Romancing SaGa 2 is the fifth installment of the series.
It’s rather hard to review a remaster when I didn’t play the original. One positive point would be that I have no nostalgic connection to this game. At all.
Despite that, I’ll do my best to review it on both modern and past standards. That being said, let’s begin.
Even though I’m not a fan of the series, there’s some things that may surprise those, like me, that came into the game unnadvised.
First of them – Permadeath – In a colorful world, pretty similar to the bastion Final Fantasy series, there’s a slight change in narrative: people die. All the time. Your party dies.
The game is bold to a point of featuring permadeath – every time your character “dies” in battle, he loses 1 LP (I think that stands for Life Points, but the game doesn’t tell you anything). If he reaches zero, the character dies. Even the main character has this count. OH, AND IT’S NOT RECHARGEABLE. No Inn, no Items, nothing. There is a way, though. A witch that you can pay all your money to buy ONE LP Potion. And she is surrounded by monsters.
That brings to the second point – Generations – Your main character can choose one of his (or her) four heirs to pass his skills and spells. The modern equivalent of this mechanic that I can think of is the Agarest War series.
Third Point – Saving – The game lets you save anywhere, anytime. Really doubt that the original had this trait, but in its actual state, it kinda kills the challenge. The first big challenge that you get are the Doppelgangers, nowadays more known as Mimics. They beat the ever living stuff out of you, and don’t drop anything. With constant saving, you can choose whether challenge them or not.
If you’re following me up to this point, you probably noticed that I’m judging the game on it’s differences from the alpha dog of the time (Final Fantasy V)
Fourth point – Seeable Enemies – Different from its more famous cousin, Romancing SaGa 2 lets go of the random generated encounters to use more physical, seeable enemies. The “contents” of the enemies per se are kinda random, but it’s good to be able to know when an encounter is going to happen. Also, if you’re running at the moment you touch your enemies, your formation gets broken. That’s really neat for an old game.
Fif… you get it – Formations – These are seen on many JRPGs through time, and the mechanic is basically the same: you put your people into a formation, some gain buffs, some don’t. You acquire more than the original two from the beginning of the game.
As for the Story, the game tells the Story of the Seven Heroes that saved the world, but there’s something fishy that happened to them, and it’s all up to you to discover. Even though the story rapidly develops from the start, telling anything else would be spoiler.
Narrative – 9
Mechanics – 7
Audiovisual – 6
Playstation 4 Version