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Romancing SaGa 2 comes west next week, 24 years late

Better late than never

There's been an awful lot of surprise announcements these past few days, but this one really caught me off guard. We've known for a while that Square Enix are aiming at a broader market than ever before, but the last thing I expected was a fully localised remake of Square's oddly capitalised Romancing SaGa 2 coming to PC, 24 years after its original Japanese-only launch on the Super Nintendo. Even more surprisingly, it's just on the horizon, due out next Friday, December 15th.

Baffled? Step inside for a nice cup of tea, a trailer for the PC version and a little more explanation as to what the Romancing SaGa 2 brings to the table.

I must admit some degree of surprise at this announcement. Firstly because it's amazing that Romancing Saga 2 is resurfacing after so long, but also because it turns out that it's been available on Android and iOS for some months now, although judging by the sum total of 7 ratings for the iOS version, it was released so quietly that even old-school JRPG fans failed to notice. Japanese publishers sometimes move in mysterious ways.

For fans of more open western RPGs looking for something with a different flavour, Romancing SaGa 2 might be just what you're looking for. While superficially similar in look, mechanically it's almost nothing like Final Fantasy, with a linear opening section paving the way for a remarkably freeform game on a multi-generational, empire-spanning scale, with the protagonist leading the country and each hand-picked heir to the throne inheriting the abilities of their predecessor. While not quite as grand in terms of timescale, Square's experimental JRPG The Last Remnant bears a lot of similarities to the SaGa series, mechanically.

Rather than just being emulated or a quick port, this looks more like a complete remake of the game, with major graphical upgrades across most elements, with more animation in combat and much more detailed backdrops, all while retaining the original sprite-art, chunky pixels and all. It's a world apart from the better-known yet notoriously rubbish Final Fantasy 6 port released back in 2015, which took the iconic sprites and put them through an upscale-filter blender.

On top of the visual improvements, there's a sizable chunk of new content, expanding the already lengthy RPG with four new dungeons and a gardens area in your home city, which will visibly grow and flourish as your empire's strength increases. I'm personally hoping that Romancing SaGa 2 finds its niche on PC and modern consoles, and sells well enough for Square to consider giving the even more mechanically exciting (army-scale strategic battles, anyone?) sequel the same treatment.

Update: The Steam store page is up for the game now. No price-tag, but the game is out in 5 days. You should probably also check out the official site for the game. It's a lovely, creative little thing that's well worth a gentle scroll down through.

 

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