Scarlet Nexus‘ gameplay relies heavily on the player’s companions. These companions switch in and out quite frequently throughout the game, and players are sure to get a taste of what it’s like to be around each colourful character throughout their story. Whether through fighting alongside them or hanging out with them between the action, every party member stands out in their own unique way.
Some are bound to be more helpful than others, though, depending on playstyles and who players click with more on a personal level. In true JRPG fashion, each character is dependably quirky in different ways, and how they overcome those quirks and/or flaws is what makes them loveable. That’s why their whole story and their use in battle must be considered.
8 – Kagero Donne
Kagero is an interesting case because the most significant factor of his unlikability is a complete facade, but then again, so is almost everything else about him. His slightly aggressive womanizing side is something Kasane gets to see a lot of, and it’s very off-putting at first glance. What’s more is he does some pretty deplorable things early into the story, like assassinating Yuito’s father and pinning it on Kasane.
That said, as the story grows and his facade slowly drops in Bond Episodes. There grows an understanding of why he acts as he does and how he was left with little choice when it came to many of his worst actions. That doesn’t necessarily make them forgivable, as Yuito himself says, but it certainly softens the blow. His invisibility power, while useful in the story, isn’t that useful for battle. It can be great to land a solid strike or take a moment to recover, but it’s not very practical in the heat of an intense battle.
7 – Luka Travers
Luka is quite likeable from a personal standpoint. His problem is that his ability is only helpful in narrow circumstances. The constant drive to better himself is admirable but also slightly tragic when you understand why it’s there. His insecurities about being a former dud blind him to the possibility of doing great things outside of battle. Once Yuito and/or Kasane help him see that, he opens up significantly. After that, he has such an infectious optimism, it’s hard to say anything bad about him.
His power seems cool on paper but isn’t the best for a battle situation. The teleport attack is great for striking evasive enemies or those that like to block, but that’s about it. Outside of those scenarios, his teleportation isn’t as great for evasion as it first seems. In truth, players will probably be better off staying on their toes and using a regular dodge instead. Much like Kagero, it can be essential in the right circumstances, but in the heat of battle, something else is more useful.
6 – Arashi Spring
Arashi has the opposite problem to Luka. Her power is exceptionally useful, but she’s pretty unlikeable as a person. At first glance, her laziness is an absolute chore to deal with. Her laziness isn’t charming like Hilda from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, where she gets out of work in funny and entertaining ways. Arashi just straight-up refuses to do stuff when people ask her, and no one seems to care, even though they’re constantly calling her on it.
It goes slightly deeper than that, though, and she’s outright uncaring towards many people in her life. She sees things like having a relationship with her brother as a “meaningless task”, and even when she opens up more, it doesn’t fade to a satisfactory degree. That said, her Hypervelocity power is fantastic in high-stress battle situations. Her ability to slow time opens to many possibilities. It allows the protagonist to use Psychokinesis to their heart’s content without worrying about dodging attacks. Alternatively, it gives a momentary reprieve to heal and recover mid-battle.
5 – Hanabi Ichijo
An intensely friendly character from the word go, Hanabi’s struggle is a very relatable one. She followed her childhood friend, Yuito, into the OSF because she wanted to be with him but didn’t stop to consider what she wanted from the experience. Watching her slowly come to the realization that she needs to start living for herself is an interesting one. What’s more, is that she deals with it very maturely. She considers what she wants from life but doesn’t cut herself off from what (or who) she loves.
Her power lets her down slightly, as there are better alternatives. Pyrokinesis is definitely worthwhile. Burning enemies and forcing them to take continual damage is great. The problem is, it can’t be used at the same time as Electrokinesis, which is arguably much better. Players will be using Pyrokinesis for most of Yuito’s story, but she’s still somewhat outclassed by other party members.
4 – Shiden Ritter
Shiden is intentionally unlikable from the word go. He’s contentious, argumentative and won’t let anyone in. Even when he opens up, he can still get in his own way. As far as first impressions go, few are worse than Shiden. That said, once players understand why he’s like that, he becomes more relatable. It doesn’t make his general jerkiness excusable, but his insecurity about being left behind by his teammates skill-wise earns him sympathy.
What’s more, he realizes that he’s useful to the team without inflating his ego. He still retains that competitive spark that keeps him in the fight. Speaking of sparks, his Electrokinesis ability is one of the best in the game. Stunning opponents is far better than burning them because it allows the protagonist to wail on that enemy relentlessly. As his bond increases, he gets AOE effects that make his attacks utterly devastating.
3 – Gemma Garrison
Winner of the “most on-the-nose naming” award, Gemma’s defensive abilities are fantastic in battle. What’s more, is he’s a very kind person, and his main flaw earns him bucket-loads of sympathy. Being the oldest team member, he’s got a lot of experience in battle and with losing people. It’s given him deep-seated survivor’s guilt that blinds him from what he could do after retirement. Despite being a member of Yuito platoon, his Bond Episodes with Kasane are the best exploration of this, framing it through his failure to protect Naomi.
Sclerokinesis is an ability that is always useful, no matter the circumstance. The ability to entirely negate damage for a small amount of time allows the pressure to come off for brief moments in battle. Briefly giving players one less thing to worry about is always helpful and opens the door for slow but powerful attacks or healing. It’s the kind of ability that players should always activate whenever they get the opportunity.
2 – Tsugumi Nazar
Tsugumi is the obligatory meek but powerful character that players can’t help but fall in love with. It’s funny that Tsugumi is voiced (in English) by the same voice actor as Marianne from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, as their characters are almost identical. Her belief that people don’t want to be around her is heartbreaking but makes it very endearing and satisfying to watch her grow closer to the protagonist. What’s more is that, despite her meek nature, she’s still willing to stand up for her beliefs and challenge those who oppose them.
Her Clairvoyance is a pretty useful ability too. At first, it doesn’t seem like much. Invisible enemies pop up so rarely that she seems like she’d have a very narrow usage, but as she grows, it becomes clear that she’s essential. Her ability to widen the range for perfect dodges and allow a powerful counterattack is great against tough opponents. Additionally, at maximum bond level, the ability drains an enemy’s Crush Gauge much more quickly, making getting decisive blows a breeze.
1 – Kyoka Eden
There’s very little negative to say about Kyoka. If anything, her biggest flaw is that she can be a bit too caring, which is one of those “flaws that isn’t a flaw” that people say in job interviews. She does technically betray the party at one point, but brainwashing from birth does that to a person, and she so firmly rejects this alternate personality that it’s hard not to respect her for it. She cares so genuinely for everyone in the party and is such a wholesome character.
Her Duplication power is absolutely incredible, too. Much like Scleokinesis, it’s the kind of power that players should have on as much as they can. The ability to throw multiple objects with one Psychokinesis attack makes fights a lot easier. It gets even better when her bond level is increased, as multiple copies of the protagonist can come onto the battlefield. This layers up weapon attacks and can combine with effects like Electrokinesis or Pyrokinesis for unbelievable power.
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