The 7th Saga (SNES) review
"7th Saga isn't an AWFUL game... But there's a lot better out there. If you had to sum it up in one word, mediocre would be that word. "
7th Saga was one of the few Enix games that made is over to the United States. With efforts like this, you can see why Enix didn't sell extremely well on the shores.
In 7th Saga, you have your choice of one out of eight characters. Your goal is to recover the eight lost runes. They're from such mystical elements as star, water, and wind.
Despite having eight different playable characters, the story is not strong. In fact, there's very little difference from character to character, except in their abilities and their background story. The plot doesn't get interesting until the end of the game, IF you can get that far.
The eight different characters each have different abilites. Some are great fighters, others great magic users. A couple are good choices because you don't have to spend money on equipment for them.
You're allowed to pick one of the other eight characters to travel with you. The catch is that they have to choose to join you. This means that evil characters (such as Blaze) won't join good characters (such as Valsu). Also, if you have a weak character (as in levels), they'll refuse to join you. It's recommended that you take along one character who costs a lot of money (one of the two fighter types) and one who doesn't (Lux). A good balance of attack and magic also helps.
Concurrent with your journey to find the eight runes, the other six (or seven if you chose not to have a companion) are also searching for them. As a result, you have to be careful when you talk to them. They might attack you and try to rob your runes from you. They can also get to runes faster then you and steal them. Another thing to keep in mind - they level up the same as your main character.
The battle system is unique. It's the standard ''you hit, enemy hits'' method used in Dragon Warrior and Lufia games, but with a few new traits. First, to store up power, you have to block your enemy's attack. Then, when you choose attack the next round, it's two to three times as powerful as a normal attack. This doesn't apply to magic power though, which damages the same but drains your magic points quick.
Because of this system, it tends to make battles longer and more drawn out. While you take two rounds to do decent damage, your enemy does about one and a half rounds worth of damage to you. After you use the ''block and hit'' method you often have to heal yourself, which makes battles even longer. Only truly weak enemies go down in one hit.
Once you get a rune or two, you can use them in battle to receive speical abilities. This is a huge help, but never count totally upon your runes. They have a bad habit of disappearing when you need them the most.
The battle system makes the game trudge along slowly. There's very few times when you'll shoot right through areas, and most of the game is very tough. This isn't a game for a novice. While not quite at the Ultima level of difficulty, it's above most other linear SNES RPG's.
This, in turn, hampers the fun factor. 7th Saga doesn't really ''hook'' you. I never recall playing late into the night like I would for Final Fantasy 2, Chrono Trigger, or even Earthbound. It's simply too slow and there's no character development or interaction.
Graphically, 7th Saga does a fairly good job. The outside areas are a bit non-descript, but dungeons and caves are well presented. There's nothing here that will make you fall to your knees saluting Enix though.
The sounds are likewise average. The game could have gotten a boost in the point total if the graphics and sound were engaging, but unfortunately, they are not. Effects are fairly nice, and there's some mild screaming when you finish off enemies.
7th Saga isn't an AWFUL game... But there's a lot better out there. If you had to sum it up in one word, mediocre would be that word. If you can still find it, think carefully before you buy it, and only shell out the money if it's burning a whole in your pocket...
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)
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