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Games : Give it a Rent
Sale Price: $39.97 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 39.97 In Stock
Release Date: September 30th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Natural Doctrine

Overview -

Japanese Strategy RPGs tend to all follow the same general mechanics and paths. Most of them are turn-based, take place on a checkers or chess styled board, and place a small amount of emphasis on placement and a lot more on using powerful attacks to steamroll foes.

With 'Natural Doctrine', however, players are compelled to take careful consideration of themselves and the enemy, lest they fail and have to restart the mission. Developer Kadokawa Games labels their first game as an incredibly difficult game, and some have even compared it to the famously difficult Dark Souls series.

Give it a Rent
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
September 30th, 2014

Video Review


Let's just get this right out of the way: 'Natural Doctrine' is ugly. Even on the Vita, the character models look blocky and uninspired, and while the default character pictures look nice, it doesn't go far in making the rest of the game look better.

On the Vita, this is the probably "most" forgivable, if that makes sense. Due to the Vita's smaller screen, the isometric view shows the most important information, but obscures what environment details there are. On the PlayStation 3, though, the underwhelming graphical standards left me more than a little disappointed. While I did not try the PlayStation 4 version of 'Natural Doctrine', it does have a higher resolution than the other versions, but I doubt this alone will make for enhanced visuals. (Quite the opposite I wager.)

Audio Review


While 'Natural Doctrine' may not look all that great, though, it certainly sounds a fair bit better. The game's soundtrack is surprisingly good, with rock-themed tracks that raise the tempo, pumping up the listener for the battles ahead.

'Natural Doctrine' also provides dual audio for the game's voice tracks. The SRPG's English voice acting is serviceable, but it's really not all that great, either. The Japanese voice acting sounds a bit better overall, but that may also be due to my unfamiliarity with the language making me unable to catch poorly spoken lines. You can't change which version of the voice tracks you'll hear after you start the game, at least in the Vita version, so it would probably be better to go with the Japanese track.

Natural Doctrine Vita Screenshot

Final Thoughts

'Natural Doctrine' is really a love it or hate it game. There's quite a bit of good in this little title, but at the same time there's also a lot that will drive away a great many gamers. It's complicated, even obtuse at times, but battling and steamrolling over foes when everything goes right can be a great feeling. Then again, watching the same animations over and over again because of a failed attempt or lucky critical can be rage inducing.

My final recommendation? If 'Natural Doctrine' seems like your type of game, give it a try on the system of your choice, and be ready to experience the trials and tribulations of a newly wrought SRPG. It can be hard to completely encapsulate a game such as this without writing a whole walkthrough on the title, so if despite the flaws 'Natural Doctrine' still piques your interest, then by all means you should try it!