Review by xellos667
"Truly a masterpiece!!!"
The first Riglord Saga (also known here in the US as Mystaria / Blazing Heroes) was one of the first RPG (if not the first) to reach the American market. Made by Micro Cabin (a small company who was making game for the 3DO game console, well surely they did not make game for them a long time), it was a 3D T-RPG with many great qualities. It got some popularity (well as much as a US Saturn release can get, that mean not a lot), but most people ignored this great game. It may be the reason why we didnt get his sequel, which is at least ten times better than the original. Its really sad because its surely one the greatest T-RPG that the Saturn has to offer (in my opinion its as good as Shining Force 3 or Langrisser), and we all know theres a lot of T-RPG on the Saturn. Anyway, lets begin the real review.
My lack in Japanese didnt help me in understanding the story. Anyway here's what I can tell about it. You play the role of Mieu, the princess of the Dragoon Kingdom (hurray, Dragoon was my favorite race from the first Riglord Saga). One day, your kingdom get attacked by two mysterious men working for the even more mysterious group called the "Conference of the Seven Wise Men". The two of them destroy the entire Dragoon army by themselves. So while the king, your father, try to hold them off (I think he is the Dragoon from the first game but im not sure), you escaped with your magician friend, watching the destruction of your own kingdom. But there's no time to cry, you need to escape from Queensland too because these men seem to be after you. So the quest begin as you go off for the eastern land...
Well, this beginning can seem very classic, but unlike the first Riglord Saga, the story seem to have a lot of development, with many great twist in his plot. Its just too bad I cant understand a lot of it. So I wont give a score for this one
Well, its the core of the game. The system didnt really change since the first game, and its perfect that way. It was already excellent to begin with, so it doesnt need a change. To resume, you dont only boost your character level, but you can also raise the level of all your skills (even the "Defend" command), by using them many times. Better skills give you more XP, so it get addicting just to maxing out all these skills.
Next, you still have to use some strategy in your move, since some of your skills cant be used if you move too much on the map. So you need to check your environment too. Climbing a hill will tire you more than walking on a road. It add some depth to the T-RPG genre.
And now, to complete some battle, you will also need to control the map environment (lower the ground for example so you can make a stairway to reach upper part), and in many mission, your ability to transform (you're a Dragoon remember) will be crucial since you will need flying unit to advance on the map (and sometimes, it will be the only unit you can really use in the battle). It makes the game more interesting
As for the difficulty of the game, its just perfect too. The enemies level will go up as you level up (but it will stop at one point so you dont over-boost your character like you were able to do in the first one), so most of the times the challenge will be good. Not really hard, but you wont make stupid move for nothing. The AI of the enemies can be dumb most of the times (they wont budge until you are close to them), but in later battle, it will be your only hope of victory, believe me. So you need to think about your strategy carefully, because if you move too far in the enemy zone, you will be surrounded in no time, and when that happen, its almost a certain game over.
Finally, the only point where theres a downfall when you compare it with the first game, its in the variety of the character. This time you only get 10 of them, and they are not very different from each other (in their respective job of course, not in personality and design). But its not that much of a problem, just wanted to say it.
What more I can say, it was perfect in the first one, its still perfect in the second.
Well, this department can make people think that the game is bad. Well its true the graphic can be kinda ugly when you compare them with today standard. But dont forget that the Saturn was a 2d powerhouse in the first place. Seeing this kind of 3D on the Saturn is really impressive in my book. At least, they are much better than the original. Your characters looks more real, the special effect are spectacular (well some of them at least), and what really impress me is how they control the map environment. Like I said before, you can lower the ground, or makes it grow the way you want (with the use of some spells). And the distortion effect is really something nice. You have to see it to understand what im saying. Well, graphic will surely not be the reason why you will remember this game, but they're still pretty good, just need adaptation from us (like I said, Saturn was not made for 3D game).
I can believe how great the soundtrack was. You hear almost everything, real orchestrated music, classic Japanese theme (with some weird voice in the background), heavy rock, upbeat songs. You wont believe how many instruments appear during the credit. You cant have a better soundtrack than this. And everything is Cd quality.
As for the sound they're kinda standard, except for some monster cry that are really great (some of them are really scary). Finally, there's voice acting but only at the beginning and at the end of the game (I wonder why they didnt put more), and of course when you do some move, or when your character dies. The voice actor did a really great job. Everything is professional.
So to resume, Riglord Saga 2 is perfect in the sound department, I was just hoping for more voice acting. But with all these musics of great quality, maybe they lack of space (some of the track can last almost 4 to 5 minutes without repeating).
Remember how short was Riglord Saga (I remember finishing everything perfect in 20 hours, bonus dungeon included). Well this time you wont have to worry about the length of the game. There's now three world to explore (including the good old Queensland, with all its familiar location, that will please the fan of the original) for almost 50 hours of gameplay. Add to that two bonus dungeon, the fact that the level cap is not 30 anymore (in fact I dont know what is it time, since the strongest enemies in the game are at lv 40, and im at lv 46 right now, so they dont give me a lot of XP to boost them more) you will have a lot if reason to continue to play after you beat it. But, not to restart it unfortunately. Thats the problem with long game. Still, there's a lot more to do in Riglord Saga 2.
WHY??? Why they didn't bring this game here. Well surely for the same reason they didn't bring almost every RPG that was released in Japan, but still...With a game of such quality, its sad that a Riglord Saga 3 never sees the day. In fact im pretty sure this game was not really popular even in Japan, which sadden me greatly because so much efforts were put into this game. I only bought it 4$, and I feel it was almost stealing. So for that price, and with so much quality, if you're a RPG fan, and if you can pass the fact that its in Japanese, I see no reason to not add this game to your library.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/30/04
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