Developer:  Experience Inc., Codeglue
Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software, NISAmerica
Platforms: Switch, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 19/03/2021
Price£44.99/$49.99
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.

Here we have two classic dungeon-crawlers in one sweet bundle. If you are a fan of these types of games, it could be worth your time to check this package out.

Saviors Of Sapphire Wings

Let us start with the first of the two games this it its first time west for us lucky people. As they originally released it back in 2010 is a far more simple affair in terms of story.

You are the Hero, and you lost the final fight to defeat the evil demonic overlord and save the world, and all hope is lost. One hundred years pass and the Hero has been brought back to stop the overlord this time for good.

I got to be frank from a story point of view, Saviors Of Sapphire Wings will not get the blood pumping at any point.

Stranger Of Sword City Revisited

Here we have a far more entertaining and interesting story and cast than its counterpart.

You are an everyday normal citizen who is involved in a plane crash. However, the crash does not kill you in fact it transports you to the world of Escario. Where you are able to hold your own in a fight and use magic. In Escario, you are known as a ‘Stranger’ and you are not alone. All the strangers have formed a guild to find a way back home. With three major factions all awnting your help, each with their own motivations and goals.

There are a lot more going on display, and each major character has a lot more depth to them. In very facet Stranger Of Sword City Revisited is far better narratively.

SAVIORS OF SAPPHIRE WINGS STRANGER OF SWORD CITY REVISITED battle

Saviors Of Sapphire Wings

Now let us move on to the prime meat of the game, how it plays. Saviors Of Sapphire Wings is more of a simplistic of a game. Making it perfect for new and veteran fans to be introduced to and enjoy a dungeon-crawler RPG.

Pretty much everything runs as expected, with all the normal tropes in a dungeon, trap floors, dungeons that limit ability to use, portals and so on. New to these styles of games? Do not worry, these tropes are easy to learn after once or twice of activating them or being there. If you are still struggling, then Saviors Of Sapphire Wings has an easy mode.

Even party members are met sequentially and are nothing to get over joyed over. The first party member is Saul, who is aimed at being a tank. Then Eltha clearly a mage class. Do not like to be locked in to these set classes? it is possible to change the class and sats of the party members to make them to fit the play style. This mechanic is used as a sort of character creation. However, if you do not change the party’s class, you end up with a well-balanced team.

Gameplay is simple and the traps ect, battles are simple with each ability having its major role and each class has its pros and cons that make up almost all RPG’s.

One aspect I really like is the art direction, with the more JRPG anime style mixed with more traditional western style enemy models. The art is not amazing, but it is nice to see these two normally separate styles mix and it feels oddly complementing..

Stranger Of Sword City Revisited

I am going to state the most blatant fact about this double pack. Stranger Of Sword City Revisited is by far the better of the two games. Almost all the games mechanics have been tinkered with and improved.

First, I want to talk about character creation; the players have total control of the characters that enter the party. With the normalised class and race system, affecting stats and overall ability for the character. I loved this making my party how I want; there is still one slight misnomer with the whole ‘create a party’ that is that you still need a balanced team tank, dps, healer, etc. This way does give the freedom of what classes work really well and what does not depend on your own play style.

When it comes to gameplay Stranger Of Sword City Revisited has the typical dungeon-crawler RPG elements, with a few extra mechanics thrown in for good measure. First thing of note is how to power up the party, yes there is EXP and level up. To really power up the party, you will need to hide in certain spots in the map and ambush enemies. This will give you assess to better gear and really give the party a good boost. This works fine and gives a good boost but after doing this a handful of times its get very bothersome and it’s an extra grind.

Next we have the party members themselves, depending how a party member has been created will affect their life points. Each time a character falls in a battle, they lose a life point. Once they are all gone, then that party member is dead. To revive a downed party member’s life points you have to pay to get them back right away or you can let them rest, and after X amount of battles they will be back. I both love and loath this mechanic, as I lost a party member down to the old role of the dice. (Before I remembered about getting life back) Each time I revived them they seemed to be massacred, and I lost good DPS ranger in less than half a dungeon. I decided to reload old saves to keep the momentum going as I didn’t want to level up another character. The mechanic makes sure that quick battle was not used every fight and pre-planning was needed more so for the Lineage creatures.

Lineage creatures act as the game’s mini bosses, they a normally picked as a bounty and they drop Blood Crystals once felled. Blood Crystals are one of the most important resource in the game, and can give the party some fairly wonderful abilities. With in the world of Escario, there are three factions; Strangers Guild, Medell Company or the ‘Kingdom.’ With each of these factions offering boons depending on how many Blood Crystals you will donate to each. Who you support the most will affect the ending. Even with Stranger Of Sword City Revisited, not being narrative based.

The ‘Revisited’ adds new classes, post game dungeons/areas as well as fixes to localisation and English translations. Can’t beat extra content.

Again in Stranger Of Sword City Revisited, the art style is a mix of the two but far, far better and more detailed.

SAVIORS OF SAPPHIRE WINGS STRANGER OF SWORD CITY REVISITED battle2

Saviors Of Sapphire Wings

Saviors Of Sapphire Wings is I would say a great starting point for dungeon-crawling RPGs and a fantastic warm up for what is a far better game Stranger Of Sword City Revisited. I must stress it is not a poor game, but it is very simple and there is nothing that will make you be truly amazed.

Stranger Of Sword City Revisited

Here we have the game that should take up most of your game time, Stranger Of Sword City Revisited. With everything improved and a far more interesting game overall.

I would recommend this package hands down its worth the money for sure.

8-10
GREAT

For more reviews, check out Ys IX: Monstrum Nox and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encour

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