The role-playing game (RPG) is typically the deepest experience you’re going to get when you delve into the world of console video games. You even get a lot of different opinions about what is truly the most important aspect of them. Our personal taste in these games can be likened to what your favorite pizza combination is. Some people like the garbage pizza and others prefer just cheese. Games that remind me of the supreme pizza variety seem to have a huge team with artists, writers, and developers. They have amazing graphics, epic music, a complex story, and a solid battle system. From there we work our way down to the cheese pizza. They are still a good meal, they just lack all the extra flavors you could get with the supreme, meat lovers, or whatever type of pizza makes you understand the metaphor I’m going for here. What kind of a pizza is Revenant Saga?
Since I do love RPGs as much as anyone, I was really interested in seeing what kind of title in this genre you could get on the Switch for around $10. When I started playing I was greeted with some positive vibes that this would be a good game to play through. The battle system was your classic turn-based style, which is somewhat of a dying breed these days. The music sounded really good and the characters looked really nice in the cut scenes. That was the last time while playing that I had those positive vibes.
As I started reading the story that was laid out before me I noticed that it might have been written for a much younger crowd. The words used were not complex and the pace seemed really rushed. I don’t mind reading the text and don’t need a full cast of voice actors to enjoy a game. It does help, but it’s not a deal breaker, especially if you’re not paying the premium video game price. There didn’t seem to be much character development with any of the cast as they were introduced. I got bored with the story very early on and when that happens to me with an RPG I don’t care how good the gameplay is, there is much less reason to keep playing. But I hung in there hoping it would get better as I played. It didn’t.
The graphics are equal to something I would expect on the original PlayStation. That can be fine as long as some of the other pieces of the experience are higher quality. They aren’t. The overworld isn’t very detailed, the character models seemed to consist of 3 frames of animation, and even the battle arenas look pretty underwhelming. Again, this is a lower priced title so I get that we’re not going to be blown away. But I was hoping for something a little bit more than this. The best graphics were saved for the enemy battles. At first I thought they looked pretty nice. But the more I played the more they wore on me and quite honestly they’re nothing special. I would have preferred the old NES Final Fantasy battle scenes to this one. Maybe something like Lunar or Dragon Warrior. The attack animations are lackluster and aren’t the least bit interesting. As an example, when the main character moves forward to hit the enemy with the sword, it’s almost like they just took a still image and slid it forward to show that he was attacking a certain target. When you won, the sword tip just buries itself in the ground and really cheapens the effect even more.
The music is probably the best part of this game, yet the transitions from one track to another are abrupt. They just interrupt the currently playing track to play something like the triumphant item found tune, only to have the level music start in again. There were no transitions like fading to silence then fading in the next piece of music. It was just stop track A, play track B then stop it and then continue Track A again like it was playing behind the scenes. It was noticeable, lame, and thought they could have done a much better job.
I didn’t really find a lot to like about Revenant Saga. I really wanted to because I really do dig the old-school Japanese RPGs with turn-based combat, magical attacks and whatnot. What I ended up with was a boring game that was so poorly written that I lost interest in whether or not the hero of the story completed his quest or not. I really did give this game a good amount of time and effort to redeem itself, but it just kept disappointing me battle after battle. There are a lot of RPGs on the market and I wouldn’t waste much of your gaming time on this one. Revenant Saga is like a cheese pizza where they forgot to put the sauce and cheese on it so you’re just eating a dry crust of bread.
Revenant Saga Review
- Graphics - 3/103/10
- Sound - 5/105/10
- Gameplay - 3/103/10
- Lasting Appeal - 3/103/10
Final Thoughts: AWFUL
A bland RPG with uninteresting characters, rushed story, poorly written dialog, and mediocre graphics. The best part of the game was the music and they managed to hose that up with the transitions from track to track. If you’re 10 years old and never played an RPG before you may want to give this one a shot because I would think then you wouldn’t know what you could be playing instead. However, if you’re used to playing the Final Fantasy and Lunar type games, then stick with them and leave this one alone.
You can purchase Revenant Saga on the eShop or via Nintendo’s online store.
Jay has been an avid gamer since the Intellivision days. His hobbies include building PCs, 3D modeling and printing, and spending time with his children and dog.