[Beyond PlayStation] Mercenaries Saga Chronicles Review
Mercenaries Saga Chronicles on Nintendo Switch is a collection packed with three strategy games for dozens of hours of strategy RPG fun. Learn more about it in our Mercenary Saga Chronicles review!
I got to play Mercenaries Saga 2 on Nintendo 3DS back when it released and ended up spending dozens of hours playing the game, so I was definitely up for reviewing Mercenaries Saga Chronicles on the Nintendo Switch. This collection includes Mercenaries Saga: Will of the White Lions, Mercenaries Saga 2: Order of the Silver Eagle and Mercenaries Saga 3: Gray Wolves of War, which is definitely a ton of strategy RPG action in one package!
The protagonist of the first game in the series, Mercenaries Saga: Will of the White Lions, is Leon, commander of the titular White Lions, a group of mercenaries. The game’s story revolves around how the group gets hired to battle a bunch of bandits that are up to no good, as they take on jobs as a small and sorta new group of mercenaries, trying to make ends meet. This job, in particular, will lead their group to grow as they are slowly but surely dragged into a much grander adventure that will place them at the center of a war.
The second game in the trilogy, Mercenaries Saga 2: Order of the Silver Eagle, will have you taking control of Claude. Claude is the captain of the Kingdom’s Order of the Silver Eagle, and he and his group are basically in charge of the security of the royal family. One day Prince Laz decides to go out on a hunting trip but, unfortunately, an assassin is out to kill him. Claude manages to keep the assassin at bay while Prince Laz escapes but, unfortunately, this was all a trap, and the Prince ends up being poisoned. Because of this, Claude and his group set out on a dangerous mission to find the antidote to the poison, no matter what.
And then there is Mercenaries Saga 3: Gray Wolves of War. The final entry in this collection has you in the shoes of Marion as the commander of the titular Gray Wolves. This one tells the story of two continents separated by a large ocean, each led by a different faction. In the north, there was the Flare Kingdom which focused on advanced technology and a powerful military force, and in the south, the tribes of Kirialos that fought over the bountiful resources of the continent. Sensing an opportunity, the Flare Kingdom intervened in the battles, allegedly in the name of peacekeeping, while in fact trying to take control of the continent.
The second and third games in the series are currently available on Nintendo 3DS, but this is the first time Mercenaries Saga: Will of the White Lions is available in English since it was a mobile release. While some of the gameplay mechanics of Mercenaries Saga 3 have been implemented into the first and second games to bring them up to speed, the first game in the trilogy does show its age more than the other two due to its mobile roots. Animations aren’t as smooth, and the pixel art is more pixelated than what we get in the other two-thirds of this collection, but it’s not a deal-breaker since the gameplay is still fun.
All games share the same gameplay mechanics which, if you’re a fan of the SRPG genre, you’re probably familiar with. At the start of a battle, you will select the characters that will take part in the fight, and place them within the set starting spots. Once a battle begins, each character will be able to move a set number of spaces, remain in place, defend or use an attack, skill or item as needed. Each character has a starting class that allows him/her to access a variety of offensive, defensive or support skills, and by making the most of you will greatly increase your odds of succeeding.
Every single enemy on the battlefield is just as dangerous as the rest since, if you’re not careful, you can be defeated when a human or monster you’re attacking counterattacks you. Most of the time you will need to move and attack as a team, protecting the weaker members and the long-range attackers since they usually can’t take much damage before they’re in serious trouble… but sometimes you might want to separate some of them from the pack to open a treasure chest that is a bit out of reach, or to use a search skill to find some hidden items.
After a battle ends you will get SP you can use to improve your skills, so they’re more powerful and helpful, but this will also increase the MP cost to use them, so you better level up your characters so that they have better stats and more MP to make the most of these improvements. You might run into some battles where enemies will easily overwhelm you since they’ll be of a higher level and have better equipment or skills, so you should make the most of the Free Battles you can take on separately from those for the main campaign in each of the three games, so that you can grind a bit and level up your team.
If you’re a fan of the SRPG genre, then I highly recommend that you get Mercenaries Saga Chronicles on Nintendo Switch. It has a ton of content at a very affordable $14.99, and completing all three games at least once will require dozens of hours of gaming at home or on the go. The games aren’t perfect, and playing all three back to back to back might feel as if you’re playing different (very long) chapters of the same game due to how they share the same overall look and gameplay mechanics, but for SRPG aficionados this won’t be a deal-breaker.
This Mercenaries Saga Chronicles review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by CIRCLE Entertainment.