A looong time ago, I started Asdivine Hearts, and polished off a good half of the game; and just a couple of days ago, my gaming instinct claimed the other half. I obviously complied, because who am I to say no to the gaming instinct?
Ten hours later, AH is done and dusted. Or not so much, actually; I only witnessed Stella’s Ending, and didn’t feel the need to reload Clear Data to watch the other outcomes. I’ll be honest: the harem element left me cold, and even annoyed me at times. As far as the narrative is concerned, I definitely prefer Bond of the Skies, whose story and character interactions were both less intrusive and more touching.
Fortunately, AH is entirely redeemed by its huge focus on grinding, and its overall grinding-friendliness. Gosh, does this game know how to make a grinding fiend happy! Not only does it give you excellent reasons to grind, but it also gives you convenient ways to grind:
— The reasons: Apart from the thrill of reaching L.99, the main incentive to grind like a beast is the Magic system. In a nutshell: Magic comes in three forms, namely Light, Shadow and Void. Party members learn one of the three “naturally”, and the other two by equipping specific crystals; this means that you can have all characters master all types of magic. But wait, that’s not all: wielding all three types at once grants you access to specific spells that include party heal, meaning that your whole party can be potential Healers. If you put in the grind, that is!
— The ways: Luckily, AH gives you everything you need to grind painlessly. The game world kindly provides two spots (see pictures below) teeming with metal foes that, in true Dragon Quest fashion, give you a crap ton of XP. You can also max up the effect of your grinding sessions by using Hearty Peels and Hearty Fruits, two items that double the amount of XP and SP reaped from a fight. Then you have the ultimate grinding facilitator: the Attract Jewel, which triggers a battle for every step taken. Perfect for your late game grinding sessions!
Grinding becomes really tedious in the late stages, as the amount of XP needed to gain levels becomes absurdly enormous; but fortunately, reaching the big 99 is by no means necessary to beat the final boss in easy mode; although I peaked at Lv.95, that final showdown was a cakewalk. Do I regret grinding so much? Why, not at all! Grinding is a pleasure in and of itself for me, you know dat.
Long story short: I spent a lovely time with Asdivine Hearts, and I totally don’t regret buying the Asdivine physical collection for the Switch. And thus my love story with Kemco continues!