Brigandine is an SRPG game that released in 1998, with an enhanced version in 2000. Twenty years later, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is releasing finally turning it into a series. A demo for this upcoming game released on the e-shop recently.
The Legend of Runersia
The goal of this game is to take over the continent of Runersia with your chosen country. There are six different nations to choose from, but in the demo you can only choose Norzaleo. Three difficulty settings exist which determine enemy AI and impose a time limit, but only easy is available in this demo. Furthermore you can only play until you take over two bases or if nine turns end first. These turns are divided into two phases, organizing and attacking. There is a tutorial available.
Two Kinds of Map Placement
I’ll try to keep my descriptions simpler so if I do end up reviewing the full game I won’t have to repeat myself so much. In this game you have bases that hold different Rune Knights which are your human units, and their monster troops. In the organization phase you can send them on quests to earn items or exp, summon new monsters, upgrade and equip units, and move them between bases. Moving will take a turn, and sending them away on quests can leave your base vulnerable if no-one else is stationed there. Then in the attack phase you can send a few units to attack an enemy base so long as it’s adjacent to one of your own. Make sure to see what your attack power is before blindly rushing into a swath of enemies.
Monsters and Mayhem
If you’ve selected to attack a base (or two) on your turn then you’ll go into combat. This part is like most SPRGs but is on a hexagonal grid. Some specifics of the game remind me a little of Langrisser. One of the main aspects is that the Rune Knights are the commanders and they have monster troops. If monsters are defeated they’ll be lost permanently while Knights will retreat. When retreating their monsters will attempt to follow. If they fail they can be captured by the enemy if they win, and if it happens to enemy monsters and you win, you’ll capture theirs. Monsters are also stronger if they’re in range of their Knight. In these early stages it seems you can only deploy three Rune Knights (and their troops) into battle.
There are the usual factors like terrain and elements which are specific to every unit type. Most skills can be used after moving but magic cannot. There are various attack types and some such as breath attacks hit anyone including allies in the line of fire. One other thing is the zone of control, where you can’t pass through the six hexagons around an enemy. You can enclose (or by enclosed by) an enemy by overlapping your units around an enemy, this will lower accuracy and critical rates making it a good way to stop a tough enemy.
The game has a gorgeous illustrated art style, though in the visual novel-esque cutscenes characters only have one pose. Prince Rubino looks especially silly during the sad early events. In battle the details of the units are fairly high though people are only shown as their class type. The maps look a little plain but there are details elsewhere, like the shadows having proper outlines. The music is appropriate with a very dramatic and war like score. There is only Japanese voice acting.
Not being able to play on the higher difficulty settings to see the difference is a bit annoying. Yet given that easy mode doesn’t have a time limit it seems better to get used to the game through that before trying other difficulties. I’m definitely quite interested in the game as it seems to combine SRPG combat into a regular strategy game. It’s definitely ripe for replaying with six different nations to play as. In the full game there seems to be a challenge mode where you can play with any ten chosen units you want. The demo doesn’t specify if anything carries over but the full game will release on the 25th of June.