In less than a year’s time, the Nintendo Switch has become home to a surprisingly large amount of titles, but for some reason, turn-based tactics games are few and far between on the system. Thankfully, the upcoming release of Mercenaries Saga Chronicles delivers a rather lavish collection of classic turn-based tactics for little money.
This collection of three titles, two of which have previously been released on the 3DS, doesn’t even try to reinvent the genre, relying on the tried and true formula of classics such as Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre instead.
Leading a small band of warriors, thieves, archers, and mages into battle and trading blows with your enemies turn by turn – all of this works because it feels familiar. The Mercenaries Saga games have a few interesting tricks up their sleeves which set them apart from similar titles. For example, your characters don’t just level up and get stronger, but they collect skill points in each battle they are taking part in, allowing you to focus on individual talents and powers.
There’s other stuff such as synthesizing new magical weapons and class changes which give your heroes access to new powers. Spell casters do not start battles with a full mana pool, but have to wait a few turns until they can sling their most powerful spells. Things like these make the gameplay feel pretty engaging and different enough even for SRPG veterans to pick these games up and thoroughly enjoy them.
Sadly, the same cannot always be said for the writing, which rarely deviates from well-trodden paths of standard fantasy fare. Still, the familiar gameplay carries these games and turns Mercenaries Saga Chronicles into a must-buy for fans of the genre. They wonderfully balance complexity and the portable nature of the system they’re released on. Besides, with essentially three games for the price of one, you really get your money’s worth here.
You can purchase Mercenaries Saga Chronicles from the Nintendo Switch eShop for $14.99.