I also ran into some odd bugs in regards to knockbacks, with my Ace once being declared out of the combat zone whenever he was in the middle of the map. Another time, I had to restart the system after the game was locked into a state of trying to calibrate the damage an enemy suffered from being knocked off a ledge.
The squad limitation, as with the Giulio not always being a selectable Ace, doesn’t make much sense. If the enemy can field eight soldiers, then why do I only get to select four characters out of a 10-character party? So much of the game comes across as so completely arbitrary that, despite the involved combat system, that there are moments where it seems laziness won out over proper balance. The only way progress is possible in the later portions of the game is due to the ability to Retry a battle, which, unlike Replay, starts the round over with all of the character and weapon upgrades earned from the previous attempt. As helpful as that is, it seems to be a quick fix to a more complex problem. Then again, so do some of the other questionable approaches. This might sounds like I’m nitpicking, and I would be inclined to agree in some instances, but every defeat by a ridiculously overpowered enemy squad just reinforces how lopsided the rules are.
I did beat the game, though, and while I won’t go replay it, I am glad that I saw it through. For as many moments where I had to set my system down and walk away, there were a number of times where the game’s web of variables really shined. On top of that, there is the addictiveness of constantly scrounging for new arms and armor, fiddling with items, and trying out the latest looted gear. The various classes offer several ways in which a virtual tinkerer can outfit their troops just right. These classes include such professions as Alchemists, Archers, Assassins, Brutes, Gunners, Paladins, Priestesses, and Sorceresses. Each can equip both general and class-specific gear that vary their attributes and attacks: a fire sword might allow for a three-grid horizontal slash with the possibility to inflict lingering burn damage, while a water sword might instead offer a single-grid attack that has a knockback effect. An unqualified weight limit only increases the experimentation, with characters capable of wielding multiple weapons and weapon types just as long as they don’t overburden themselves.