old friend. There’s a consistency with Machine Knight that allows it to fit perfectly with other games in its genre. At the same time, it offers a fresh story and unique game-play features exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS. This balance between commonality and novelty is important to strike when creating a game for a pre-defined genre, and Machine Knight strikes the balance perfectly. Players who enjoy Japanese roleplaying games will be able to pick up Machine Knight and play it as they would most other games in the genre.
Cheats and Tips for Machine Knight
Like many Japanese roleplaying games, Machine Knight can be easily broken by grinding enemies. Simply attack enemies you can easily destroy as often as possible. Your characters will level up quickly, then they’ll be able to take on more powerful foes. Once you can take on stronger foes quickly and efficiently, change up which enemies you use for grinding. If you find yourself facing a boss or encounter that you cannot overcome, go back and grind for a few more levels using enemies you can quickly beat with confidence. The process of grinding can be slow, but it can easily break a game if you find an enemy that gives a bit too much experience to your characters.
Japanese roleplaying games have been around for decades. The genre’s common themes of over-the-top storytelling, exciting dramatic moments, and precise game-play have caused the genre to stick around and become beloved by many gamers. Machine Knight is an excellent addition to the genre and well-worth playing through for individuals who are fans of Japanese roleplaying games. Players will find familiarity mixed with unique elements when picking up Hit-Point’s Machine Knight title for the Nintendo 3DS handheld system. If you enjoy Japanese roleplaying games and are hoping to find one that you can take with you when leaving the house, Machine Knight is worth picking up and giving a chance.