Not that graceful after all.
What They Say:
Follow the journey of Urpina, Taria, Balmaint, and Leonard as they call on their might and set out to carve a new future.
• Travel the world and engage in events in any order, or skip them entirely if you wish; your decisions affect the development of your story.
• Take charge and shape your own adventure with ultimate freedom of choice.
• Create a team of up to five capable fighters and engage in strategic turn-based combat, selecting from 9 weapon varieties. The composition of your group affects your abilities and impacts your tactics. The choices you make will define your legacy!
SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions is the next iteration in the Romancing SaGa series that Square Enix has been reviving on modern platforms lately. While it is a passable JRPG that continues some of the trends from the previous games, it also does so in a mobile-like aesthetic.
Though it originally came out in Japan for the Vita handheld, it mostly is reminiscent of a mobile game (where you can also get it). One of the continuing features is the choice between multiple protagonists who each have a different storyline.
After a brief multiple choice process, you are granted a character who best fits you (with the option to change if you want). My opening choice was Urpina, one of the four main characters. While there is a story that is at the center of the plot that surrounds the tale of the Firebringer, the four characters have roughly different paths.
What is unfortunate about the stories is that they are just fine; an okay effort that does what it sets out to do to tell the tale of an Empire in recovery. There is political intrigue, twists, and turns but nothing ever really stands out as that interesting.
A lot of this comes from the rather unremarkable aesthetic of the game itself. The world isn’t the prettiest to look at with its 2D, pop-up design while the 3D characters have that mobile game look. Choice is at the core of the game and there are a lot of choices presented to you throughout the course of the game.
The game doesn’t waste time opening up the world and letting you explore a portion of it. You can go visit a tower or town, and the story will shift a bit depending on where you go. This will typically lead to fighting enemies through the barebones turn-based combat.
The combat has you pick between five characters to battle it out against a variety of enemies. It is almost Hearthstone-like in the fact that you have a pool of 10 stars that you use to activate abilities with your characters.
You start out with a certain number of stars and they gradually increase as the battle continues. Then you have the characters themselves who have different abilities that have a different number of star requirements to use.
It is an interesting concept but, really, all you need to know how to do is mash buttons over and over. I found that the game was extremely easy and the only thing I needed to do was keep hitting the same buttons over and over.
Which transfers a bit to the actual progression of the game itself that feels rather repetitive. Part of this could have been alleviated by introducing more exploration elements of dungeons and the towns themselves but, unfortunately, everything is just the same old process of visiting a location, finding out a bit of the okay story, moving to the next, and fighting.
It is by no means the real successor to the Romancing SaGa games that it could have been but it is still a decent JRPG experience, especially if you are a fan of the more rapid-pace mobile games.
SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions is a more mobile-like experience that follows up on the recent trend of Romancing SaGa games. If you don’t mind a barebones turn-based combat that is matched by a passable story and limited exploration, this is one game that can be entertaining in short bursts. The rapid-paced combat and progression is interesting enough for some players, but it might be better played on mobile platforms as it does have a different feel compared to other PS4 games.
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Age Rating: 13+
Release Date: December 2, 2019
Platform: PS4 (reviewed), Switch, Steam, Android, iOS
This review was done with a review copy provided by the publisher. We are grateful for their continued support.