The tale starts off promisingly enough, and a little dark to boot. Revenants (a type of demon unkillable by normal means) are spreading across the land. The main protagonist is a young man named Albert, who is living by himself in the usual quiet JRPG hamlet. His parents died from a highly contagious, un-curable plague that has been spreading around unchecked. In the first few minutes of the game’s opening, his childhood friend Anna’s parents have also contacted the plague. After hearing the villagers talk of running her off because she most likely has the plague as well, Albert decides to run off to find out about a possible cure that was mentioned to him by a traveling doctor. Instead, the good Dr. Moreau tries to turn Albert into a revenant by summoning a demon to possess him and take over his body, erasing his mind in the process. The ritual is interrupted in the nick of time by the Order of Rystoria, a holy religious group devoted to defeating the revenants. This causes the demon to be trapped within Albert, giving him the ability to defeat other revenants. He then wanders the land, hunting down revenants and looking to exact revenge on Dr. Moreau. I won’t explain the story further than that, but the plot towards the end has some nice twists/surprises.
The graphics for most of the game use a clean, smoothed-out 16-bit style aesthetic, whereas the battles are made up of 3D graphics. The 3D models for the characters look nice, but the battle animations seem a little sparse. Once sword skill for Albert particularly bothers me. He holds his sword in front of him and just sorts of...slides into the enemy. Speaking of which, the monster models are not varied much, either. You run into a lot of the same monsters with re-skins/different color schemes. The soundtrack leaves much to be desired as well. There only seem to be a small handful of tracks and they get old quick, considering the game’s 10+ hour runtime. I believe the lack of music and monster variety is what really holds Revenant Saga back from being exceptional.
While Revenant Saga definitely isn’t breaking any new ground, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a play. The fact that you can take it with you anywhere thanks to the portability of the Nintendo Switch is a nice bonus. Between the optional sidequests and main campaign, you could probably ring about 10-15 hours out of it. It’s hard for me to pin down an exact number, though, since the game timer keeps rolling when the system is in standby mode. If you are in a bit of a dry-spell and looking for a JRPG by the numbers, you might as well give Saga a shot.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
+ Nice character chemistry
- Too much boring dialogue
-Sparse combat animations
- Limited music score