Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord is the sequel to the mid-2000s SRPG released first on PC and then again three years later on PS3. Sadly, that first game never made its way to the States, thus making Heir of the Overlord the series’ debut appearance here in the West. As such, publisher ATLUS and developer Aquaplus have given us an adventure that feels fresh, due to the general lack of Japanese SRPGs on consoles these days, but also one that doesn’t break new ground.
Tears to Tiara II is a story-heavy game, as most of its ilk are. After all, these titles are usually two-trick ponies: they focus extensively on combat, and all that goes into preparing for it, and lengthy talking scenes between the encounters. The latter is a strong point for Heir of the Overlord, though, as it covers a lot of themes and events, making it an RPG that is widely different from something like Disgaea due to its serious plot. While as of late it seems JRPGs have strayed away from dire storylines that encapsulated the PSX and PS2 eras, instead emphasizing light-hearted fun and Otaku-obscurity, Tears’ always seems to keep its eye on the prize, rarely wavering from dramatics and intense narrative devices that rely on love, betrayal, oppression and war. That said, while it’s a compelling tale, it is nevertheless one we’ve heard many times before. To that end, the story can fall into overused tropes, resulting in more than a few eye-rolling occasions at predictability of it all. It’s a good enough account on the whole, with some twists and turns that are delivered without being telegraphed; thus, people wanting something epic in scope will find much to like.