Monday, February 10, 2014

Nerdicus SNES Review #2 : 7th Saga

Title :  7th Saga

Publisher : Enix

Genre : RPG

Players : 1 / 2 Player

Release Date : 1993

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $15-$20

Ah, 16-bit RPG's. I don't think there was ever anything better to indulge myself with as a 10 year old kid. In case you didn't realize, or you don't remember from my earlier posts, RPG's were my thing growing up. I craved them. Thirsted for them. Desired them. NEEDED THEM. Aghhh!!! Even now, RPG's are my obsession. I'm currently breezing my way through BRAVELY DEFAULT for the DS, and boy does it bring back some awesome memories of a company that I loved, then hated, and now am beginning to love again.

When you think RPG's during the 16-bit era, and hell, even know, two publishers come to mind. Squaresoft, and Enix. And as you very well know, these companies merged to form one EPIC RPG making machine now called SquareEnix. These were the RPG kings of their time, and it's seemingly impossible to dethrone them. You could say that their success rate with RPG's is two good, for every one bad. 

In the 16-bit era, we had our fair share of "odd' RPG's, and 7th Saga is considered to be one of them. It wasn't a hit. But it wasn't a monstrosity either. In fact, this is sort of one of those cult classic RPG games that you either loved or hated.

For me, it was that very love-hate relationship that makes me remember playing this game as if it were yesterday. The first time I played 7th Saga, one of my very good friends (who I am still friends with today!) let me borrow it. I played it for at least a week before I was able to beat it. One thing that I remember looking back at this game, was that it was probably one of the most difficult RPG's I had ever played. Everything seemed to be capable of kicking your arse, no matter how many levels you forced yourself to grind.

To kick things off, 7th Saga has a pretty unique story line. The thing is, each character is looking for seven runes, which you can find by using a crystal ball that has been given to you by King Lemele. Now King Lemele needs to ensure that these runes are safe in fear of resurrecting an evil being known as Gorsia, who was once defeated by someone named Saro. Okay, okay. The story is complex, and there are a lot of twists by the time you get to the end, so I'll just leave it at that.

The RPG mechanic is a little different than a traditional RPG. You don't have yourself a full party like most RPG's. Instead you choose one character at the start of the game, and you are given the opportunity to join up with those same characters when you encounter them. Either that, or you can battle them.

Typically, I chose the Human Warrior (because he was the most well rounded), and paired him with the robot guy. That robot guy was insanely strong, and was typically the only reason I survived any battles hahaha. All the rest, I just kicked their arses.

As any good RPG would have, there's a few different game segments. You've got your "towns" where you buy equipment, talk to NPC's to gather information, and basically take a breather to learn more about the story or where you need to go next. Towns are never huge in this game, unlike some other RPG's and they aren't as extensive in terms of who you can talk to.

Which has always been a problem for me because I NEED to talk to everyone, even if all they have to say is a bunch of crap.

Then you've got the overworld MAP which is much like every other RPG map. You're a giant, capable of crushing towns with your feet. No, seriously. Okay..okay..I'm kidding. The interesting thing about this game is that it was one of the few to implement a system that allows you to avoid enemy encounters. On the top left is an orb that shows you where enemies are by little blips. You can try to avoid them by moving in opposite directions, but good luck with that. They move so quickly and so randomly you'll just end up bumping into them anyway.

Last, but not least, is your battle screen. You'll be seeing a lot of this screen throughout your travels and it will be destroying you. Now this was something you didn't see every day though. The battle-screen shifts from the overworld view to a MODE 7 view (more about MODE 7 to come in a later blog entry I'm writing). 

The thing about battles....well, how do I explain. THEY ARE HARD. And I'm talking INSANELY hard. As in I didn't even survive my first battle hard. This game is all about grinding, and you are going to have to do a lot of it. One of the most annoying things is when you encounter one of the other characters in the game, they are always the same level as you no matter what. But that's not the only thing. Their stats are a LOT higher than yours, so they are ALWAYS better than you no matter what. Good luck beating em, you're going to need it.

Visually, the game is alright. It's a little "boxy" for my taste, and everything seems stiff in the overworld and towns. Battle sequences are a lot of fun though, as hard as they may be. To make up for the shoddy graphics, you've got a killer sound track in this game. But it's hard not to expect anything less as ENIX was known for their amazing RPG music, just like Squaresoft. Another reason why SquareEnix is Epic.

The game wasn't a hit in the US, but it wasn't a complete disaster. A lot of people were frustrated by the difficulty of the game, and I really don't blame them. But if you have the patience for all night grind sessions for leveling, and are intrigued by the story, you won't be disappointed. The game becomes a bit addictive as you just need to beat those other characters to those runes.

Especially that demon. He's just a big jerk. Meanie......

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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