THE 7th SAGA / Enix / SNES

The 7th Saga really has quite a few great ideas. The game has you choose from one of seven adventurers, who are summoned by some Ye Olde Kinge to find seven runes that will rid the land of evil or whatever. Stock 1990s unimaginative console plot, I grant you, but the adventurers can team up with each other along the way, some will be more likely to betray you and run off with runes while you sleep (or just attack you once you find them), they might beat you to the runes or pick fights with you in town when you talk to them, etc.

The game also has "semi-random" combat, as a sphere at the top of the screen shows the positions of monsters relative to you. They always move towards you, but often do so in a roundabout way, so with a little footwork and open ground you can sometimes avoid combat.

There's even some pretty good music, and the genericness of the plot is leavened by some decent twists later in the game. Unfortunately, what's good in this one is just wholly overwhelmed by what is wrong with it.

The most prominent problem is the insane difficulty. The game requires incredible amounts of grinding to survive, and even the common monsters right outside of each town are a serious threat until you've ground up a number of levels in each area.

The plot is also kind of threadbare for long stretches, and the localization is fairly Engrishy. The concept of the seven adventurers interacting along the way is great, but little has been done with it, and no one really seems to act in a way that is consistent with the personality and backstory the game gives them. It seems to be totally random whether a character will pick a fight with you or not; likewise, there are a couple of parts where a character can beat you to a rune, one of which involves committing a fairly major atrocity, but as to who it ends up being is totally randomized, so the holy priest or the noble fighter can end up being the ones you have to take down. Fights with the other adventurers are the worst nightmare of the game; they have whatever statistics they would have at your character's current level, making them far and away more powerful than the (already jacked up) monsters.

There's a patch linked below called 7th Saga Redux, which begins to address the difficulty and play balance, but the game is really in need of more than just a difficulty tweak to make it really appealing. The 7th Saga is really just a case of good concepts squandered.

Links :

* The 7th Saga Redux

Videos :

* Gameplay Video