Twenty-two years later, Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena, finally gets its sequel. This Original PlayStation classic came out in 1998, published by Atlus and developed by Hearty Robin. This tactical RPG received a remake in 2000 and included some multiplayer support. Now, decades later Matrix Software brings PS4 and Nintendo Switch owners a long awaited sequel. The Nintendo Switch received the title in June and the PS4 in December. Limited Run Games also did a special release for gamers who would rather have a copy on their shelf.
Now, I was chosen to review this game, and this is the one type of RPG that I am horrible at. I’ve been trying to beat Fire Emblem: Awakening on easy forever and I just can’t beat Chapter 6 I believe. I’m hesitant to review this title, but I will do my best to be fair even though these are not my forte. I am excited to play it, I like the world, the look, the music and the Japanese voice overs, I’m just nervous about the battle mechanics.
The year is 781 in the land of Runersia, five nations and one tribe are throwing the land into chaos. All of faction desire one thing, to stop the chaos and unite all six of the countries. War, of course, is the only way to finally gain peace in Runersia. Five mana stones were cast into this land and all but one of the warring parties has one. These stones, once set into armor are now called Brigandine’s. They are named thusly, Ego, Glory, Freedom, Sanctity and Justice.
From the names of these Brigandine’s you can tell this makes the world volatile, they cannot exist in peace and one must rule them all. To do this you must take your Rune Knight across the land and defeat the enemy bases that you come in contact with. As you do this more of the story will unfold, but only if you are successful. Should all the bases fall before you can beat them the game is over and you have lost.
The more and more I played this title, the more I realized that it was a much more advanced version of the Fire Emblem: Awakening mechanics. When I first started playing Fire Emblem on my 3Ds I thought that was too much to manage. Little did I know a few years later I would be almost overwhelmed by the mechanics in Brigandine.
When you first boot up the title you are greeted with a very long cut-scene that you must read because there is no voice translation. Which I love, makes me think I’m learning Japanese as I play games like this, especially the Yakuza games. After you pick which banner you will fly under as you battle in Runersia, you are given a very long tutorial section. This section does help you a little bit, but so much is thrown at you, you’re almost at a loss. For me this was almost too much, I don’t play these games very often and when I do, I’m very unsuccessful at them.
That being said, Matrix Software must have felt bad for gamers like me, who want to branch out, but just can’t find the right strategy role playing game. They included an “easy” mode for people like man and it made all of these confusing mechanics in battle, much simpler. Instead of being frustrated at trying to win these turn based battles, I could click on the thumbstick and the AI would take over the battle. This made the game much more enjoyable for me in the battle aspect of the game. The part of the game that I actually enjoyed the most was the setting up my battalions. Before you wage strategic war, you get to move soldiers around, change their classes, send units out on quests. These quests are very important, this is the main way you get loot to give to your soldiers. If you don’t quest a lot you’re soldiers will be running onto the battlefield naked and carrying only a stick!
I love the look of this game, the world looks like a gorgeous watercolor painting that is ravaged by war. The cut scenes play like comic panels which you read. The characters are vibrant, unique and gorgeous. I really love the look of this game, it makes me want to read more comic books. Once you get the battles done successfully then you are subject to more of these wonderful scenes. Lots of them add to your armies, so you want to be successful in your warring. If you are defeated people do not join your cause.
The battles are grid based from a bird’s eye view. You get to see the entire battle map and adjust as follows. I, of course, did use the “auto” mode so I got to watch my battles happen, my successes and failures while watching YouTube on another screen. When I did glance over to watch my progress it was very pretty! The beasts that help you in your battles are also very well designed and you can tell which one is which on the battlefield. It was fun running into battle with a unicorn at my side and a phoenix on the other. Made me feel very Harry Potterish.
Had Matrix Software NOT given this game an “easy” mode, I would not have enjoyed it at all! The fact that they allowed people who usually don’t play these games an option to enjoy the art, story and nuances of Brigandine really was a stellar decisions. I am recommending this to my friends, I enjoy every part of this game, even if I don’t understand some of it, even still.
This is a great game for newcomers to the strategy role playing game genre, you will learn one of the most difficult titles in the genre, and because of the “easy” mode you will understand and retain it. I can’t wait to jump back into Fire Emblem so I can finally watch the credits roll on that title once I’m done with this one. It will take me some time though, there are five more campaigns to go through once I finish my first.
Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia
Over two decades have passed and Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena finally gets the sequel it deserves in the form of Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia.
- The art is a gorgeous mix of pastels and water colors.
- Six different storylines to enjoy at your leisure.
- Has an easy mode so that people like me can try to understand and enjoy these types of games.
- There are so many battle, attack and preparation mechanics that it can seem overwhelming at times.
- The game is very wordy and slow paced, you need a lot of time to really get into the game.