Revisit a Hidden Gem With SaGa Frontier Remastered
Stepping out of Final Fantasy’s shadow
Chris De Hoog |
Dec 1, 2020
Square Enix is bringing several of its lesser known franchises back to the forefront, and the latest is their 1997 JRPG SaGa Frontier.
SaGa Frontier Remastered is coming to PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam), and mobile devices next summer. The new package will feature several enhancements beyond its new coat of paint: new story content, a new playable character, and a “Glimmer” ability to give characters new abilities.
Directed by Akitoshi Kawazu, the remaster’s new content is mostly bits of story that were cut from the original due to time and storage constraints. Many of the new scenes involve Asellus, one of the main protagonists, and the new playable character is Fuse, whose scenario was removed.
The SaGa series began on the Game Boy in 1989 with Makai Toushi SaGa, which was released in North America as The Final Fantasy Legend in an attempt to attract more western players to JRPGs. The series—created by Kawazu. a veteran of the original Final Fantasy team—made the jump to the Super Famicom as Romancing SaGa in 1992, then to the PlayStation with SaGa Frontier in 1997, where it was overshadowed by another Square RPG, Final Fantasy VII, and performed modestly.
The franchise was known for its unique levelling system, inspired by Final Fantasy II, where characters become more proficient with skills as they use them. Most feature a playable cast of eight characters, each with their own individual storylines which enhance the overall plot, which was a direct influence on recent hit Octopath Traveler.
Square Enix has attempted to revive SaGa from its PS2 slump in recent years. Romancing SaGa 2 and 3 were finally brought to English audiences for the first time in 2017 and 2019 respectively. A mobile title, Romancing SaGa Re:univerSe, has garnered over 25 million downloads worldwide since 2018. And now it’s SaGa Frontier‘s time to shine when it hits consoles sometime next summer.
In the meantime, Square Enix is publishing Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legendthis month, a compilation of the classic Game Boy SaGa trilogy known to western audiences as the Final Fantasy Legend series.