The original Brigandine isn’t really talked about a lot anymore – but has still remained relevant to its own fan following that still deeply care for the tactical RPG, which hit the Playstation decades ago in the East. The follow-up Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia hit the Switch a while back, and now is doing a role call on other consoles to re-introduce the namesake to a new generation. Does its unique setting, art style, and lore draw us in, or is this one title you should let sit in the past? Let’s find out.
Without spoiling much, this Brigandine journey has players intertwined in a war of six nations after the fall of a king. There is far more to it, but without touching spoilers on the main plot, I really think it is best to highlight the nations – and leaders of said nations, as their individual motives and personalities really bridge this narrative well. Pre-made lore plays a major role here, and even though I did not have a chance to research the original prior to my time with the game, I did find myself interested in characters such who run these nations, as well as the way their own paths to conquest contrast to one another. It is an engrossing tale that takes a bit to get going, and definitely pushes progression for the player with compelling writing.
I don’t know why, no matter how hard I have tried, it takes a lot of time for me to just jump into any strategical title like Brigandine, and at first – it definitely felt intimidating. That said, there is quite a bit of accessibility to the experience, as even though there is not a whole lot of meaningful tutorials, the different difficulties allow for even novice players a chance to hop in and feel welcome, with plenty of meat on the bone left for those who are looking for a much more challenging road ahead.
There are three different processes that go into the main game. Organization is truly the heart of the game where you must arrange your troops and monsters, preparing them for the next phase before attacking. Players must make decisions like where to move their troops in order to have advantage, which materials to gather, and so on, which makes this process rather long, yet ultimately rewarding. Attack phase is just as it sounds, which quickly brings in battles based off of who you have decided to attack, while Battle phase is what pushes the progression, where all of your decisions now matter as you see the outcomes of your organization phase. It can be really satisfying or really disappointing if you made a lot of bad moves, but either way – there is a lot of enjoyment in following these routes that allow for endless strategy paths to a victory.
Sure, there are plenty of titles like Brigandine out there, but I think this title in particular is a little more special as while it doesn’t push the envelope, it does stay consistent and solid without feeling dull or cumbersome. Even though there is a lot to get the hang of, I found myself well rounded and grasping the concepts of how to win quickly, without needing to worry about micro-managing constantly due to the streamlined mechanics in play.
Visuals and Audio
The art style within Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is just phenomenal. The hand drawn art really gives us something visually stunning to look at, and the menus and other designs within all fit within this artistic gimmickry that truly let this title stand out from others. That said, this kind of is a very darkly lit, and very brown aesthetic going on here, and I think that may attract a different audience as while it certainly is beautiful, it also can look a little muddy during the animations throughout.
As far as the sound goes, the music is great. While not the most memorable soundtrack, the tunes within do get the job done and at least cut out a bit of an atmosphere to set the mood for battle. The voice acting is also great. I kind of have issues with Brigandine being completely in Japanese without any translation as there is a ton of reading to do, so you are reading not just the gameplay menus, but also all of the dialogue sequences which can go on quite a while. I can say I get why there is no dub, as usually the quality Is very poor when titles of this genre get English dialogue, but I do feel even a bad audio translation would be better than nothing.
Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a fine release and definitely should help fans of a good tactical journey to get a bit more representation – as let’s face it, there isn’t a lot to choose from in terms of variety for the genre. I do feel like there could have been a bit more added to make it feel more definitive, but if you are a patient player who isn’t new to the genre, you should be able to find a very satisfying and rewarding experience within these six nations.
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