SRPG 1997 wrap-up, 1998 preview

1997 wrap-up

1997 was not a good year for SRPGs overall, at least for ones I like. I only gave A ratings to four games: Final Fantasy Tactics, Atelier Marie, TILK, and Shining Force III-1. Atelier Marie isn’t an SRPG and TILK got an A- because of how much I loved the story and atmosphere even though the gameplay was a total disaster. So that basically just leaves two games for the GotY choice.

And it has to be Final Fantasy Tactics. Not just because of the general importance and popularity of the game, but it remains one of my favorite SRPGs and was my introduction to the genre. Despite its flaws, I still think it’s great.

  • 1990: Fire Emblem
  • 1991: Langrisser
  • 1992: Just Breed
  • 1993: Super Robot Taisen 3 
  • 1994: Langrisser II
  • 1995: Riglord Saga
  • 1996: Energy Breaker
  • 1997: Final Fantasy Tactics

Still by coincidence (or is it?) all eight of the GotY are available in English.

1998 preview/list of games

As with 1997, this list is all Playstation and Saturn games. It’s interesting that the Game Boy is completely silent; the last game was March 1995 and it won’t be back until Puyo Puyo Gaiden in August 1999. The list includes some games that I suspect may not turn out to qualify under my rules.

  1. Back Gainer Awakening (PS1) — this is another anime movie game made by the same people as Harukaze Sentai V-Force. I didn’t realize they had tried again.
  2. Farland Saga (SAT) — Hopefully this is better than the previous Farland games.
  3. REBUS (i.e. Kartia: World of Fate) (PS1)
  4. Brigandine (PS1) — I think this is going to be disqualified like Dragon Force but I will try it (in the Grand Edition) and see if I like it.
  5. Sakura Taisen 2 (SAT)
  6. Shining Force III Scenario 2 (SAT)
  7. Tokyo Majin Gakuen: Kenpucho (PS1)
  8. Langrisser 5 — not sure if I will play the Saturn or PS version.
  9. Back Gainer Flight (PS1) — The second of the Back Gainer games; there were supposed to be three but the third one never came out so the story is incomplete.
  10. Masumon KIDS (PS1)
  11. Seirei Shokan: Princess of Darkness (PS1)
  12. Bounty Sword Double Edge (PS1) — Sequel to the SFC original.
  13. Epica Stella (i.e. Vanguard Bandits) (PS1)
  14. Gojin Senki (PS1)
  15. Valhallian (SAT)
  16. Wachenroder (SAT)
  17. Black Matrix (SAT) – Flight Plan’s first SRPG; I love Summon Night but have never tried this. There are several ports; the Dreamcast version seems to be the one that has the best reputation so I may play that.
  18. Houshin Engi (PS1)
  19. Oda Nobunaga-Den (PS1) — The fourth of the Eiketsuden games and the last one to be released on consoles.
  20. Shining Force III Scenario 3 (SAT) – This is the final Saturn game I will be playing.
  21. Guardian Recall (PS1)
  22. Farland Saga 2 (PS1)
  23. Atelier Elie (PS1)
  24. Robot Senki Brave Saga (PS1)
  25. The Doll Princess of Marl Kingdom (i.e. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure) (PS1) – This does not qualify as an SRPG under my rules but I may play it anyway because it looks interesting.

Rejected games:

  • Monster Seed – I’m having a hard time understanding what kind of game this is; it doesn’t look like it qualifies for me despite being listed as a TRPG on Wikipedia. Let me know what you think.
  • SRPG Tskuuru – Just a construction kit.
  • Hyper Fishing – This has grid-based battles but it’s not an SRPG.
  • SD Gundam G Generation – I think I said this in an earlier preview but I am only going to play the SDGGG games that are SRW-style “mix the series together in one plot”.
  • Dragon Force 2 – I stopped Dragon Force for not qualifying as an SRPG so I’ll skip the second entry as well.

As I said in an earlier post, progress will be slow for a while. I’m going to focus on Super Famicom games to finally finish up that project, although I do intend to play an occasional SRPG.

5 thoughts on “SRPG 1997 wrap-up, 1998 preview

  1. João Guilherme

    It’s not a coincidence that the best SRPG are also available in English, who is going to waste their time translation a bad/mediocre game?

    As for the games of 1998 here’s what are my thoughts about some them.

