Asdivine Hearts II review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC, Switch, Xnox One
Publisher: KEMCO
Developer: EXE Create
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

It’s been more than two years since I played the original Asdivine Hearts. Over that time, I’ve played more interchangeable KEMCO JRPGS than I can count (or, apparently only seven, but it feels like a lot more).

Going into Asdivine Hearts II, this is important for two, closely related reasons. First, given that pretty much all of those KEMCO games look and play exactly the same, I’m having a really hard time remembering anything specific about the first Asdivine Hearts. Second, Asdivine Hearts II is full of references to its predecessor, and seems to rely on players having fond memories of its characters from the first go-around — which, in all honesty, I don’t have. In fact, as you can probably gather, I don’t have any kind of memories at all, positive or negative.

Consequently, the most feeling I can muster here is a little bit of distaste, coupled with a whole lot of indifference. Whereas more recent KEMCO games have distinguished themselves by having surprisingly decent writing and characters, here everything seems much more clichéd. You have one somewhat obnoxious male main character, Zack, and a whole bunch of female characters who all seem to exist solely to adore Zack. I’ve certainly seen worse character development and interaction, but again, those qualities aren’t nearly as strong here as KEMCO shown themselves to be since the first Asdivine Hearts.

In terms of gameplay and visuals, there’s not anything here you haven’t seen countless times before. Like all the other KEMCO JRPGs, Asdivine Hearts II borrows heavily from 25-30 years ago, and doesn’t do anything beyond that. It doesn’t do that badly, to be sure, but unless you’re a diehard fan of the series, I think you’d be hard-pressed to look at this game and see anything distinctive.

Which, I suppose, is kind of the point of all these games: to be a constant stream of JRPGs for anyone who can’t get enough of the genre. That’s bad news if you’ve been anxiously awaiting an Asdivine Hearts sequel for years…but since I have a hard time imagining many (or any) people like that exist, I think Asdivine Hearts II does more or less what it’s intended to do.

KEMCO provided us with a Asdivine Hearts II PS4/Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: C+