Reviews: Unlimited Sa Ga

A Good Game Hobbled By Lack Of Documentation and Polish

Unlimited Saga is a very different game from other RP Gs. It has a lot of systems that aren't adequately explained, either in manual or in game. This is good if you like to discover things on your own, and have the patience to do so, not so good if you don't. In my personal experience, knowing how the game mechanics worked made all the difference in my enjoyment of the game, so the lack of documentation really works against it.

Another flaw is several status screens are either difficult to get to, or not available in certain parts of the game. I found myself struggling to find the character info screen at a number of points.

As for the much maligned Reel system, its not that bad, as it gives you a huge amount of control over your actions. However there is a certain amount of randomness in the system, which I didn't enjoy but was tolerable. Higher skill levels in a particular skill make the Reel system easier to use as well.

Aesthetics-wise, I thought the music was great. The art is beautiful as well. The characters I found interesting as well, as they left just enough to tantalize, but don't give everything away.

So, to wrap up.

  • Great music
  • Great art
  • Interesting characters

  • Unfamiliar game mechanics
  • No in game or out of game documentation
  • Access to information screens needs to be easier.

This is a bad game. A very bad game.

Ah, Unlimited Sa Ga, one of the first RPGs I played on my new PS 2, and one of the worst purchases of my life. Just throwing this the money it cost in the trash would've been a net gain for my free time. Instead, since I was poor, I had to "play" this one to get my money's worth. Ergh...

The board game style gameplay doesn't work, because unlike a real board game RPG, you can't see the whole board and there's a constant deadline, so exploration is punished. Level grinding is punished. Trying anything in this game is punished by making it that more impossible to win. So on the third retry, when I finally got all the way to the final killed me. Because, oh yes, the balance in this game is also completely broken. If you don't know EXACTLY how to build a max skilled and max equipped character and EXACTLY how to get the resources necessary to even try, the final boss will kill you. The damn thing has multiple forms on TOP OF the climax boss for each character, which itself may have multiple forms. I have never beaten the final boss in less than forty minutes, and never without going the entire fight with zero HP. Oh yeah, HP - it's broken. LP is all that matters, and whether you'll lose LP, lose a lot of LP, or keep all your LP from an attack is just as random as the dang blasted reels. Having HP should keep you safe from losing LP, but in practice you'll lose precious LP regardless whenever the game feels like you're getting too close to enjoying yourself.

Remember those dungeon dives in the really old RPGs for the NES and such, like the Swamp Cave in good old Final Fantasy? Turns out EVERY dungeon is that in Unlimited Sa Ga. There's exactly 1 save point in the game, and it's right outside the final boss encounter, which, as mentioned, you'll have no chance at unless you've already mastered this game. Mastering this game is like steering a wreck across a rope bridge stretched across the grand canyon. A herculean task with certain failure always looming overhead, and not really worth the effort once you succeed.

That's Unlimited Sa Ga, an RPG that's determined to prevent you from enjoying it and does a spectacular job of reaching that lofty goal. Because, as I said at the start, my life would've been improved by never having played this game, it cannot recieve a positive score. I rate this game -1 out of 10.