Review #525: Langrisser 1 & 2 (Nintendo Switch)
Review By: WoodmanFLG
Developer: NIS America
Publisher: NIS America
Category: Tactical RPG
Release Date: 3.10.2020
Watch the Trailer
Buy Langrisser 1 & 2 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
Langrisser is an old series; it's been around for quite some time, and hasn’t gotten a ton of love in the last decade. This collection sets out to change that and create new fans of the series, as well as giving the OGs the option to come back and enjoy one of the greats with a new coat of paint on it with this remake of the first two games in the series. Langrisser at its core is similar to, say - thinking of popular Nintendo properties so that our Switch people have a reference point - It's like Fire Emblem without permadeath, and a ton more units being controlled at once thanks to the mercenary system. So it's a tactical RPG at its heart, and that's a great thing. They did a fantastic job really bringing this old game up to more modern standards because wow! This feels like it would have come out far more recently, with this new coat of paint. And honestly? That only speaks volumes about how well designed the gameplay is from the ground up! Let's talk a little bit more about Langrisser 1 & 2.
The Titular Langrisser
Langrisser is a Sacred Sword meant to restore peace to the land, and it's also the name of the series, so you can surely expect it to show up. The sword has had wars fought over it, for good and for bad. It's said to grant its wielder unlimited power. You play as Ledin, the Prince of Baldea which is the nation dedicated to protecting the sword from all who would try to get it. Unsurprisingly, there is evil afoot in the world, looking to get the power of the Langrisser for themselves! The Dalsis Empire, led by the evil Kaiser Digos has masterminded a plan to invade Baldea to get the Langrisser, and during the melee, Ledin's father, the King of Baldea is killed as Ledin Narrowly escapes. It is from this beginning, that you will go on a quest to reclaim the sword your family has protected for generations, and avenge your father. That is the first game, very grand right off the bat.
Now with the second game, don’t be confused because the main character looks very similar, but his name is Elwin. He's a man who is traveling lands once destroyed by war, and this is CENTURIES after the first game. The land is suffering from an overwhelming amount of violence, as small scale battles break out across the land, destroying towns and working backwards against any progress made. Elwin is traveling with a mage named Hein, and our game brings us to Hein's hometown Salrath where the duo decides to call it a night. But the peace doesn’t last as the night is interrupted with news of empire forces entering the town, searching for a young girl who lives there! Elwin jumps into action, as any would-be hero would, but that brings up several questions. Who is this girl? Why does Elwin look SO much like Ledin (To the point that until I played them, I thought 2 was a direct sequel to 1, with the same main character)? And how will this adventure bring us back to the titular Langrisser? I actually really dig the set up for these games, especially considering the fact these games were originally on the Mega Drive in the early 90’s! Let's get into the Gameplay!
You and the homies
Like I said earlier, you will definitely feel some cross-contamination between this series and Fire Emblem, but there is absolutely a lot to separate them and their two different styles. You will be able to set your units up in various ways on the battlefield and you will move them around and engage your opponents. Battles play out on a separate screen that I really enjoyed; your unit is representative of a whole squad of fighters, led by the main unit so they will take to the field with you to fight the enemies in a melee in the middle of the screen. You will get a results screen, and as your HP drops, you will have fewer units on the battle screen, making you less effective overall.
Something very different about Langrisser is how you hire mercenaries. They are overworld units you hire at the start of a battle that are weaker than a named unit leader, but they allow you to really have a LARGE amount of units at your command. Thank god for the auto move; I can usually get away with just moving my named units and the CPU generally moves how I want them to! That really makes you feel like these are large scale battles. You also have a rock paper scissors-like system in play that will require you to fight smarter by taking advantage of it if you want to succeed. Likewise, terrain effects will give you an additional advantage. I love that each character has a big range of classes they can be promoted to, and they also have actual skills and abilities - unlike many of the super early Fire Emblem games - to further let you take down battles exactly the way you want to. Combine this with lots of dialogue and likeable characters, and you have a formula to keep you playing!
There's a lot of love contained within this; from the remastered art style to the beautiful music and tons of content with the option to go back to divergent parts of the story if you want a different outcome, as well as a robust New Game + option. Fans of the series will be happy, and people who are new to it will have a good time finding out why this series is still spoken of, so many years later. I had a great time with this, and I think fans of the genre and newcomers alike will find plenty to love in this game!
Buy Langrisser 1 & 2 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
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*A game code was provided for review purposes.