Turn-based strategy RPG Banner of the Maid is ready for you on PlayStation 4. Learn more about it in our Banner of the Maid review!
Banner of the Maid is an isometric, turn-based SRPG for the PS4 from developer Azure Flame Studio and published by CE-ASIA. The game features a stylized take on the French Revolution, with an art direction that makes it looks like something straight out of an anime. The game drops you into the shoes of Pauline Bonaparte, younger sister of Napoleon, as you attempt to navigate the political unrest of the French Revolution. There are some fantasy elements at play here as well, since Pauline uses her Maid abilities to support her army throughout the game.
While the anime style of the game lends itself to some… suggestive outfits for the female characters, Pauline Bonaparte, the titular Maid character, is thankfully treated as the lead military mind that she is, and is not overly sexualized. The pixel art used in the isometric combat view is visually striking, and pairs well with the high-quality anime murals that bookend the missions in the game. I did find that one aspect of the presentation in Banner of the Maid was lacking: the localization. This game has performed quite well in its home market, but maybe something was lost in translation. An RPG relies on having a compelling story to pull you into the experience. Banner of the Maid does not do that, and I found myself lamenting the cutscenes in the game every time they came up.
There is a lot of dialogue in Banner of the Maid. By schmoozing with the Parisian factions, you can gain reputation points for each group. These relationships do come into play by unlocking additional quests and shops for players. In my time with the game, this additional layer of interaction felt a bit like bloat, simply existing as a way to stretch out an already long experience. Those familiar with SRPGs may be accustomed to that, but it can be a drag for newcomers.
The gameplay here is straightforward if you’re familiar at all with the genre. The game plays out with two factions on the map, and there will be a primary objective, with the occasional secondary objective to complete. Characters have the option to move, attack, use items, or activate skills. Each character also has a class, and there is a weakness chart in the game UI to remind you of what unit types have advantages/disadvantages against others. There are a number of systems to balance in each battle, which can feel overwhelming if you’re not used to playing SRPGs. The combat encounters in Banner of the Maid can seem well thought out at times, but it can then feel like you’re losing an encounter by no fault of your own. I found myself having to redo encounters a number of times, some of which can last for 30-60 minutes because there seem to be very specific paths to victory that I had to make the most of.
Banner of the Maid does feature a Platinum trophy, one which, at the time of writing this review, only 0.9% of players have achieved. There are a number of trophies tied to faction reputation and party size, but outside of that, the majority of trophies are tied to completing the story on the two different difficulty modes. The harder of the two will penalize you for each party member that you lose in an encounter and is a tad stingy with the in-game rewards it provides.
Banner of the Maid is a pretty standard SRPG with gorgeous visuals. Those visuals are held back by a poor localization and gameplay mechanics that can feel a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to playing SRPGs. Banner of the Maid is available now on PS4 for $16.99 USD. Are you ready for this new adventure?
This Banner of the Maid review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by CE-Asia.