The eternal questions of the enigma that is life after death is a mystery that many individuals have tried to answer, or given their own unique interpretation of what they believe to be present in the worlds beyond our own. Cladun Returns: This Is Sengoku is the newest action RPG from Nippon Ichi Software, and the newest entry in the long running Cladun series which began in 2010 on the PlayStation Portable. While there are some minor issues with replay ability, there is a lot to enjoy in this retro styled oriental RPG.
In Cladun Returns, fallen warriors travel to the purgatory dimension known as Arcanus Cella. In order to pass onto the next world and be reincarnated, they will need to complete their unfinished business by travelling through several dungeons filled with lost souls, traps and powerful monsters. Each chapter of the game is based on a certain real world place in Japan, with each of the souls that you rescue being based on a Japanese warrior which existed during the country’s feudal era. Once you have rescued the souls, they are added to your team of warriors that can assist you during your journey to find reincarnation. The story is a quaint mixture of Japanese folklore and real life history, with some of the details being given creative license to spare some of the more graphic details.
The gameplay of Cladun Returns takes place from a top down perspective, and feels like a mixture of action combat in the style of Kingdom Hearts, with a dungeon crawling RPG experience such as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. The main aim is to reach the end of each floor with your team of warriors, making sure that you unlock the doors that bar your path by completing certain objectives. Each floor can be completed reasonably quickly, and the swift nature of the real time combat keeps the fights against the various monsters from becoming stale.