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A couple of days ago I purchased this SRPG completely on a whim on the 3DS eShop, being told beforehand that it apparently plays really close to Final Fantasy: Tactics (a game I've never played). Today I finished it, and since I presume most of us on these forums is a fan of the genre, I thought I'd make a topic on the game, sharing my thoughts. But first, some general information Gameplay Mercenaries Saga 2 is an SRPG that takes place in a Medieval setting, utilizing common weaponry in said setting, such as: swords, spears, axes, bows, magic, and staffs. This sounds familiar, doesn't it? There are other weapons alongside the ones listed, but I'm not going to mention them all. Each type of weapons have different properties and benefits that influence your stats and even your attack range, so it's important to consider which unit gets what. You can also outfit your units with different pieces of clothing and accessories, changing their defences--both physical and magical--and evasion. It is important to keep your equipment and items in constant check, as it could mean the difference between a unit being incapacitated in two hits, and the same being defeated in three. Incapacitated? Yeah, your units don't die in this game. If they fall in battle, you have a set number of turns (that lower as you increase the difficulty) to revive them before they retreat, rendering them unusable for the remaining chapter/skirmish. Considering deployment slots per chapter are limited, you are going to want to keep them in the field of battle, as a loss of a single unit can make otherwise-fine chapters pretty hard at times The game is played on a gridded map, emphasizing terrain height and character direction as important considerations. Want to deliver more damage? Attack the enemy's behind on higher terrain. Want to receive less damage? Position yourself so the enemy can only attack you from the front. These are important to note, as they can change the damage you dish out or take considerably. Any action you undergo, other than waiting or defending, will net you experience. For most actions, you will gain ten experience points; but when in combat, EXP gained can vary, depending on the level difference between yourself and the opponent. The most you can gain is thirty. Once a unit gains one hundred experience, they will level up, increasing their stats When your units reach a certain level, an optional branching promotion opens up to them, allowing you to go one of two paths. The commitment should not concern you too much, however, since you can jump between them whenever you want, so long as you pay the initial fee. Which are paid by Skill Points. SP is what you use to learn and strengthen your skills in this game, Take note, though: if you level up a skill too much, its Magic Point (MP) usage may outweigh the unit's MP growth, meaning you won't be able to consecutively use the same Skill over and over again. MP is, from what I've experienced and aware of, unique to this game, in that at the start of every turn all units that are conscious regain a set amount of MP, depending on their regenerative growths and the max amount of MP they can ultimately store Once you complete the game for the first time, two new difficulties get unlocked, enhancing replayability. This, alongside the wide assortment of skills each character has access to, does mean the game can be replayed to some extent The story The game starts off with Prince Laz, the next-in-line to the throne of the kingdom (to my memory, the kingdom is unnamed, unfortunately), out practising his archery with his subordinates: Claude, Victor, and Boris. Claude is the Captain of the Order of the Silver Eagle--a group of knights that act under the young prince--and thus takes his orders directly from the prince himself. Out practising, the four are suddenly ambushed by a group of assassins, looking to rob the prince of his life. The assassins are killed, but not without intoxicating the prince with an extremely potent poison. No known antidote within the kingdom can cure the prince, so Claude and company must venture out to try and find this antitoxin before it's too late, as well as find out who--and why--Laz's life is on someone's to-die list. The game's plot will eventually take the Silver Eagle through punishing deserts, derelict mines, snowy mountains, and even out to sea. Though the plot can be hard to fully understand at times, it's still moderately engaging and exciting, so you still know what's going on most of the time. The game's campaign, if you don't do any of the free, optional skirmishes, will take you roughly 18-20 hours, depending on skill level and/or difficulty chosen Unfortunately, the game suffers from a poor localisation, with typos and punctuation errors being quite noticeable. It's not horrendously bad or anything, but it looks pretty amateur-ish. Characters seem a bit dull and perhaps one-dimensional at times; however they are not unlikeable, and the game does have humour now and again. Still, the lack of development is a shame, since the length of the game could have incorporated some character development during the plot. Saying that, seeing as this a low budget title, this does not surprise me. And speaking of low budget... Presentation The music in this game is nothing good. Mediocre, at best. A lot of the same tracks repeat during the chapters, too, which doesn't help set the correct tone. I normally played this game with other music playing in the background. What I will say is that the music is reminiscent of tracks you would have heard during the Game Boy Advance era. So if you're into that sort of thing, then the music might be up your alley. In fact, I think this game would not have looked out of place as a GBA title, looking at its aesthetic; the units and maps are both sprite-based, adding to the more retro feel. The artstyle used for the character portraits is very watercolour-like (I'm not an expert of art, my apologies), and they look pretty presentable. These also anime influences here; an example would be eyebrows being visible over a person's hair. Mind you, the proportions on their faces are all sensible, so they look a little more realistic, if lacking intricate detail Prices (as of the time this post was first made) UK: £3.99 America: $4.99 Europe: ? (I imagine it's €4.99) Well, that's that. ... What, you thought this was a review? It was going to be, originally, but I decided to turn the thread into a general discussion thread for the game. But, I will say--and this is my opinion, not meant to be informative-- for the current price, this game is really good value. The length, the potential replayability, the varying strategies you can pull off--it's all alluring. The music isn't the best in the world, but that can be countered by playing your own pieces of music instead. For the gameplay alone, Mercenaries Saga 2: Order of the Silver Eagle is worth it. The plot, though it did raise an eyebrow here and there, did give me more incentive to play some of the chapters. If you like SRPGs, you should get this game