Explore the 7 wonders of the world, but only if you’re a serious fanHaving played “Warsong” on the Sega way back in the early ’90s, I thought I had gotten my fill of the role-playing-game experience. Each time I played that game I had to spend enormous amounts of energy (and time) to get deep enough into the game to finish it. Unless the player truly immerses himself in the game he will never see it end.
That is why RPGs have always been a category for hard-core gamers and inaccessibility a factor that turned off casual players.
“Unlimited Saga,” produced for PlayStation2, has the standard look of an RPG, with the player choosing from seven characters that have their own unique storyline as well as supporting cast that pop up as the game proceeds.
But it does not provide the real-time strategy of traditional RPGs as the game revolves around a menu-based system.
The player moves along a map to discover the secrets of the Seven Wonders of the world and along the way has to fight off monsters. The graphics are impressively crisp. Upgrades, buying new equipment and accepting new tasks are almost all done in towns that appear on the map. The map is covered by fog so the player has to find his way through, probing and memorizing the path so as not to repeat wrong turns twice.
The Verdict: This is a pure RPG that seems, on the surface, to be accessible enough that you do not have to be a hard-core gamer to enjoy it. The first barrier to casual players is the interface, which can be daunting. I consider myself an experienced gamer, but it took me awhile to get a handle on just the basic functions. And the manual does a poor job explaining how to play the game.
All in all, “Unlimited Saga” is another solid title in the RPG category, but before you purchase it make sure that you have plenty of time and will to play. This is a game for the die-hards.
by Brian Lee