E3: Square Enix Presents Romancing SaGa
05.20.05 - 3:23 PM
Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song, the PS2 remake of the original Super Famicom title, has sold fairly well in Japan in the past months. American fans of the series, then, should be pleased to know that Romancing SaGa will be released stateside on PS2. However, the "Minstrel Song" subtitle has been removed, as the game was never released on Super Famicom in USA, and is thus to American gamers not known to be a remake.
Romancing SaGa contains a plethora of quests to complete in its free-roaming system. The player begins the game as one of eight main characters, as is typical in the SaGa series. However, we were promised by Square Enix employees that, unlike previous titles (such as UNLIMITED:SaGa and SaGa Frontier), repetitive gameplay is easily avoided for the gamer who wishes to complete the game with all eight characters. This is because the game sports over 60 scenarios/events, any of which allow the gamer to "level up" sufficiently to continue through the main plot to the end of the game. Square Enix also informed us that the average time to complete any one character's quest was seven to fifteen hours, though it would not be unreasonable to play over 50 hours of new material with just one character, if the player preferred it.
The battle system is unique, in that at the beginning of the turn you go through a complete full-screen menu on each character to determine what they will use as a weapon, item, or skill, and then allow the battle to take place. This way, it is completely turn-based, and allows for "combo" skills, which are typical to the series. If the person playing prefers it, the character's selected attack/action does not need to be re-selected from turn to turn, which allows the battle to move more quickly.
No specific release date has been given for Romancing SaGa in the US, but as more details are given, expect a preview from RPGFan. We will also have a review of the complete soundtrack for Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song, composed by series veteran Kenji Ito, in the near future.