COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND Review

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Turn Based RPG
 
Rating: M
 
Release Date: Available Now
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/5


 

Positives


- An easy way to revisit classic games
- Vertical orientation mode is nostalgic
- Fully customisable controls

Negatives


- Few quality of life updates
- No clean up work down to translations
- No substantial additional content


Posted January 31, 2021 by

 
Full Article
 
 

One of my favourite trends in gaming is the classic collection. Getting to revisit old favourites or jump in on classics I missed out on when they originally released. Recent years have seen great collections (like the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King) and mediocre ones (like Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 & 2). Now Square Enix has jumped in with another classic collection, COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND, which falls just shy of being a great collection.

COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND brings together the first three SaGa games, which were released outside of Japan under the name Final Fantasy Legend. Released for the original Gameboy way back in the late 80s and early 90s, the early games were remarkedly similar to the early Final Fantasy games. Create a custom party using a range of provided character classes, jump into the world, take part in turn-based battles and complete a narrative adventure. Where they begin to diverge from one another, is in SaGa’s earlier forays into Sci-Fi, compared to Final Fantasy’s more fantasy-based designs. Along with elements of the exploration of creation and gods, SaGa is a unique series with its own distinct identity.

Unlike some other classic game collections, COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND doesn’t make many adjustments to its games themselves. You have the option to adjust the speed of the game, causing it to run at something akin to double its normal speed, but that’s it. The graphics are basically the same as the original Gameboy games and there’s been no adjustments to translations or UIs. From a game perspective, you’re getting pretty much the vanilla SaGa experience. It’s a criticism I’ve levied at other classic collections in the past, but some easily accessible concept art galleries or other additions would have been welcome.

Where COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND does set itself apart is in its ability to be played vertically. You’re able to change the orientation of the screen, converting your Switch into a supercharged Gameboy. You can use joy-con or pro controller buttons to play, although the controls on a Switch Lite don’t automatically orientate themselves in vertical mode and need to be manually altered via customised controls, or using touch screen buttons instead. The best part of the touchscreen controls comes from the ability to completely customise their positioning, allowing you to come up with your own orientation for the most comfort. It’s an interesting option that works well in practice and also triggers some nostalgia at the same time.

Your enjoyment from playing the three SaGa games in COLLECTION of Saga FINAL FANTASY LEGEND is largely going to come down to your appetite for playing older Gameboy games. The original Final Fantasy Legend is significantly rougher than its older siblings, with more scattershot translations and many of the visual limitations that appeared early on in the handheld’s lifecycle. Despite this, its story hits some interesting points and it’s still worthwhile jumping in for that. The later instalments benefit from better translations, higher graphical fidelity (while still being squarely within the realm of the Gameboy), lengthier narratives and all the general improvements you’d expect from sequels developed for the same hardware. If you’re interested in classical RPGs, you won’t be disappointed here, but if you’re not these might not hit the mark for you.

Overall, COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND is a good classic collection without being a great one. It’s relatively basic in its implementation, with basically no updates to gameplay or style and no additional content such as artwork or soundtracks, but its vertical orientation mode and customisable controls are both welcome additions. If you’re a fan of SaGa or classic RPGs and don’t mind playing some early Gameboy games, you’ll get a kick out of this collection.

COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND was reviewed on both a regular Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite with a review copy provided by the publisher. For more information, check the official website.


Andrew Cathie

 
Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.