    -REBUS (i.e. Kartia: World of Fate)

    This game would have been great if it’s menus weren’t terrible to navigate, I have seen NES games with more intuitive menus, if it wasn’t for that the game would undeniably SRPG of 98.

    -Tokyo Majin Gakuen: Kenpucho

    The west only got 2 games of the Tokyo Majin series neither of them being SRPG, this series seems to be really interesting specially if you like japoneses folklore, aperently this game is more VN than SRPG with a episodic format, either way can’t wait for your review.

    -Epica Stella (i.e. Vanguard Bandits)

    This game has a soft spot for me, sure it might not be the best SRPG by far ,most things in it are ok at best, but everything about it is so cozy and nostalgic even for someone that wasn’t even alive when that game came out, not to mention while the game isn’t amezing it doesn’t have any major flaws in it.

    -Black Matrix

    It’s only in Japanese with no English patch which is a shame, there’s only 2 flight-plan SRPGs in English, Eternal poison for the PS2 thanks to Atlus and a fan translation of black matrix 00 for the GBA , which is sad because they seem to be a decent developer even if I thought eternal poison was kinda mediocre (I have a review of it in case you are curious about it) but from what I play of Dragon Shadow spell It seems the west got one of their weaker titles, anyway back to black matrix, I really like the Ost I even have it downloaded in my phone, and the story sounds unique love to see how it turns out.

    -The Doll Princess of Marl Kingdom (i.e. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure) (PS1) – This does not qualify as an SRPG under my rules but I may play it anyway because it looks interesting.

    Honestly play it, I really love that game and I personally think it’s worth playing, the ending almost made me cry which is rare in video games for me, the game is really short only been about 12 hours long at most, also play it on Hard mode, the game is stupidly easy even on hard, playing on anything but hard will make the game boring.

    Which of these I think will be SRPG of 98?

    I would like to see Black matrix breaking the tradicion, unless you don’t mind Kartias archaic menu system in which case I can see it winning.

  2. Harvey

    Looks like it’s been several months since your last SRPG post, which is kinda sad. (It’s also sad that you put FFT as your GOTY, but that’s ok because nobody’s perfect.) I wanna see you get through SF3’s final discs at least. I sort of consider all of SF3 to be one big SRPG, and it’s one of my top 5 SRPGs ever; it lowkey influenced some crucial things about FE Radiant Dawn — another one of my top 5 SRPGs — but almost nobody knows that because none of the FE fans have played SF3, and vice versa.

    SF3 is an obvious choice for GOTY for me, but Langrisser 5 might be another good pick too. It’s easy to get sentimental about that one because for all intents and purposes, L5 is the true end of Langrisser, seeing as Careersoft moved on to Growlanser afterwards and never looked back. Wonderswan and the 2020 remake of 1+2 are good too, but it’s arguable that L5 is the last great Langrisser game that will ever exist. L5 truly was “The End of Legend.” Warts and all.

    You’re probably going to enjoy Kartia since you enjoy Langrisser. Kartia and Just Breed feel like they are basically Langrisser games, just without “Langrisser” in the title. Brigandine is probably not a SRPG by our definitions, so I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess you probably won’t be wanting to finish it. Honestly, that game seems like a less-polished version of Dragon Force if you ask me.

    There are some weird names on your list, like Gojin Senki or Wachenroder which I know almost nothing about. I always appreciate when you cover those because you can actually understand Japanese and I can only read menus, so this blog is the easiest way for me to vicariously experience these SRPGs that I’m half-interested in, but have no way of actually playing. I can instead dedicate my time to enjoying all these random indie SRPGs on Steam. Speaking of which, you may want to check out “Canon: Legend of the New Gods.” You probably know of it already; it’s essentially a bootleg Taiwanese Shining Force clone made in 1996. The Steam port has some translation work done by D, who also worked on the Der Langrisser English patch. By all metrics, it should fit right at home in this blog.

    1. kurisu Post author

      I am looking forward to getting back to SRPGs — I have 5 more Super Famicom games to play. The next SRPG post should be around February or March, although I’m afraid the first couple of games are going to be crap. I didn’t realize that Ving tried again after their failure with Harukaze Sentai V-Force, and it seems like Back Gainer is no better. Farland Saga will probably be a blah game as well.

  3. Harvey

    I’m pretty sure the main improvement that the PS version has is the presence of a difficulty selector, which probably wouldn’t matter for a first time playthrough. The Saturn versions of L4/5 have smoother controls if I remember correctly.


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