Square Enix ported the Final Fantasy Legend Game Boy games to PC & Switch, and I appreciate that


In what’s nigh assuredly Sq. Enix’s lowest profile launch of 2021, Assortment of SaGa Closing Fantasy Legend is now out there for Steam and cell units, having additionally launched for Nintendo Switch late final 12 months. Whereas this is not a proper assessment, actually, I simply needed to take some phrases to say: Thanks Sq., I respect it.

For these not conscious, Assortment of SaGa is a trilogy of three Recreation Boy titles that have been initially launched between 1989-1991: The Closing Fantasy Legend, Closing Fantasy Legend II, and Closing Fantasy Legend III. In Japan, these video games go by a special title, as they’re the primary three entries in Sq.’s still-ongoing SaGa collection. And yeah, they’re previous, greater than 30 years so.

In a world the place digital storefronts stuffed with basic video games are slowly closing down and publishers extra usually choosing novelty mini-consoles or subscription services, I respect Sq. Enix’s present dedication to convey again basic video games to fashionable consoles as standalone merchandise, particularly on a platform like Steam, which should not have to fret as a lot about backward compatibility for years (or hopefully a long time) to come back.

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Certain, not all of these re-releases are perfectly done, no less than initially. Nevertheless, having these classics as soon as once more out there actually beats having them languishing on platforms a couple of generations out-dated, and Sq. has put power some admirable efforts to deal with the locations the place they falter. This 12 months alone we additionally noticed nice remasters of SaGa Frontier Remastered Legend of Mana, and naturally Chrono Cross rumors have additionally been floating round too.

Assortment of SaGa is just not actually a remaster, as a substitute being principally a straight port with not many modifications made to the unique Recreation Boy releases. Nevertheless, there may be one key addition – a high-speed ‘turbo’ mode the place the sport will run at a a lot increased velocity, each out and in of battle. These types of additives are comparatively widespread in re-releases equivalent to this for traditional RPGs, however I am very glad nonetheless that the choice is there. It is nearly exhausting to think about enjoying the sport *with out* a turbo mode today. It is also value mentioning that the turbo mode does *not* velocity up the music, which another video games do, and so I additionally respect that.

I am not going to mince phrases. Except you might be revisiting for nostalgia functions, or you might be an previous soul (like me) who habitually likes to discover a few of the oldest entries within the style, going again in time to play these video games might be tough, except you might be in the precise mindset. GB graphics apart, the storyline is minimal, the textual content is terse, menus are cumbersome, and you will be spending quite a lot of time undecided the place to go or what to do except you might be referencing a walkthrough. Random battles and restrictive stock limits aren’t discovered in lots of fashionable RPGs, however you wager you may run into these right here.

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The Closing Fantasy Legend might be the trickiest title to get to, being the oldest of the three video games with probably the most troublesome problem. Particularly in case you are comparatively unfamiliar with SaGa collection components, leaping straight into the primary sport could be a wrestle, particularly early on. You may be requested to make human, mutant, or monster characters and not using a clear rationalization about what the variations are, and the sport will not often ever be particular in telling you the place to go. You may even be strapped for money for a lot of the early sport. That stated it positively has some cool methods in place that may make appearances in future video games within the SaGa collection, and it is enjoyable to see how the collection began – in the event you can acquiesce to its unrefined nature.

Closing Fantasy Legend II improves upon the primary in practically each approach, including a extra concerned storyline, higher sport stability, higher artwork, and a few cool sport mechanics. It is nonetheless bizarre as hell, however bizarre is cool, and it will take some experimenting to study precisely how the sport’s leveling works. Closing Fantasy Legend II is the place the SaGa collection hits its first stride, coming collectively extra cohesively than the extra prototypical entry in FFL1. In addition to different SaGa video games, a few of the mechanics right here aren’t simply present in different RPGs even at this time, so a 30-year-old sport can really feel recent and totally different regardless of its age. Very similar to the unique although, you should still end up wandering a bit to discover ways to proceed by means of the sport, as the sport won’t maintain your hand. Alternatively, you possibly can all the time comply with a information or walkthrough.

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Closing Fantasy Legend III is well the sport that’s best for newcomers to get into. It is also in all probability the SaGa sport that feels the least like a SaGa sport, for higher or worse. It makes use of a extra conventional non-SaGa leveling system, and it is comparatively simple to overpower your crew to the purpose most enemies will not stand an opportunity. It has probably the most outlined characters and story relative to the entries earlier than it, and it additionally has an important soundtrack contemplating it is a Recreation Boy sport (finished by Ryuji Sasai who additionally labored on Closing Fantasy Mystic Quest).

There’s just one subject with the PC port I’d take into account vital, however not fairly a deal-breaker. Plainly regardless of how I reset the sport, both by means of the in-game perform or by means of Steam itself, the sport’s RNG ‘seed’ is all the time initialized in the identical approach, that means the random battles & outcomes upon hundreds are all the time the identical & predictable.

This may be both advantageous or disadvantageous, relying on what chances are you’ll be making an attempt to do. For instance, in FFL, I spotted within the ocean world that my mutant in my first slot would all the time achieve +5 Agility on the second battle after a load, so I exploited this to maximise his Agility stat. Nevertheless, in case you are making an attempt to get a sure random drop (both merchandise or meat, or possibly a sure stat up) from a boss battle for no matter purpose, it is harder to reset to do that, because the RNG is seeded the identical approach each time.

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One other subject with the re-release is that there are not any manuals included. Particularly within the ’90s and earlier, many sport tutorials and even narrative bits have been sequestered away from the sport itself and positioned right into a guide that was included within the field. Particularly for a collection as mechanically bizarre and comparatively unexplained as SaGa, together with a digital guide for these video games would have been an ideal addition for the re-release. Fortunately, you’ll find related particulars on-line with a easy Google search, however the exclusion of a digital guide is disappointing.

Do not get me mistaken, I like these three SaGa video games and I am very glad they’re now playable on a contemporary console. SaGa video games might all the time be a little bit of an acquired style – the 30-year-old entries particularly so. A $20 worth level, with some occasional gross sales, is affordable contemplating that discovering the unique cartridges second-hand will price you way more for the three video games. 

Minor blemishes apart, Assortment of SaGa is a strong, simple, and principally no-frills re-release of some decades-old RPGs. With the SaGa collection nonetheless alive and properly 30 years after this trio initially launched, we will all stay up for a new SaGa game hopefully getting announced in 2022.



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