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Review: Mercenaries Saga 2 (3DS eShop)
Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:35 pm by Professor Clayton
Show the Enemy no Mercenary

The 3DS eShop is an expansive storefront with hundreds of unique titles available to download, though there are a few niches left largely under-filled. Circle Entertainment is attempting to fill the void of Turn Based Strategy RPGs with Mercenaries Saga 2, an expansive yet budget priced adventure.

If Mercenaries Saga 2 looks at all familiar, you might be drawing visual parallels to previous releases from the Fire Emblem series. Indeed, while this title seems to be heavily influenced by this recently revitalized series it manages to remain its own separate entity by including a number of unique ideas and features.

While the gameplay might include some new ideas the plot is a bit more traditional. Your group of mercenaries is the Order of the Silver Eagle, and you pledge your loyalty exclusively to Prince Laz. After a failed assassination attempt on the young Prince's life the Order sets out to retrieve a medicinal herb to cure the poisoning Laz is left to battle. The plot is standard fare and works well, it can either simply be ignored or appreciated for its simplicity. There are a few twists and turns along the way but ultimately nothing surprising.

While the plot may not create any emotional attachments to the characters you'll surely forge these bonds during battle. Around 20 hours of gameplay await you in form of story and extra missions. Plot driven battles are the main focus of Mercenaries Saga 2 and offer an enjoyable chunk of combat. Extra missions take place on the same locations as the main story but are more useful for grinding for experience.

Mercenaries Saga 2 has an interesting level system that isn't seen too often in that experience is used to level up in addition to switch classes and learn skills. Leveling up is automatic, while unlocking skills and leveling them uses up your experience. As such the spells, tricks and more your squad learn are up to you, and different skills are unlocked permanently during a class change, allowing for very versatile teams.

Despite characters being versatile, you are only limited to six on the field at once, out of ten total mercenaries. This feels very restrictive, especially when trying to level up with only a portion of your team. Enemies often outnumber you two to one in the latter portions of the game and it seems strange to set a limit so low. Characters are also all used in the later portions of the game, sometimes forced to fight in certain stages for the plot, so they all need to be kept at a high level, which is tedious.

A bright side to the six character limit is that it prevents the screen from becoming too clustered. Occasionally characters will group up into a close quarters battle, and the spacing between them is so small that it may be difficult to see who is where. This is especially confusing if continuing a battle from a previous session.

Everything in Mercenaries Saga 2 is displayed in a crisp looking pixel-art. The stages and enemies are well varied and vibrant, though the music selection is a bit lacking. Ultimately the music is not bad, just tends to repeat often, and certainly does a well job of being good background music.

After completing your twenty hour quest you can tackle the other difficulty options in a New Game plus, which more than doubles the time you can spend in this game. The amount of content is mostly staggering considering the low price point, and the gameplay is solid enough to keep you entertained throughout. While we aren't sure where Mercenaries Saga 1 went, we're glad we at least received this version as it is one of the best turn based strategy RPGs in the eShop.


Review Copy provided by: CIRCLE Entertainment

Comments: 0
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