December 19, 2009
This was one of my favorite games growing up. Saga Frontier came out around the same time that Final Fantasy VII and VIII were dominating the Playstation. This was game was extremely underrated during its run on the PS1. I will be the first to admit that it did not have the stellar graphics like FF7 and FF8; the characters were all sprite based, like an enhanced SNES. What it lacked in graphics though was made up in gameplay.
Essentailly Saga Frontier followed 7 different story lines that a player could choose from when they began the game. When the system data is set up, it keeps a record of the players completion of each character. Once all of the characters are completed a special surprise comes up at the end of the game. The thing that made this game so interesting was the fact that players could choose their own party. There was no predefined character acquisition system. Rather, as you explore the various regions in the game you were able to recruit characters that either met your strengths or looked just plain cool (I always was a fan of the cool factor). There are a number of races ranging from humans-mystics-monsters. This left a diverse plate of characters to choose from.
There was also a very open ended story system in place. You could essentially build your own quest in this game. When a character is selected at the intro screen, the objective of their story is presented. It is up to the players to decide of to reach that objective.
There was a sequel made to this game, however, it did not follow the same open ended concept in the Fashion that Saga Frontier did. This game really was a one of a kind. I have been relentlessly searching to see if there is another game like this out there with the open ended stories and diverse character selection.
If you are into emulating PS1, then I would recommend giving this game a try. It is well worth your time.