Review by Ranma
"Whoa, Square Soft messed up on this one."
Now, all of you who've read my reviews know what kind of a die-hard fan of Square Soft I am... but that doesn't mean I don't recognize their really bad games. And this game, SaGa Frontier, is really bad, kind of like Ehrgeiz, except it's a RPG. And that's definitely not a good thing...
The only things that looks relatively decent in this game are the pre-rendered backgrounds, as found in Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy VII, and Parasite Eve. But even the backgrounds are done very poorly in SaGa Frontier and have no feeling to them; most are just dark and emotionless - a lot like the game itself. All of the characters are sprites, as found in Xenogears and Grandia; and they're really ugly. At least the sprites in Xenogears looked pretty good (for sprites). These BARELY pass as people. And if I remember correctly, there are very few FMVs to save this game, either, if any. Yuck. Unfortunately, this is the game's best area.
Music and Sound: 3/10
First, the good, since there is so little of it - there are a couple (like three for four) pretty nice tracks in SaGa Frontier. Now, the bad - the rest is pure crap. None of the compositions (even the good ones) capture the feeling that Yasunori Mitsuda's or Nobuo Uematsu's do... hell, this music's as bad as Zelda 64's was. Take ANY other PlayStation or Super Nintendo Square Soft game and you have better music. I actually found myself turning the volume down, which is something I RARELY do with any video game. The sound effects are almost totally nonexistent... to tell you the truth, I can't even remember them. I probably didn't want to...
SaGa Frontier does not have one central storyline, like most RPGs; rather, this game focuses on seven different people, with seven different quests, that have entirely nothing to do with each other (they don't connect or tie up loose ends in any way). And, unfortunately, the seven different characters are boring too; they just have empty, uninspired stories... especially Lute, LOL. Let's see if I can remember all seven - Red, your typical superhero who's trying to save the planet from evil; Blue, who's trying to best his brother in magician skills to become the best there is; Lute, a wandering musician who has no storyline whatsoever and just leaves his home with only his guitar; Asellus, a young teenage girl somehow taken to an ''Alice in Wonderland'' type fairytale land where she meets up with all sorts of weird people; another woman (I forgot her name) who is accused of murdering her boyfriend, sent to jail, and is determined to find the real killer; another guy (forgot his name too), who is trying to save his race from extinction; and T620G, a robot who tries to find the meaning of life. None of these stories are interesting in the least manner, and you gotta love the names... Red and Blue? Come ON, Square Soft. The only redeeming factor is the fact that there is a lot of length in this RPG due to the seven different quests... but it's not something you'll want to get through.
The controls are relatively sluggish in SaGa Frontier, both in the world and the Menu - it can sometimes take awhile to get where you want to go. The button functions cannot be complained about, though. Unfortunately, control plays a very minor role in this game and adds nothing to the experience (or nightmare).
Fun Factor: 2/10
The fact that there are seven completely different quests (all in the same overworld, though, mind you) doesn't add to this game at all, seeing as every single quest is incredibly convoluted, confusing, and non-linear. Many a time, you will find yourself wandering to your next destination and ask ''why am I doing this, again?'' or ''what's this for, again?'' The non-linearity of this game only adds to the confusion - rarely will you know where you're actually supposed to go and/or what you need to do. Battles look and play very badly, and have no excitement factor whatsoever - the battles are usually way too hard, and when they're not, they're just boring. You'll spend a lot of time building up levels in this game, and the battles are so boring it will be a major chore to do so. I don't think there's anything I missed... it's all just really boring and poorly executed.
SaGa Frontier fits perfectly right next to Ehrgeiz in Square Soft's ''failure list,'' and even though there aren't many at all of these bad games from Square, these are bad enough by themselves. Actually, those two games are the only bad Square Soft games I can think of. If you do decide to try this game, please rent it - chances are you'll take it back as soon as you see how bad it is. Simply put, stay away from this game. Ugh.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 02/03/00, Updated 02/03/00
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