What do you need to know about SaGa?

It is a great time for fans of Square Enix’s SaGa series! Romancing SaGa 2 was ported to multiple platforms and released worldwide. SaGa: Scarlet Grace was the first new entry in the series in over 11 years when it was released on the PlayStation Vita in Japan in 2016. Basically, it feels like it is experiencing a renaissance. Which means it is a good time to review what makes it so special.

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What’s up with Ruby Party?

Otome games are only just starting to find their place worldwide, but these dating sims for women have been around for quite some time in Japan. If you start enjoying these titles, you will eventually find yourself hearing about Ruby Party. You may even hear laments about how no Ruby Party games have been localized yet! Who is this developer? Why should you care about its titles? Let’s learn a little more about this studio!

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What do you need to know about PopoloCrois?

Something really weird happened last year. A PopoloCrois game was released outside of Japan. Well, to be fair, it was simultaneously a Story of Seasons. That helped its odds quite a bit. But while everyone is (or should be) rather familiar with that series of farming simulations, the same may not be able to be said for PopoloCrois. Michibiku to the rescue! Let’s learn more about this charming RPG series.

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Suikoden uses Jeane to build a mystery

Suikoden is a series with more than a few recurring characters. There are many explanations for these recurring cameos. Some of the people are True Rune holders, which essentially grants them a form of immortality. (Though not invincibility.) In the case of Viki, it appears her Blinking Rune frees her from the binds of space and time. And then there’s Jeane. Jeane has appeared in all five numbered Suikoden games, as well as Genso Suikogaiden Vol. 1 and Suikoden Tactics. Even though these take place across across a substantial period of time, she is eternal and unchanged. What’s going on?

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Suikoden’s True Runes meld gameplay and lore

When it comes to games, storytellers go out of their way to make excuses for why particular people or groups of people are somehow the chosen ones destined to save a town, kingdom or world. There is McGuffin that explains everything and makes it okay. Suikoden is no different. It has a True Rune mechanic that always offers a plausible excuse for why ingénues are suddenly leading entire armies and deciding the fate of a nation. These True Runes act as an origin story, make ordinary people extraordinary and even provide a reason for entire wars.

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Suikoden’s Viki takes an obligatory mechanic and makes it extraordinary

Teleportation mechanics aren’t uncommon in RPGs. These sorts of games can have huge worlds, which makes manually walking to places an unwelcome prospect. In some situations, there’s a simple spell that lets you instantly return to important places. Suikoden takes that idea and improves on it. Each of the numbered installments in the main series calls upon Viki, a young woman with an extraordinary rune, to add a little something extraordinary to an otherwise ordinary mechanic.

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