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Thread: SaGa Franchise

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    • Former Cid's Knight

    Boco SaGa Franchise

    So after ignoring the series for years outside of FFLegends 2 (a.k.a. SaGa 2) I've finally taken the plunge into Square's second oldest franchise and Squenix's third oldest, SaGa, the franchise helmed by the notorious Kawazu of FFII fame.

    At the moment I'm playing Final Fantasy Legends on my GBA because the TV that my SNES is plugged into is about to die. Meanwhile I've been plowing through SaGa Frontier 2 on my PS3. Two pretty different games but some interesting ideas nonetheless.

    In FFL, my party consists of two humans, one mutant, and a monster. Money is tight, so I have been really slow to develop the money gobbling human characters and I'm at the annoying point where all the monster meat I find seem to alternate my poor monster between three basic forms. He's currently an Albatross, which is actually better than that sounds. My Mutant has quickly turned into my MVP. While her strength is horrendous, she has 4x as much health as anyone on my team, and her magic is amazing. It's just really annoying that the game doesn't tell me when she actually gets stat boosts, and even more annoying when the game decides to randomly change one of her useful spells. Currently, I'm still trying to find the Hero's Armor set so I can enter the Tower of Paradise. I just obtained the armor after saving a village from Lizard bandits and brought together the very human king with his new bride that is either a slime or an octopus-thing... This game is trippy as hell.

    On Saga Frontier 2's front, I'm feeling very conflicted here. This is definitely a game that unfortunately falls short of its full potential. Like from the outside it looks like it has all the ingredients to be really epic, but there are just too many nagging issues. Nothing that keep it from being fun, but this game could have been the title to really launch this series in the West had it handled it's elements better.

    Gustav is a very intriguing protagonist. In fact, he's almost a damn villain protagonist in some ways, and his story is very cool on paper but less engaging in execution because the plot jumps around too much in his scenario and it's very obvious that it's not really going to spend much time developing most of the cast in his story as well as him. Still, there is some cool political intrigue and Gustave feels like what it would be like to play as a weird combination of Delita and Algus if they were a bit more sympathetic. I like the fact that we have a reversal of some usual tropes here as well. Gustave XIII was suppose to succeed his father the king but due to lacking Anima, the magical power that just about everyone in this world has, he ends up being disowned and exiled. His steel sword he builds has wound up being one of the best weapons in the game since it's one of the few that can't break. So his chapters are fun to play, but I wish more focus was being placed on the other characters to help really expand the political intrigue cause some of Gustave's planning falls a bit flat since the rest of the cast feels a bit one dimensional at times. Sadly, I can already tell that Gustave may wind up being the villain in the other guy's plot.

    Wil Knights story has been harder to get into. On the one hand, I appreciate finally having a full party, on the other hand, Wil's scenario is significantly harder and Wil is not exactly my ideal MC character gameplay-wise. His story is also a bit more... typical RPG since it deals with searching ruins for lost artifacts and Wil searching for the cause of his parents mysterious deaths. So in essence one scenario feels like some lost chapters from FFTactics, and the other kind of feels like a typical JRPG plot. Which is only made worse when I learned that Wil's family scenario actually makes up the bulk of the game and Gustave, who is plastered all over the cover and media artwork for this game has the shorter less interactive scenario. Luckily Wil's party are actually very personable, but sadly, since Gustave rarely gets a party and his steel sword is his best weapon, the fact that Arts cross over between the casts doesn't do much since Wil's group uses different weapons and have access to magic.

    Speaking of which, holy hell does this game need a tutorial to explain everything. It's like Vagrant Story all over again where the combat is incredibly deep and complex but the game never explains any of it. There are two different combat styles depending on whether you fight as a group or one-on-one. You don't really have traditional levels or stats, everything is based on what armor you're wearing and what your proficiency is with certain weapons and elements. Weapons can break in combat and skills actually break them faster. There are combo attacks, and apparently there are even Suikoden style army battles as well. I've had to scrounge around for some guides just to make heads of everything.

    Overall, it's been pretty fun with both games. I also have Romancing SaGa waiting for me as well, but I'll likely wait until I've finished one of the two games first.

    So this is a SaGa thread, which games have you played? Which ones do you recommend, and am I the only one who finds it weird that Hamauzu reused the Battle themes from Unlimited SaGa for FFXIII?

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