Game Review: Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia
Available on: Nintendo Switch
Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is the long-awaited sequel to the PS1 classic Brigandine.
Side note: If you have a good copy of the original PS1 Brigandine game with the original case, cover, and manual then you could be sitting on a small fortune. I have seen where similar copies of the PS1 game sold for upwards of $300.
Much like its predecessor, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia focuses on a continent at war. The continent is divided into 3 regions with each region being ruled by a different king and each region having a variety of castles, each with their own different types of troops available to be recruited.
Fans of the original game will immediately feel at home. This new game plays exactly the same as the original game but with new troops, new maps, new graphics, and a new story. You could almost call the latest entry a remake about as much as you could a sequel given the amount of things that seem to be carried over from the first one.
For newcomers to the game, they will find that the overall learning curve of how to play is pretty low. You pick your kingdom from the 3 available. You earn resources from your castles that you use to recruit new troops and upgrade existing troops. You take those troops to form squads and then choose to attack or defend castles with each squad. Attacking an opponents castle pits the squad(s) attacking that position against any assigned to defend it with the battle’s winner gaining control over that castle, the resources it generates, and the troops it can produce.
The goal of the game is to lead your kingdom to total victory over the other kingdoms and reign supreme over the entire continent.
Battles are turn based and the battlefield is grid based. Each troop has a movement rating that determines how many squares they can move each turn so players have to carefully account for those movement ranges each turn both for their troops and the game’s troops they’re fighting against.
There are also environmental effects that influence battle. Some troops gain bonuses from certain terrains while they may get negatives in other terrains. For example, water-based troops like mermaids get stronger and automatically recover health when positioned in water while they get weaker while on land. Some troops are harder to hit when positioned in tall grass or trees while others have lower accuracy in the same terrain. So not only do players have to contend with managing each troop’s movement rate but they also have to account for the different terrains and how they can influence a troop’s performance.
The variety of troops, skills, and evolutions makes troop management interesting throughout the game. Unlike most games, if one of your troops die in combat, they’re dead and you have to recruit a new troop to take their place. All the experience and upgrades that the first troop had is lost and you have to start over with a level 1 rookie and train the new troop up. It makes combat have real consequences to your team that have to be thought about. Troops you don’t want to lose you have to protect and sometimes that means retreating from a fight.
There is nothing super complex about how to play the game but the challenge comes from knowing how to effectively manage your troops to build the best army to achieve the primary goal of conquest. The story is fairly basic and nothing riveting but it acts as a suitable background to the focus on the gameplay, the battles.
If you are a fan of games like Fire Emblem or Triangle Strategy then this is definitely a game to check out. If you played the original Brigandine then this is a familiar game that you can pick up and easily fall right back into that feeling of playing the first installment in this franchise. Tactical RPGs like this is vastly different than JRPGs and ARPGs so I would seriously suggest downloading the demo before buying if you haven’t played this type of game before.
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