My Top JRPGs ~ #5 ~ SaGa Frontier

If you thought a RPG with two playable characters sounded great, how does seven sound? I can promise you, the reality is far better than what you’re imagining!

SaGa Frontier‘s plot is hard to explain, because each of the seven characters have their own stories that take place in the same world. Many of the events are the same however, giving you different perspectives on different occurrences. This may sound repetitive, but the stories for each character differ greatly, varying from a woman on a path of revenge, to a man’s quest for ultimate power, to the tale of a robot simply trying to find its way in the world. This game also boasts the Free Scenario System, which lets you complete the events of the story in any order you wish, sometimes even intersecting with other characters’ stories. Some characters can even recruit other main characters for their own adventures! If this isn’t enough reason for you to try each story, finishing all seven characters’ adventures will earn you a very special ending!

Another great thing about this game is how customizable your characters are. There are several kinds of magic in this game, some are represented by tarot arcana, others represented by runes. You can choose one or the other, then go out on quests to earn the right to those magics. Some magics cannot be wielded by the same character (for instance, a character cannot have both light and shadow magic at the same time), so it is important to plan how you want to configure your characters based on their natural strengths and weaknesses. If you work hard enough, you can even uncover some devastating combo attacks when you have the right mix of abilities at your disposal. This calls for quite a bit of tactical thinking, but its never boring and always fun.

Even outfitting your characters is a treat. You can earn money in battles or by gold bricks via buying low and selling high, earning you major cash. It takes a bit of footwork, but its worth it when you get to go to junkyards and other shops to outfit your characters with some powerful and downright crazy weapons and armor. Combining strong weapons and armor with potent magics is the key to being successful in your travels.

Oh, and there’s some fan-service in this game, too. (In reality, the bunny suit ups Emelia’s magic!)

The music is very powerful in this game as well. The sounds are nostalgic and downright epic. The soundtrack boasts over 70 tracks and was originally released in a 3-disc set, so there is also a wide variety of music that will ensure you never get tired of the beautiful sounds coming from your speakers. Much of the reason for the variety of music is because of the different settings, which range from medieval castles to cyberspace-like worlds, ensuring that fans of all RPG genres will have something to love here.

Unfortunately, the graphics are where this game falls short. The game attempts to present 3D-looking objects on a 2D plane, and it doesn’t work out well, especially in battle. It results in some of the scenes and bosses looking almost cheesy, but you will barely notice it once you get pulled into the gameplay and get sucked into the highly addicting world presented to you. For me at least, it gives me a nostalgic feeling and reminds me of when games were just emerging into the world of 3D graphics and really beginning to grow visually.

If you haven’t tried it yet, SaGa Frontier is one title not to be missed. The numerous amounts of main stories and side-stories, side-quests, items, weapons, armors, and spells make the game almost infinite in its progression, ensuring that no two play attempts will ever truly be the same. The recurrence of memorable bosses and side-characters also add a ton of charm to this gem of a game, a charm that all gamers should give in to and give a spin.


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