Game Review – the 7th Saga (SNES)

The 7th Saga is an RPG created for the Super Nintendo. The game, released in 1993, revolves around magical runes and the player’s quest to find them. Along the way, the player character befriends and parties up with a myriad of other characters in order to combat any opposition and discover new runes along the way. The game plays very similarly to the Final Fantasy series of that time period.
The overall storyline focuses on a total of seven powerful runes (a rune being a magical stone with intrinsic value and great power). Parallel with these seven runes are the seven main characters amassed in order to collect them. What this boils down to is basically the navigation of a giant world map in the search for such runes, and the game doesn’t take the storyline too much further.

The graphics in The 7th Saga are quite nice for its genre and time period. The underlying intention of the graphics is to create a dark and dreary environment, though the end result is actually a quite colorful and varied set-up. Character animations are somewhat played out and not very good, but the overall environment and the characters’ interactions within it are quite nice. All playable characters have different sprites, however, and are not simply reused and repaletted animations of previous characters. This is definitely a nice change from a time period where most games simply have ten different colors of the same type of monster or character.

In terms of audio, The 7th Saga is wonderful. I simply loved the various themes promoted within the game, my favorites being the battle theme and the worldmap theme. The 7th Saga strives to be dark and gloomy, and a lot of the music tracks reflect this; not all of them are up-beat or happy. This, however, sets the mood for the game, and is a wonderful addition to its already-impressive arsenal of features.

The learning curve is far too steep in this game, I think. When first beginning the game, if you don’t plan to die you will be very upset. Death comes with the territory in The 7th Saga, and any player who dislikes losing will dislike this game. Put simply, they made it hard on purpose. While the game’s difficulty level can be overcome through a lot of experience and training, it took me hours-probably twenty, in total-to fully understand its mechanics. Much of the game is simply wondering around a large worldmap in search of the runes, so any given battle may be hours apart.

I enjoy difficult games, so this was my bag-you may fare differently. Though much of the game involves the search, much of it, still, consists of vivid battles and wonderful thematic sound tracks. Overall, I’d give The 7th Saga a solid 3.4/5.