Langrisser isn’t exactly a household name, not like its kin Fire Emblem and Shining Force but that is all about to change with this latest title from NIS.
If you have never heard of Langrisser I wouldn’t be too surprised, only in recent years has it started to get localized, initially the series launched in the US region as Warsong on the Sega “Genesis” (Mega Drive for us EU lot). Langrisser 2 on the other hand didn’t have the same fate, while there are English versions these are Fan Translations, following this it wasn’t until Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei dropped on the 3DS in 2015 and more recently the fantastic mobile game that the series has started to make more of an impact.
Surprising no one this title contains remakes of the original Langrisser and its sequel Langrisser 2, while these are technically new titles they are very much drenched in early 90s DNA which is something to remember when comparing it to titles such as Fire Emblem: Three Houses & Wargroove.
Graphically Langrisser 1&2 are very nice looking titles with options!. The original Langrisser titles had a very distinctive 90s anime style to them, think Ninja Scroll, Outlaw Star, Record of Lodoss War, you get the idea. As we are in the 2020s Langrisser now features art with a more “up to date” anime style, now if you’re stuck in the Mega Drive/SNES era like myself you have the option of playing with the Classic art style while newcomers can play with the new “remastered” art style.
Now the actual in game graphics are where I have my only major gripe with the game. The in game graphics use a style very similar to the Mobile game, chibi character designs throughout with that “flash” basic animation, initially this was quite jarring especially after pressing to have the “Classic” art style. As it turns out the classic style only extends to the maps and the character art in menus and dialogue scenes, not the in game sprites as I was expecting.
While that is a very personal criticism of the game it is something that stuck with me throughout. In my opinion that style does a massive disservice to the title, it makes it look and feel like this is a full priced mobile game with how similar it mimics the mobile game art style. Fortunately this isn’t the case but for first impressions, giving the game what I would describe as a more “budget” look didn’t win it any initial favours.
On the audio side of things we fare better, there isn’t any English voice acting so take that for what you will but both Langrisser 1 and 2 have some brilliant music to accompany you waging war!. While nothing particularly life changing the tracks did tend to stand out more than the pseudo fantasy affair of some of it’s counterparts.
Now from a narrative perspective Langrisser 1 and 2 tells 2 individual unconnected stories within the same land. Langrisser 1 tells the story of Prince Ledin, the usual evil empire is attacking and you are the resistance. It’s up Ledin & his team to defeat the empire and take back the legendary sword the “Langrisser”.
Langrisser 2 features Erwin, travelling sword master and lucky contestant in the on going war for the legendary swords Langrisser and Alhazard.
Langrisser 1 has the more predictable cliched plot but has a nice feature in that there are multiple endings to the story, these can be experienced by achieving secret objectives in missions, fortunately if you miss them you can go back to any chapter any time.
Langrisser 2 is much grander in its narrative choice and Erwin is able to take the main story down 4 different paths resulting in around 20 different endings!. It’s staggering a game this old had these options and goes to show what a leap 2 was!.
The gameplay between the games is identical, if you have played any SRPG before the majority of this will be more than familiar, Langrisser does have a few little nuances to get it by but considering this title is a remake of one of the originals of the genre it’s to be expected that the gameplay is formulaic.
Langrisser does a fantastic job of making its battles seem more like Army vs Army using its Mercenary system. Your commanders can hire mercs, these gain strength while being closer to your commanders but also can be formidable advance units. Mercs can only exist as long as the Commander who leads them, if they die the unit disband.
Both games last way over 20 hours each meaning this game gives you enough bang for your buck, the additional scenarios will keep you coming back & the gameplay is that classic SRPG style of “one more map”. While the art style may not be for everyone the classic art did go far with selling me on the game.
If you’re a fan of strategy RPGs you owe it to yourself to own this collection. It has been a long time coming getting localized Langrisser titles and these don’t disappoint. Just remember these games have the bones of 90s RPGs so strap yourself in for some fantasy wars, legendary swords and more maps than you can shake a fist at!.
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