Langrisser I&II – Nintendo Switch Review

Overview – developed by Extreme and Chara-ani Corporation with publishing handled by NIS America, Langrisser I&II is a complete remaster of the first two entries in the legendary Strategy RPG series. Featuring brand new artwork, sound and fully voiced dialogue, this compiled release being the first time both games have been seen in the west in their original form. Langrisser I&II are available on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and steam service, links to purchase this collection of games will be at the bottom of the review.

Disclaimer: this is a full re-write of content that was originally published elsewhere, but has since been lost. The software was initially provided by the publisher NIS America, that being said, the provision of the software has not influenced the content of this piece, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.

Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s jump into this revised piece. Please be aware that the gameplay is functionally identical in both titles, so I will be giving a brief summary of each story before going into the gameplay details.

Story – here are details of the plot for Langrisser Iⅈ

  • Langrisser I – long after a terrible war over a legendary sword said to grant the wielder unlimited power, the royal family of Baldea safeguarded the sword, known as Langrisser, keeping its fearful power under their protection. However, the kingdom has been attacked by the forces of the Dalsis Empire, commanded by Kaiser Digos, who seeks to rule the world with the power of the legendary sword. The prince of Baldea, Ledin, escapes the kingdom and seeks to reclaim Langrisser and avenge the death of his father before the world is shrouded in darkness.
  • Langrisser II – taking place after the events of the first game, Langrisser II is set around Elwin, a wandering swordsman who is looking the one who killed his instructor, along the way he meets the magician in training Hein who follows him on his journey. While resting in Hein’s hometown, the Rayguard Empire invade the village, looking for a young girl named Liana who is in the town, facing down the invading forces, Elwin makes the choice to save her and starts a chain reaction that will change the world forever.

Gameplay – the gameplay for Langrisser I&II is similar to the Fire Emblem and the Nintendo Wars games. The player takes the role of a commander, leading a force made up of mercenary units against an enemy force. Made up of scenarios starting with various win conditions, these conditions include, wiping out all enemy forces, reaching a specific point on the map and eliminating a specific target.

First the player is presented with a multiple choice questionnaire presented by Lucilis, the Goddess of light and the answers that the players give will influence the starting stats of the player, leading into the first scenario of both games. If the player doesn’t like the stats they get from the questions, the player may retry and change their answers to try and get a better starting bonus, second is the option of an easy start or without, which may influence the difficulty of the game.

At the start of a scenario the player has the option to assign a unit type to their commander, these units consist of several types, including Infantry, mounted and flying, with more available as the player progresses through the story. The most important factor about the unit assignment is cost, each unit will cost gold to recruit and if the player fails, all the money will be lost making resource management a key to success.

During these missions, the player instructs a unit to move, engage with an enemy and use magic to perform a variety of actions. When a unit engages with an opposing force, a battle animation occurs showing the units fighting, with health bars on screen showing the health of the unit and when the health of a unit is fully depleted the unit will explode. During battle, if the commander of a unit is defeated, the surrounding forces under the control of the commander will disappear.

During play, when the player defeats a unit the commander in charge of the mercenary will gain experience, this is based on the level of that unit commander. Each level up will increase the overall stats of the character and grant Class Points. The purpose of class points is to unlock new character classes, allowing the player to unlock new units for assignment, new skills and spells for different characters.

The maps for scenarios also have hidden collectables that can be either gold or items, these will be in place until collected and will not respawn if the player chooses to replay the mission. Talking about replaying missions, there is the possibility for the player to change the story dramatically by having secret conditions, some of these will result in the story changing with multiple endings available depending on the choices made, with a new game plus feature available after the first playthrough.

At the end of a mission, the player gains a clear bonus for a successful completion, gold for the number of units defeated by each commander and an MVP for that mission, this is determined by the character with the most eliminations for that mission granting a Class Point bonus for that character. Outside of missions is the main menu for that game, here the player can save the game, manage their resources, commanders and review the story.

First is the commanders menu, here the player can review the details of the characters in the players party, view the class tree where different class paths can be chosen and unlocked with class points, assign skills, equip items and view the mercenaries/spells available to that commander. The next is the shop, in this menu, the player can buy and sell weapons, armor and accessories to equip to the player, items have effects that will change the stats for each commander with a slot to equip one of each item.

The last part is the story tree, here the player can go back and replay earlier chapters, this can be to raise funds, try to clear hidden objectives and level up the commanders. There is a downside to this as all progress in the story will be reverted to that point, party members earned after that point will be removed. However, any levels for characters in play will be maintained and all items will be kept.

Now with the gameplay covered, I will be moving onto the other aspects of the game, starting with the controls.

Controls – the control method for this collection is simple but effective in its implementation, with the left side of the controller controlling the cursor/menus. The face buttons allow all basic functions to be performed, with an action, cancel, command and execute button open to the player. The triggers allow the player to change the way units are shown, highlighting them in red and blue for better visual representation, speeding up the cursor and to quickly switch between units.

Difficulty – Langrisser I&II does not have a tutorial, the game will throw you right into the deep end, there is a How to Play section in the pause menu, giving the player all the information needed to know how to play the game, which is useful as it is a 23 page guide to the game. The easy start option is the best for players who want to take their time, if a challenge is sought out, the player can dive straight in with the limited resources at the beginning.

Presentation – visually this collection looks fantastic with fully remastered art for the environments, portraits and backgrounds having a slick high definition look. The HUD and user interface have also been updated, with all relevant details for health of units, level and base stats displayed when highlighted, using the color blue for friendly units and red for enemies. There is also an option for original sprites/visuals from the original releases, adding a touch of nostalgia to the experience.

The soundtrack for this remaster has been fully reworked, with a mix of electronic and symphonic music that has a heavy rock edge to some tracks. There is also the option for original FM sound from the original Japanese Mega Drive releases, knocking the nostalgia up another notch. The inclusion of full voice acting also adds to the overall package, making this the definitive way to enjoy these classic games in the modern era.

Final Thoughts – I have been a fan of the Langrisser series since the 90’s, having enjoyed the original localization of the first game under the title of Warsong, alongside fan translations of later games. Being able to play both games in an official capacity with a translation as close to the source as possible is fantastic, making for an experience that is worth the time investment. The inclusion of classic visuals and sound adds to the overall presentation, providing something for both old and new fans.

I am more than happy to recommend this release to strategy RPG fans and those who are looking for something similar to Fire Emblem or the Nintendo Wars series. The branching story arcs, multiple objectives that can occur and the depth of gameplay can cause many hours of time to be lost, as a battle can last as long as a few minutes to a full hour. This is the definitive way to experience the first two titles in this legendary series of tactical RPG games.

In the end, I give Langrisser I&II a final score of 5/5. This is a fantastic remake of two excellent strategy RPG titles, with love poured into the new visuals and sound, while offering a rewarding experience that will keep the player engaged for many hours. If you want to check this release out for yourself, links to each version of the game will be below.

Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)

Link to PlayStation 4 version (HERE)

Link to Steam version (HERE)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: