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Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (SNES) artwork

Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (SNES) review

"Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen is a game of many faces. Looking at it in retrospect it was a well made game, and did what I guess it was supposed to be. It made strategy a part of gaming, and made it crucial to being a victor. Problem is, that is only in retrospect. While playing the game I was bored beyond reasonable belief, and truly have no desire to play this game EVER again in my life. It would take me a full day to beat a single level, just cause I'd pause it for so many breaks. Ogr..."

Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen is a game of many faces. Looking at it in retrospect it was a well made game, and did what I guess it was supposed to be. It made strategy a part of gaming, and made it crucial to being a victor. Problem is, that is only in retrospect. While playing the game I was bored beyond reasonable belief, and truly have no desire to play this game EVER again in my life. It would take me a full day to beat a single level, just cause I'd pause it for so many breaks. Ogre Battle is a strange game, but in truth as a gamer I truly do not think it is a good one.

STORY (14/20): The story is not as indepth as the later Ogre Battle games. There are no cutscenes between stages; instead you will learn all you need to know just while you travel through the stages themselves. Some will send you on strange missions to find the grail and items of such if you have a high alignment, and interesting Paladins may even join your party. However if you gain a low alignment fast the story really goes no where. There are a multitude of endings depending on your alignment and if you have the three sacred items. The story is fairly well made, although undetailed and really slow paced. Not that much in depth, but I have seen worse.

GRAPHICS (2/10): This is the winner for the worst ever graphics ever recorded. You could possibly put this on the Atari. I mean alot of memory is put elsewhere, so it isn't all that bad, and graphics play little to no role in Ogre Battle, but they are very bad. There is nothing good to look at, and everything is still life, kinda like cardboard pieces. Really sad, and I have definitely seen better on the original Nintendo, actually on the original gameboy....

SOUND (4/10): Not near as bad as the graphics, the sound has a nice ogre battle feel to it. Too bad the same background music plays throughout every level, and each battle has the same background music to those (Oh, and the boss battle has one, and the menu battle). Meaning there are four total music tracks in all of Ogre Battle. Nice as they are, that is a truly sad statistic.

GAMEPLAY (31/45): This was a tough score to give... I mean, the game is very boring, and that is what gameplay truly is. To understand, let me explain the basics: You control an army, which is devised into crews of basically five characters. They go where you command, and face off against many crews of enemy five characters. The enemies vastly outnumber yourself, but there are strategies to make up for that. First of all, stacking your crews up with powerful character. Whether that be Shamans or Mages is up to you. The other main strategy is gaining strongholds and holding out there, until you completely annihilate the enemy clans. There is one problem, you must kill every member of every command, meaning you mustn't kill the leader until the end. If you don't they will just return to the base and respawn, and you are back where you are started. This leads to hours of sitting at the town closest to the enemy stronghold, fighting battle after battle and so on. Once you stop moving, you basically just watch as the battles go on with no interaction. While this was the goal of Ogre Battle it leaves the game very bland.

There are two other major parts to Ogre Battles gameplay, besides the strategy itself: Alignment and Tarot Cards. Alignment is the innovative centerhold of Ogre Battle. By playing the game righteously, and not become overpowerful, and staying in levels below your enemy, you will be able to gain a high alignment. While this is extremely difficult, this is the only way to gain the better endings and the light character. If you completely destroy all enemies in your path, and become near on gods in strength, you will be able to gain the dark characters, but will reach the bad endings, and the lesser storylines. Tarot Cards are a way of changing the pace of the game, and add a bit more strategy. They are cards you gain by liberating towns and cities that have magical powers that can change the pace of battles
Near the end, these cards will become very powerful and very useful. Problem is, using these cards will hurt your alignment. Fact is, go easy and the game is fun...

So while Ogre Battle really is that slowpaced and boring, in many ways that is what the developers goal was. They wanted to create a game based on strategy, and that was what Ogre Battle is. You will need to survive long hold outs, just like a war. Strategy is key in Ogre Battle.

REPLAYABILITY (7/10): This is a score I had to give out, despite my personal beliefs. This game can be played many ways, and is very long in the first place. There are over a dozen endings, and to get the best endings you will be revisiting many islands. I can almost guarentee that your first play through, you will not get the good ending, so you will at least be playing it once more to get it. However set up it is for a great replayability, I will likely never play it again. The game was not fun enough playing it the first time, I don't see why I'd play it again.

DIFFICULTY (4/5): The difficulty is mediocre in Ogre Battle. If you become evil it fairly easy, although the final battle is impossible if you don't basically cheat and go Tarot card crazy. Otherwise you just sit in one town, and make the enemies come to you. Soon enough they will die at your hands. If you become good, well, you are in for the ride of your life. Have fun, cause you will be soon breaking your SNES from the difficulty (or maybe just the game cartridge if you are smart)

VINTAGE VALUE (+3): Well, it did start the Ogre Battle series; a series that is easily reaching the top plateu for console strategy games. If not for March of the Black Queen, I may never had experienced Ogre Battle 64. The first was not that great, but it lead to some classics, and in it's own right is deserving of some credit there.

OVERALL (65/100): The more I played this game, the lower the score for Ogre Battle got. This is basically the first game that I wanted to finish, just so the game was just that.. Finished. No longer will I spend all Saturday morning watching my people fight against Ogres and other creatures. Although a game that does keep to it's roots of strategy, it is just to slowpaced and boring to really be something great. Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, is one game that wuold be fairly wise to pass up on (especially at it's typical price)


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Community review by ratking (January 25, 2003)

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