Square's reputation for quality RPGs continues with SaGa Frontier. The successor to FFVII is finally here.
Gaga for SaGa?
SaGa Frontier looks and plays like most standard RPGs, but a couple of unique features help the game shine. First, there are seven separate quests with seven diverse characters (you can choose from a male, a female, a cyborg, and a monster), each with a fully playable scenario.
Another feature is the ability that certain members have to absorb and transform into the opponent they're fighting: You may start the match as a harmless bird and end up as a snarling dragon. You can change as many times as you want at the end of a match and carry your new abilities into the next fight.
Graphically, SaGa uses a few scenic tricks from FFVII; namely, lots of prerendered backgrounds. The characters are reminiscent of those in Final Fantasy III, with small sprites, large enemies, and flashy spells.
The sounds are better than those in most RPGs; the standard Square fare. The good, steady soundtrack and heroic battle music are slightly diminished, however, by the low-key monster growls and groans.
Getting used to the game's controls takes practice, but in general they work well, with the exception of when you're using cure potions. To use these in battle, your character must equip either the cure potion or the backpack--if you forget, and no one in your party has a cure spell, you're SOL. And unlike most RPGs, not all your characters are allowed unlimited access to their item inventory during battle.
SaGa is also unbearably tough at times, which further differentiates it from other recent RPGs. Since there's a huge environment to explore, you'll often find creatures that seem incredibly hard to beat or that wipe you out in one round. And there's little direction in the game--you may find yourself battling a group of creatures before you realize (with a little exploration) that you need to find other party members first.
A Final Frontier
All that aside, SaGa Frontier takes you back to the old days of RPGs: lots of battle time, cool spells and weapons, and a fairly mysterious but engaging story line. SaCa will cure your "I've finished FFVII and have nothing to do" blues.
- First, travel to Devin to leam about Arcane and Rune magic. You must make It there before Rouge; you won't be able to acquire the magic If he gets It first. Also, leam where the four Arcane Cards are located and retrieve them.
- Before setting out on your adventure with Thyme, visit the combat arena and build up some hit points. You'll also get a few helpful items.
- Go to Luminous first and get the magician, Rouge, to join you. Then travel to Omble and gather experience fighting among the shadows. Although Rouge will do much of the work, Lute should pick up three new techniques.
- Before grabbing the dress in Rootvllle, have Asellus visit the first shop on the right and see the tutorial on magic. It will help you In the other quests as well.
Download Saga Frontier
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Boasting over 140 hours of gameplay, multiple endings, and seven separate character adventures, SaGa Frontier leaps to the head of 1998's RPG prospects.
A New Frontier
The most refreshing and unique aspects of SaGa Frontier are its huge variety of characters and missions. Players sign on as one of seven selectable heroes, who range from a woman trying to avenge her fiance's murder to a monster hoping to save his homeland--each with their own unique characteristics, spells, and adventures. Up to 15 characters can join your party as you embark on your hero's' quest for murder, revenge, or self-discovery (depending on who your main character is, of course). With so many journeys and unique characters throughout the game, SaGa Frontier seems destined to catch the attention of RPG fans around the world.
Not only does SaGa Frontier have intriguing gameplay to hook RPGers. but it has awesome graphics to match. As you explore SaGa's 30-plus rendered 3D regions. you'll be floored by the amazing graphics, especially when casting spells. The environments and enemies spring to life with color and cool lighting effects, so much so that you'll continuously want to find new spells to cast just to see what happens next. Although it's still unfinished, SaGa Frontier already looks like a worthy follow-up to Final Fantasy VII. Definitely watch your stores for this one.
Final Fantasy isn't the only long-running RPG series from Square. The Saga Frontier series (formerly known as Romancing Saga) has now spanned three different systems, starting with the Game Boy. Along with the name change, Saga Frontier delivers a vastly improved graphical look, similar to what happened to Final Fantasy when it jumped to 32-bit with FFVII.
In terms of game-play, Frontier is expanding its "free scenario" system. In the previous games you could choose from different characters who all generally shared the same quest. With Frontier you get a completely different quest for each character, ineluding multiple endings.
The game system has also undergone major revisions. Players now learn new attacks and spells from other characters, provided that character is human and engaged in battle. Additionally, the game introduces three new character classes--robotic, spirit, and monster--that develop differently from the human characters. For example, the robot develops by learning the programs from defeated enemies, and will develop much faster by defeating things with a mechanical nature.
While the initial "Wow!" factor for RPGs may be gone since FFVII hit, Saga Frontier is still an impressive RPG on its own. Now if only the creators of Final Fantasy and Saga Frontier could get together and do a joint project about space that they could call Final Frontier.
It seems there was a time when there were no RPGs in sight for the Sony machine, but seems hard to remember that now. Saga Frontier updates the Saga series of games on the Super Famicom and could well be the first version that will appear in the States (aside from the Game Boy titles which were renamed Final Fantasy Side Quests.)
The graphic look differs from FFVII in that the characters are rendered sprites as opposed to full polygonal creations. As with previous Saga adventures, this one is fairly non-linear and can be completed in a different order than the last time you played.
This one is also in Sony of America's plan for release, and we'll have extensive coverage as soon as we get our dirty hands on the sucker.
With Final Fantasy Tactics just arriving in stores this month, Sony is already preparing to unleash Square's next big RPG, the latest entry in the long-running SaGa series (which, aside from the Game Boy titles which were brought over as the Final Fantasy Legend series, have never been ported from Japan), SaGa Frontier.
In SaGa Frontier, you get to play through seven different quests, each starring a different character (which you choose at the outset) with his/her/its own diverse story line. For example, Emelia is a girl who's been accused of murdering her boyfriend, and begins in a prison with a narrow chance of escape. Red is a boy who witnesses his father's abduction from an evil syndicate known as "Black X," only to be granted the powers of a superhero from an outsider from a foreign land of heroes. This is just a twinkling of the several huge stories that unfold, and each is quite different from the next. What's more, the game allows you to play through all seven on the same Memory Card file, meaning there's a chance that stories may intertwine later on (we haven't played far enough to find out yet--this literally came in at the very last minute).
Expect a review soon (possibly next month), as the game is due to be released on or around March 24.