Review by NWalterstorf
"Far from perfect, but is okay."
M'kay, here's another title from Square. It's got some problems, but remember; it's still pretty fun. Here's the first game in the SaGa series. SaGa Frontier by Squaresoft for the Playstation game console.
First, the graphics are pretty good. 2d. I'm a big fan of 2d. Of course, sometimes the sprites of the characters don't blend well with the backgrounds in certain locals. For example, it seems odd having bright, colorful characters inside of a town called "Junk" where, in a bar, everything looks like... what's the word... junk, maybe? Yeah. There's no sprite color masking; again, this may be nitpicking, but it drains from the atmosphere.
The sound and music are done well. It's got some really catchy beats. Nothing too great in the sound department, but it gets the job done without any complaints. The music's pretty good; for the most part it does fit the atmosphere, and Squaresoft provides us with some catchy beats.
The gameplay is good. The battle system is fun. There's not much to say here to go into detail, but I will admit that the battle system is very good for this title; it's unique, in that it brings various skills and tactics to your character, yet will charge you for using them. Confusing? I'll explain, then:
If you were to get into a fight against a formidable enemy, you'll have to learn to watch your WP (weapon points) so as to not go all out on the enemy. You have a choice. You can hack away at the foe, doing a small bit of damage with a low grade attack like "slash". Or, you could always do the opponent in with "Smash", which charges you 3 WP, "double-slash", 2 WP, or other based on various levels of weapon mastery. The system is smart in that it makes you conserve your WP and not use the most powerful skills at any time; but, in a crisis, it allows you to use them; basically, it's a "here's a good spell but be wise" kind of battle system, and it works fine.
So how about the story? There's... what... how many? I forgot. Anywhere from 6 to 8. Some of the stories are confusing, and some boring. Some of the stories are so non-linear that it's a chore just to try to discover where you are on the story-line, and what exactly you should be doing next. I found myself running place to place with one character trying to find the next chunk of story to continue.
One example would be playing as the robot character, RX or whatever his name is. He'll wind up in Junk, then Scrap, then go on from there after a couple of shoves from the game's story. But then, after a couple of really good scenarios, I didn't know what in the heck I was supposed to do. From that point on, I just ran around to the various worlds, and eventually caught myself onto the right track towards my goal.
But I will say this; with multiple characters and multiple stories, there's plenty of replay value to be found; especially when you finish off, let's say, Red's story, and have everyone else's story to go through.
So should you rent it or buy it? I don't know too many stores which allow you to rent this title anymore, but you should "rent" it if you can find it. It's definitely worth a rent, or a straight purchase, really; the price is so low now-a-days that you could easily purchase this title in a Playstation bargain bin at a video game store. If you could find this title in a situation like that, then by all means make the purchase.
So would I recommend this game? No, not really. Myself, I enjoy this game; I used to absolutely love this game, but then again this title is not without it's rough edges. I give SaGa Frontier a seven out of ten.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 04/10/06
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