Ogre Battle (伝説のオウガバトル)
Release Date: 3/12/1993
System: Super Famicom
- Turn type: Real time
- Maps: Relatively large. As usual there is terrain that affects movement.
- Character customization: Most units are generic and can be promoted to various classes by getting certain stats.
- Character development: Standard XP/level system. XP is shared among members of a squad.
- Party: You have a large number of squads composed of several units each, one of whom is the leader.
- Equipment: Each character can equip one item.
- Game flow: There are multiple paths through the game, optional stages, and several endings based on your “chaos frame” score.
- Saving: Between levels.
- Death: Not permanent.
As with Albert Odyssey, this is a game I already covered on my other blog, with two posts (Post 1 and Post 2).
I was looking forward to this game, having played Ogre Battle 64 back in the 90s and enjoying it quite a bit. Unfortunately I found this game to be lackluster in comparison and I didn’t finish it. There is definitely a lot of customization, and this is the first SRPG on my list to offer any multiple paths, optional stages, or different endings. The story is pretty weak, though, since there are no pre or post battle dialogues, just chats with the characters or bosses within the stage.
My biggest problem was the gameplay, though, and it really came down to two development choices. The first is that with few exceptions, the enemy AI is simply to move towards your units or towns at top speed. The enemies rarely set up any kind of defensive formation or wait. The second problem is that if a leader is killed, the rest of the troop moves back to the HQ at max speed, and the split second they touch the HQ they immediately reappear fully healed and revived. I found both of these aspects of the game frustrating because it felt like I had no choice but to sit in a defensive position and wait for enemies to come to me, and make sure to exterminate them completely. Otherwise I risked losing towns I had captured, or getting mobbed.
The game has a lot of fiddly stuff with alignment and the “chaos frame” value if you want some of the optional characters or endings, but I found this to be more annoying than fun.
As I said on the other post, I don’t necessarily think this is a bad game, I just personally did not like it. OB64 was far superior, for my tastes.
I've been playing this game and wanted to see what you thought about it. Glad to see I'm not the only one who didn't enjoy it.
Although… I DO have to disagree with you in that "it's not necessarily a bad game" 😛 The battle system is pure garbage, there's way too much standing around and waiting for shit to happen, rather than having control over how things work out. And that's a BIG part of what makes SRPGs enjoyable: control! I personally wouldn't even classify Ogre Battle as a SRPG because of the reliance upon real-time, the lack of a grid, and overall lack of control when it comes to battles.
It's also a game riddled with minor annoyances, such as the inability to check what Tarot cards do during battle (seriously wtf?) and little typos here and there (e.g. "here" instead of "hear," or in the quiz where they misspell "decide" as "dicide"). Unit planning is a complete mess and the game just DUMPS it all on you, rather than gradually easing you into it, like a good game would. It's an incredibly confusing system to people who aren't already familiar with it, and something of this magnitude NEEDS to be explained with more lucidity and more gradually.
Overall one of the worst strategy games I've played. I'm not finishing it either.
Haha maybe I was just too nice because I know how many people like the game. Good to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't like it.