Before I get to those musings, though, I have to mention that I've never played any other iteration of this game. (Developer altairworks first made it available to iOS and PlayStation Mobile users early last year.) So, I can't say how the 3DS port compares to those releases.
With that out of the way, here are some impressions of Ambition of the Slimes for 3DS:
* First, I like that this Final Fantasy Tactics-esque SRPG gets things rolling in the right direction with a tutorial. Even better, it's a short tutorial--just three quick battles.
* Why do I like that it includes a tutorial? Because as is the case with many of Circle Entertainment's games--no offense intended by this next statement, mind you--Ambition of the Slimes' text is only somewhat understandable. Also, it just doesn't feature much text, period. Combine those truths and you have a situation that screams for some sort of tutorial.
* Surprisingly, the third stage of this 3DS title's tutorial had me stumped for a bit. Specifically, the enemy kicked my butt two or three times before I finally figured out what I had to do to beat it. That's not a knock on the game, by the way; I'm pretty sure I was just being dense. Still, it was nice to learn so quickly that Ambition of the Slimes probably wouldn't be a pushover.
* Speaking of Ambition of the Slimes' story, at the moment I'd almost describe it as non-existent. Now, I'd consider that a negative in many cases (especially when talking about RPGs), but in this one it doesn't bother me at all. I didn't buy this from the 3DS eShop because I wanted a deep adventure; I bought it because I wanted a "lite" SRPG to play during my daily commute and during whatever free time I can muster up at home. That's exactly what it's given me so far.
* Control-wise, Ambition of the Slimes is perfectly serviceable. Or maybe I should say it controls as expected. In other words, the 3DS' shoulder buttons rotate the playfields, à la Final Fantasy Tactics and most other modern SRPGs, while its circle and directional pads move characters and its A and B buttons confirm battle orders. Oh, and each of these actions work smoothly and feel good.
* Finally, my favorite aspect of Ambition of the Slimes: its graphics. I'm not just talking about its main battle aesthetics--you know, the ones that can be seen while moving about on the game's three-dimensional, isometric fields. Those are great--thanks in large part to the pixelated characters that populate them. Even better, as far as I'm concerned, are the graphics that come into play after you've decided to confront a specific enemy. (Check out the red-tinged screenshot above for an example of what I'm talking about here.) The sprite-based art used in these moments almost looks like it was created by Pokémon designer Ken Sugimori (even though I know he had nothing to do with it).
Sounds good, right? If you agree, go ahead and give it a try. It'll only set you back five bucks. Just keep in mind that Ambition of the Slimes is a lot like a couple of other Circle Entertainment 3DS titles, namely Witch & Hero and Witch & Hero II.
Much like those games are bite-sized tower-defense titles, Ambition of the Slimes is a bite-sized strategy RPG. In other words, expect something that rivals the great Final Fantasy Tactics and you're going to be sorely disappointed.
See also: Ambition of the Slimes' latest trailer