Recently localized for Western audiences, Romancing SaGa 3 is the sixth title in the SaGa RPG series from Japan. As such, it is a JRPG
Developed and published by Square Enix, Romancing SaGa 3 was ported for Western audiences and remastered from its 1995 version in 2019. It is a gloriously faithful remaster to the original game that maintains all of its features with enhanced graphics and gameplay.
One thing that the SaGa series excels at, and SaGa 3 also does well, is delivering a non-linear gameplay experience.
The story of the game revolves around an event called the “Death Eclipse” that happens every 300 years. During this event, every newborn life on the planet dies, except one human child, who then can go on to become a Devil King or a Holy King.
SaGa 3 excels at providing a replayable game with a non-linear plot and gameplay
The plot of SaGa 3 itself is extremely minimalistic and follows a single lead character the player chooses at the beginning from eight possible choices. As the player goes on, they will recruit others into a party, earn and equip weapons and armor, upgrade stats, and learn skills in traditional RPG fashion.
Characters don’t level up so much as receive stat increases depending on how much they participate in combat. Skills are also learned the same way, with new skills being unlocked and upgraded each time characters use them.
The game also features a “Commander” mode where one character takes to the back line to direct combat. In this mode, it is possible to learn multi-character combo skills as well.
Interesting differences in gameplay from other RPGs make SaGa 3 a compelling title
Instead of dying in battle outright, characters are knocked down when their hit points reach zero. However, they also have another stat called “LP,” which starts at 10 and reduces each time they are knocked down during a fight or struck again after being knocked out. If a character’s LP is reduced to zero, they are removed from the party (except the main character, which results instead in a game over), but can be recruited again. A character’s LP is refreshed after every rest.
SaGa 3’s story and mission outcomes change depending on choices made by the player with a hidden karma system. This opens up a wide variety of replayability for the game as each playthrough can be different.
Some of the missions even differ based on whichever lead was chosen at the beginning and playing can even unlock more playable characters.
SaGa 3, like many other JRPGs, is a 2D sprite-based game with tile-based environments and retro-looking graphics – as it is a remaster of the 1995 title – with music reminiscent also of that era. As a result, it creates a certain appeal to nostalgia as well as being an excellent addition to the SaGa series.
Romancing SaGa 3 emerged to decide the destiny of the world on Nov. 11, 2019, and is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows PCs, PlayStation Vita, as well as iOS and Android. This is also the first time the game is available in English with Western localization.