Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia Game Review

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Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia Game Review

Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a turn-based strategy game which allows the player to use up to 3 characters in each battle in a 3v3 situation, whereby each character has their own job class (e.g. Paladin, Ranger, etc.) and rune power.

The rune power concept is simple, if you have 70 rune power and each monster (e.g. Centaur) cost 35 rune power to be put under your command, then you can bring up to 2 of them with you to the battlefield.

Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia

A Sequel to Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena

As many fans of the turn-based tactical game genre already know, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a sequel to Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena, a PlayStation (PSX) game with a similar setup and gameplay back in 1998.

Yes, I am not kidding, some fans really did wait for more than 20 years for Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia to be released! Finally, on PC in 2022!

Lord Vaynard from Norgard on the Battlefield

Do you remember New Almekia, Caerleon, Norgard, Iscalio, Leonia, and the Esgares Empire?

Definitely a SOLID improvement from the Prequel

Many legendary games would not want to release a sequel that may potentially “destroy” the franchise, especially in the case of Brigandine, its prequel was more than 20 years ago! Why now? I still remember when development was first announced, many fans were puzzled.

Emma is like Brigandine fans, came into the room with a puzzled look: “you sent for me, sir?” thinking, why a sequel now??

Thank god that all goes well, for Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a masterpiece!

Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia does not continue from the storyline of its prequel, however, it consists of all the good fun elements from it, such as the unique concept of battles, exciting backstory for all the nations, requires strategy and planning for conquering the whole continent and more.

It also improves on the bad elements and makes it better now, such as lightning speed loading and gives players the ability to speed up the animation and movement speed, so fast that you don’t even have time to take a sip of your beer and your opponent has already finished their moves!

Not forgetting the beautiful images, drawings and graphics in the game as well. Even the music of each nation is interesting and suits their nation’s theme and settings.

Rudo in this image is like the developers of the Brigandine franchise, giving the fans a masterpiece!! Alright, well-received it is!

Organisation Phase & Attack Phase

Just a quick introduction to folks new to the Brigandine franchise.

The organisation phase is for players to make decisions for the nation, such as summoning monsters, which I will explain a little more later. There are many things that can be done in this phase, such as equipping items for your knights, sending your knights out for quests, and deploying or reorganising your monsters to different knights while planning for their class promotion and battle strategy.

World map during the attack phase

The attack phase is only for giving the attack commands for your nation. Something to note here is that you cannot issue any attack command on the characters that you have just moved. In another word, if you just move someone from castle/stronghold A to castle/stronghold B, you cannot use them during the attack phase immediately. This means you have to plan carefully!

New & Familiar monsters could be summoned

How can you call it a Brigandine game without having our usual list of monsters from back in the days?

Introducing the Unicorn, a must-have unit for any nation you play! They are the core healer of the game and evolve into Pegasus or Nightmare, your choice! It’s the exact same monster and evolution line, I know!

Unicorn has made a comeback!

Similar to its prequel, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia also features the same setup for summoning monsters.

First, you have your mana, which acts as a currency in the game. Each castle/stronghold you own would give you a fixed amount of mana per turn.

Next, you can perform a summon during your “Organisation” phase. Each castle/stronghold has a different set of monsters that can be summoned. If you look at the Unicorn screenshot from above or the Mandrake screenshot from below, you can see that they belong to different castles/strongholds and there are other monsters available for summoning too!

Mandrake has also made a comeback!

Lastly, owning any monster would amount to some upkeep, which cost you mana for having them in your nation. Even a monster in your storage would cost you mana every turn! For example, if you look at the Mandrake screenshot above:

  • Summon a Mandrake: 260 mana
  • Equip/deploy a Mandrake to your knight: 70 rune power
  • Upkeep for having a Mandrake: 26 mana per turn

Battles are super-fun and Terrain types actually matter

One of my all-time favourite monsters is definitely the Centaur. Back in the days when playing Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena, there was this “broken” system when one could bring a huge cannon of firepower into the game by bringing a horde of High Centaurs (promoted units of Centaurs). THAT was sick!

In Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia, that trick could still work but you need to plan your strategy well! For example, there are maps with are full of forest, making it difficult to navigate around due to the lack of Plains and Road terrain types.

THAT would be the time to use an army of High Centaurs because they have bonus stats of +20% evasion and +20% accuracy when standing in a Forest terrain type. Also, considering the fact that your opponents will likely need to use flying units to cross the forest, which once again makes them even more vulnerable to your army of shooters.

So yeah, terrain types really matter in Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia! As another example, the battlefield below features Ferrick the Grappler, +20% evasion and +20% accuracy on Mountain terrain.

On the Battlefield, featuring Ferrick the Grappler, +20% evasion and +20% accuracy on Mountain terrain

Deep character building with immersive voice acting, nice drawings and unique personality

I think this is something really cool to mention. It is 2022, so the voice acting and nice drawing parts are a given and definitely something expected by most fans. But, the deep character-building and unique personality in Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is really a surprise for me!

Each nation you use will go through a series of character building and there will be at least 5 characters (including the nation’s leader) involved in the main storyline of Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia.

The character building includes the background of their nation, what the leader and the nation have gone through over the years, more context, and many more.

Introducing Tim Gustav, the 13th Emperor of the Holy Gustava Empire!

In fact, you have to play all the available 6 nations to truly understand the whole picture!

As you progress through the game and conquer more castles/strongholds in the game, it will trigger some cut scenes and backstory which are labelled as “restored pages” of the history, which gives you more context and background to everything that is happening. For example, what are the “Thirty-years war”, “Zai’s tragedy”, “Mohana sect”, “Zai sect”, “Endorian and Aurora” and many more other things in the game!

The user interface of the game is friendly, everything has a description and explanation of what it does

Similar to its prequel, when certain characters face each other on the battlefield, they could have a conversation prior to starting the battle. Something really amazing about this is that how you feel really depends on what you know about the nation!

For example, when you use Norzaleo Kingdom, you know the personality of Rubino IV (your leader) and what they are experiencing in their own unique situation. When he faces Tim Gustav (the leader of Holy Gustava Empire) in the battle, you can really sympathise and understand where he is coming from. But when you use the Holy Gustava Empire and understand the storyline on their side, the whole conversation has a different meaning and you felt very different about it.

Cutscene from Norzaleo Kingdom playthrough!

I think the fact that the story writers could make the same conversation give players such different feelings based on the context and backstory known to them, is something absolutely amazing and impressive. Well done, story writers of Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia!!

Verdict

I felt that Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is absolutely amazing and is definitely a masterpiece! Of course, fans of its prequel should definitely play it without questions! For folks who are new to this franchise, a good comparison is that if you enjoy playing games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre or even Fire Emblem, you should REALLY check out this game, no regrets!

Introducing Talia, the leader of the Shinobi Tribe

Oh, and may I add that similarly to Fire Emblem, when your monster gets killed in battle, it died permanently? Although in Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia, there is an item which you can use to revive your dead monsters, however, I have not been lucky enough to get it from any quests. I have only gotten a few of them from the Phantom Knight battles.

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