The 7th Saga
I have a funny story. When I was a kid, maybe a year or 2 after the SNES was first release, my dad had a friend at work who was a huge Nintendo fan and had almost every game available. Sometimes my dad would bring home games that his coworker had lent him for me to play for a while, one of them was a RPG, I can't really remember much about this RPG, but I loved playing it and I feel like I would know it if I saw it, so I was excited by The 7th Saga because it very well might have been my long lost SNES RPG. Although, having played it for a bit, I definitely don't think this game is it.
The game begins with out choosing a character and going out into this town. The king comes to talk to you and says he needs your help finding some magic runes or something. I don't know, I could never really get into fantasy RPG plots, they're always the same basic thing: Hero needs to find magic widget, hero meets part, hero does Lord of the Rings'esque walking around, hero fights big boss, the end.
This is the overworld screen. Probably the coolest feature of this game is that rather than having random battles in the overworld screen like RPGs usually do, In this game you have that nice radar to your upper right which shows the position of battles relative to your character. you generally still can't avoid them though as the enemies move much faster than your character and seem to swarm towards him. A nice visual touch is that when a battle begins, there is a cool mode 7 animation of the move from overhead to 3rd person perspective with the overworld map, so that wherever you are on the overworld map will appear as the background in battles as seen below.
The battles are standard RPG turn based battles, nothing really to write about them.
One of the most defining characteristics of this game is it's difficulty. I'm not a huge RPG guy but I've certainly played plenty of them and usually can get by just fine in them, but in this game I honestly had difficulty right off the bat as even two to three battles with early enemies will completely drain your health. The 7th Saga's Wikipedia article states that difficulty only increases later in the game (Including one frustrating part of the game where it can easily be rendered unplayable due to it's impossible difficulty). I know it's tough to give a fair critique of this sort of game having played it for only a short period of time, but hey, the purpose of this whole blog is just to give a short review, if you want in depth stuff you can get it at IGN or something.
The game's audio is definitely a high point for me. The song that plays in the first town is especially catchy. Overall I found the difficulty level to be too high too early on to really get pulled into this otherwise relatively innovative RPG