Romancing SaGa 2 for Nintendo Switch is a remaster of a Square Enix RPG originally created for the Super Famicom in 1993. Quite honestly, that sentence tells most of the story here, even if you are not familiar with the series. This game is a bit old and arguably hasn’t held up too well as time has passed. That being said, it does have some interesting and unique ideas.
The game is based on a generational concept. What this means is that you don’t play a main character throughout the game. The story revolves more around the actual empire than the characters themselves. You play through multiple generations of emperors in this world, and as they die (often times by your hands) you take control of their successor. When you start a new generation, you pick from 4 classes for your new emperor to become. The new emperor spawned receives the powers you gained in the previous emperor, encouraging your growth and providing a great progression loop to the player. This is a feature I really enjoyed and one I wish that a more modern RPG would take a stab at replicating.
There are tons of customizations for your characters. Many different types, techs, spells, formations and more. All of these effect each combat encounter and how you approach a situation and can make for some neat combos that one can feel genuinely proud of creating.
I have one immediate gripe I have to share about the Nintendo Switch version of Romancing SaGa 2: There is a strange input delay on the map. You move on a grid base, so pushing up has your character on the map or in the dungeon move up one invisible square. But there’s a delay in doing this. Walking through dungeons was a chore. Holding a button to dash had me constantly stumbling the wrong direction or hitting encounters I was trying to avoid. Why this delay exists, I have no idea, but it is incredibly noticeable.
The game is focused much more heavily on combat than story. The story is forgettable. So much so that I don’t know if I could recap it here. Basically you’re trying to better this empire. Just go with that and skip the dialogue.
The combat is your classic RPG fare. The nice thing about encounters is you start with full health each time. The sad part is you should expect to lose it quickly in each encounter. As said earlier, this game is difficult. Stat grinding is not necessarily encouraged even though you’ll find yourself doing it by necessity. The enemies level up with you in strength as you grow.
This is a difficult game. Expect to die often. Not only do you die often, but you will often have difficulty knowing where to go next. Many times I wandered through a door in a dungeon only to have my party wiped. Sometimes I would flee desperately and get back through the door to begin backtracking with a depleted party. Frustratingly, backtracking is an added chore due to the fact that the enemies reset upon re-entering a room. While this can be nice for grinding, it’s frustrating when you’re wondering what to do next and backtracking often.
Another thing that is difficult is remembering how to do what and why. There are plenty of tutorials, but as you progress you forget certain aspects of the game and there is no place to look them up other than the good ole internet. So either take notes or expect to look up guides online to answer questions you’ll surely have.
All in all, this game is absolutely one for those who adored the days of classic RPGs but are looking for something new to scratch that itch. It has its frustrations, is difficult, and requires a bit of assistance from walkthroughs online. But beneath all of that lies a very deep combat and character customization system with an incredibly interesting generational focus on character death and recreation. It keeps the combat fresh and interesting and definitely makes you want to keep moving forward, even when that seems rather difficult or unclear. If this sounds at all interesting to you, it’s worth a buy.
Andrew has been a nerd his whole life. He built his first computer when he was 8, started working in the IT industry at 15, and played competitive Counter-Strike at 16. His interest in amiibo started before their release but didn’t really take off until after the new year. He doesn’t like to admit it but Little Mac and WFT are among the amiibo that he had pre-ordered from Amazon but cancelled before their release. Little did he know a few months later he’d help start Amiibo Alerts. Gaming has always been his passion. He grew up with an NES, Sega Genesis, and PS2 before realizing that PCs truly are better than consoles.
The urge to be a little better, brought on by being a gamer, is what pushes him to help make Amiibo Alerts and Nintendeal amazing communities. Together with the team he has built, he is realizing a life-long dream: bringing something helpful and fun to a large group of people. Andrew’s role at Amiibo Alerts and Nintendeal as Founder and Editor in Chief allows him to create and build contacts within the community, review and present products, and stay on top of all things Nintendo.
Plays: Switch, PC, Xbox One, PS4, WiiU, 3DS, Vita, and board games.