Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen


Review by · February 6, 2000

Well, one thing I can say about this PlayStation Simulation/RPG is that it is incredibly old, released almost 3 years ago in 1997 by Atlus and that it is the only other Ogre Battle game other than Tactics Ogre on the PlayStation that I know of. Ogre Battle Limited Edition is now one of the hardest to find RPGs in the PlayStation market, but for fans of the Ogre Battle games, they’d do anything to get their hands on this remake on a popular SNES hit.

As I mentioned, Ogre Battle Limited Edition is a remake of the SNES classic known as Ogre Battle Episode 5: The March of the Black Queen. But this remake doesn’t include any new FMV cut scenes or anything, instead we have enhanced graphics, additional musical scores and the spells have had their animations redone and look better than ever. Well, no matter how much enhancement is done, the game is still extreme 16-Bit and may be a bit hard for RPG fans who have never played a 16-Bit game back in the old days.

This time around, the player takes the role of a hero/heroine to command an army to battle against the Zenobian Empire and reclaim the continent. Along the way, players can find and recruit additional characters and find many interesting magical items. The game is non-linear, and when you begin a new game you will be asked to pick a tarot card and then answer some questions as well as pick the sex of the main character. How you answer and what card you pick will determine what type of hero/heroine you’ll get, ranging from a Fighter, Wizard, Cleric or Tamer type. Choosing male or female characters will not effect the stats in anyway. The only change will probably be the dialogue and text and also some of the information in the game.

The game is split into 3 different modes: the Main Map Mode, Regional Map Mode and Battle. The Main Map is where you arrange your units, the Regional Map is where you commence battle on a small map and also where you have to liberate cities and temples and sometimes find items and characters and battle enemies, and of course a Boss, in real time. There is also transitions from night to day in real-time! Battle commences when one of your units touches an enemy unit. From there, each character in battle will attack automatically using attacks that are dependent on whether they are standing in the back row or front row. Common sense will tell you that close range fighters work best in front while spell users and long range fighters work wonders in the back. And, as in every Ogre Battle game, characters can change class when they reach certain levels or requirements. For example, a Dragon at Level 7+ with an Alignment of 65+ would be able to transform into a Silver Dragon, which packs one hell of a punch.

Liberating cities will allow for a larger income flow and also decreases the amount of money the enemy gets by noon. Liberating temples will allow you to pick a card that, when used on the Regional Map or in Battle, will yield certain special effects. The game also makes use of a Reputation Meter, which is simply how the common peasants think of your character, high being Good, middle being Neutral and low being Evil. You can bet that the Reputation Meter is the most dreaded thing in all the Ogre Battle games. Your actions in the game will determine whether your character is good, neutral or evil and will effect the how the story plays out and which of the 13 different endings you get!

The controls are quite fluid but will take some time to apply to this 16-Bit game. You have to place way-points for your units to move to and also set up certain options in the map. It will take some time to get used of all the simulation but mastering the controls should be easy and quick.

The graphics, as mentioned earlier, are typical classic 16-Bit. The Regional Map utilizes a cross between 8 and 16-Bit graphics. Simply saying, the graphics in the map are simple and not very detailed. Of course, it is simple to distinguish a mountain from a hill and a Town from a Temple. The units shown on the map are simple 8-Bit and minute gold colored sprites while the enemy has gray unit sprites. The graphics in battle are better, utilizing 16-Bit sprites in full color and are really well animated for such an old game. The monsters look stunning, especially the higher level Gold Dragons and Necromancers and their awesome attacks! The animations for most of the spells and attacks have been redone to look much better than the SNES version, from spherical the Ice Blasts of the Silver Dragons to the Death Tarot spell where
Death personally slices through enemies, are all improved and animated in all their 16-Bit glory. The graphics you see in battle really make up for the less spectacular graphics elsewhere in the game.

The music is good and in this Limited Edition there are also several new musical scores for the player to enjoy. Orchestral themes and typical ‘fantasy’ type music are what to expect. Sounds of spells and weapon slashes and thrusts are all simple, typical of a 16-Bit game. All I could say after playing through the game, is to expect splendid 16-Bit type music and simple sounds. A real pity the game does not include war cries or shouts, but since this is a remake of a large 16-Bit game, we can’t really be asking for too much.

The only downside of this game is that it is very old and difficult to find these days but it is also one of those games that emphasizes gameplay and replay value and is, indeed, an overall classic masterpiece. This game is also a great preview for those waiting for Ogre Battle 64. The gameplay and most of the units are the same, and this classic is a must buy for Ogre Battle fans.

Overall Score 70
For information on our scoring systems, see our scoring systems overview. Learn more about our general policies on our ethics & policies page.
Jeremy Tan

Jeremy Tan

Jeremy was part of RPGFan's reviews team from 2002-2007. During his tenure, Jeremy bolstered our review offerings by lending his unique voice and critique of the world of RPGs. Being a critic can be tough work sometimes, but his steadfast work helped maintain the quality of reviews RPGFan is known for.