1996 is done! This was the last hurrah for Super Famicom (other than the one rogue FE5), with a lot of strong late-period entries. It was also the first real year for the Saturn and Playstation. Time for Game of the Year selection — this is a very arbitrary process that’s mostly based on subjective opinion, and I often prioritize variety over picking the same series repeatedly, so don’t take it too seriously.
The games this year that got an A ranking for me are these seven: Bahamut Lagoon, Der Langrisser FX, Fire Emblem 4, Energy Breaker, Sakura Taisen, Vandal Hearts, Riglord Saga II.
Langrisser has already been GOTY twice, and FX is a remake so I will exclude that. Sakura Taisen is not really an SRPG so I will exclude that as well. Since Riglord Saga was 1995 GotY I’ll avoid picking the sequel. I think I will actually go with Energy Breaker — although it definitely has flaws and some evidence of rushed development, it’s overall a fun game and is a great display of late Super Famicom graphics, music, and presentation. It’s a good sendoff for the SFC (unless Fire Emblem 5 wins 1999?) All seven of the above games are worth playing, though. Here’s the GotY list (which all have English versions, although that’s a coincidence):
1990: Fire Emblem
1992: Just Breed
1993: Super Robot Taisen 3
1994: Langrisser II
1995: Riglord Saga
1996: Energy Breaker
Now here’s a list of 1997 games. The system is Playstation unless otherwise specified. A number of these games are for both Saturn and Playstation; my method is that unless I can find a specific reason to play the Saturn version, I will play the Playstation version instead, but I will check for each game before I start it (and let me know if you know anything about the differences for specific games, or if I missed anything).
- Sangokushi Koumeiden – the second in Koei’s Eiketsuden series; from what I can see it’s very similar in gameplay to Eiketsuden.
- Nage Libre – Rasen no Sokoku – Sequel to the Nage Libre game for SFC. (Like the SFC game, this goes for several hundred dollars on ebay).
- Feda 2 – Sequel to Feda.
- Seikon no Joka – This is based on a light novel series.
- Sparking Feather (PC-FX) – This is the only original PC-FX game I will be playing.
- TILK: The Girl from the Blue Sea – I just discovered this recently.
- Riot Stars
- Atelier Marie – I’ve already played this game so this will just be a review post (I’ll also explain again why I’m including at least the early Atelier games)
- Final Fantasy Tactics – Most likely just a review post, but I might do a challenge run if I feel like it.
- Angel Blade – This is an early release from Nippon-Ichi; it may be their first SRPG.
- Slayers Royal – based on the popular light novel/anime.
- Shinseiden Megaseed: Rebirth Chapter – This is a Banpresto game that looks very similar to the Masou Kishin games; there’s a Creation Chapter that might be a sequel but from what I can tell it was only a manga.
- Langrisser 4 – Everyone tells me I should play the Playstation version of this. But apparently the L4 PSX version is based on the L5 system, so I should probably play the Saturn version?
- Front Mission II – I was somewhat disappointed in FM1 so hopefully this will be an improvement.
- Super Robot Taisen F/F Final – Just a review as usual.
- Mori Motonari – Third game in the Eiketsuden series. This one is based on Japanese sengoku history instead of Chinese, and the gameplay seems to be redone rather than just a copy of Eiketsuden.
- RONDE (Sat) – This is basically the third Majin Tensei game.
- Galaxy Fraulein Yuna 3 Final Edition – The first two games in this series were not SRPGs.
- Shining Force III Scenario 1 (Sat) – Many say this is the best SF game by far.
- Ryuki Densho – This is a port of a computer game. There were two more games in this series but they were not ported to consoles.
- BS Fire Emblem: Akaneia Senki – The main reason I’m skipping this is that it’s not fully implemented; this was originally a game done through the Satellite View and the cutscenes are missing.
- Dark Law: Meaning of Death – This does not seem to fit my criteria, but I will be playing it on the SNES side of the blog.
- Master of Monsters: Disciples of Gaia – This game and the next three all fall on the “strategy” rather than the “SRPG” side of the line given my criteria.
- Power Dolls 2
- Wakusei Kokitai Little Cats – I’m not sure this is really an SRPG; it looks to me more like a dating-sim like gameplay with some strategic battles. In any case it gets very poor reviews so probably no point playing it.