REVIEW: ‘SaGa Frontier Remastered’ Is a Classic Mess (PS4)

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SaGa Frontier Remastered

Depending on who you talk to, SaGa Frontier is either a relic of its time or a hidden PS1 masterpiece. Now, the JRPG is easier to play than ever before, with Square Enix bringing SaGa Frontier Remastered to PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, iOS, and Android.

SaGa Frontier Remastered is a strange game. It doesn’t follow one plot, but instead the stories of eight different heroes: Asellus, Blue, Emilia, Lute, Red, Riki, T260, and Fuse. Each of these characters has a different adventure for players to experience, though they all occur in the same world.

This is usually the part of the review where I would try to give you a general plot synopsis but, even after many hours with the game, I feel like I still barely have any idea what was going on. Even after all the time I’ve spent with the game, I couldn’t tell you much about its world. Some might say this is due to laziness on my part, but if you have to talk to a bunch of random NPCs just to find out the name of the world that your game takes place in, you’re doing something wrong.

The game revels in telling players as little as possible. Many might laud this as innovative for its time, with SaGa Frontier deviating from almost all of its contemporaries. While most JRPGs bring players into a world, set up a grand story, and set them loose, the game just kind of drops players in, with almost no explanation of plot or gameplay.

Some of the characters have a more in-depth story than others. For instance, T260’s story sets up a nice mystery about their past, and Asellus’ story feels incredibly dramatic and serious. Other protagonists, such as Lute, feel incredibly throw away and a waste of players’ time. Though it would be surprising to see eight different stories that grip players’ attentions, it’s disappointing that some are just plain bad.

SaGa Frontier Remastered tells players just as little about its gameplay as its plot. If you’re a veteran JRPG player, you won’t have much of an issue picking up battles, though I would never recommend this game to those new to the genre.

The turned-based battles are enjoyable, but many mechanics that are more unique to SaGa Frontier Remastered are just never explained. The position of characters (front vs. back), the usefulness of different items, how certain skills work, combination skills, and more are never directly explained to players. Old fans of SaGa Frontier and those savvy with JRPGs might not see much of an issue here, but, even as a JRPG veteran, it took me hours of gameplay and online research to feel comfortable with SaGa Frontier Remastered.

While battles can be fun, SaGa Frontier Remastered struggles with many difficulty curves. Normal enemies found in the wild are usually very easy to beat, but I consistently found myself running into bosses and getting my butt handed to me. This means players will need to spend a good amount of time grinding, which honestly isn’t that enjoyable in this game.

SaGa Frontier Remastered

SaGa Frontier Remastered brings most of what players will remember about the original game to new audiences while also adding new never before seen content. The first and most noticeable change is the game’s graphics. SaGa Frontier Remastered looks fantastic, with beautiful HD versions of the original’s sprites. Sure, it still looks like a PS1 game, but this style comes off as more charming than dated.

One of the best things to be added to SaGa Frontier Remastered is the fast-forward feature. While the original release wasn’t aggressively slow, battles could take a bit longer than one might want. In this new release, players can speed up overworld travel and battles up to three times their original speed, making traversal and grinding an absolute breeze.

Fans of the original release of SaGa Frontier are likely most excited for the addition of Fuse, an entirely new playable character. While Fuse’s story isn’t the worst in the game, it definitely feels that it is meant for returning players; those new to SaGa Frontier Remastered might want to play Fuse’s story last.

Additionally, SaGa Frontier Remastered features extra save slots, a quick save feature, and additional story content for characters other than Fuse. These additions are all nice and will likely impress old fans.

SaGa Frontier Remastered is a must-play for die-hard fans of the original. Though I found myself having some fun with the characters and gameplay, the game’s lack of explanation it gives to players about literally everything makes it hard to recommend to new players.

SaGa Frontier Remastered is available now on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, iOS, and Android.


SaGa Frontier Remastered
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

SaGa Frontier Remastered is a must-play for die-hard fans of the original. Though I found myself having some fun with the characters and gameplay, the game’s lack of explanation it gives to players about literally everything makes it hard to recommend to new players.