Review by Sandslice

Reviewed: 04/13/02 | Updated: 04/13/02

Even in the face of new games...

Note that the overall score does not represent an average.

When I first got a Saturn, it was for fighting games; but this game is THE reason I actually keep the otherwise dead system. It's got a fairly engaging storyline as well as decent gameplay, anime graphics, and humour both intentional and unintentional. The lowdown:

GRAPHICS 9/10: Everyone talks about the two hundred soldier thing, and I must generally agree. But the oft-overlooked backgrounds are well done, as are other features such as trees and rocks which litter some of the fields, ''realistically'' limiting vision. And the characters themselves, especially those with unique sprites, are well drawn.

GAMEPLAY 7/10: A bit simplistic, to be sure; you have to put some effort into losing, although the system AI can fight dirty at times. And there are times that I wish some of the leaders' subordinate officers had more of a role in the overall story. But these are minor complaints. This game is, indeed, a welcome diversion from the myriad fighting games and more traditional RPG's.

TRANSLATION 7/10: This game was most likely translated by Japanese people with limited knowledge of English, and it shows with comments like ''I want to serve in my army, will you join?'' and ''Reaper of souls, collect you bounty!'' Of course, with developments as they have played out, we're lucky anyone translated this game at all, so I should at least be thankful.

INTERFACES 10/10: The menus are extremely simple to use, even if some of the functions they provide aren't very useful in general.

SOUND 9/10: Bleeps and blips are not NECESSARY in RPG's, but bad ones would make a game much worse. The ''cancel'' noise is annoying, and the chitter that accompanies each letter's appearance on the screen could be done without. But the spells sound like you think those spells should sound like; for example, fire spells like Meteor Storm sound like exploding fireballs, wind spells sound like the howling wind, and so on.

MUSIC 8/10: Some of the themes could have been chosen better; for some reason, the Junon and Mikhal themes seem contrived and poorly considered. Wherein those games have a darker, or more desperate, edge to them, the music is too mellow and peaceful. That aside, most themes are well placed and appropriate, especially one called ''Apostle of Dark God.,'' which is the music played for certain bosses...

REPLAY 9/10: I could complain a bit about the general lack of hidden goodies in the game, or about the repetitive nature of the tasks in general, but the game does have eight different storylines to it, and seeing those developments is alone worth the price of admission.

In any case, if you should happen to find a good, working copy of this game, and still have a Saturn, get it!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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