Hello everybody! Today we have the first game in one of my favorite JRPG series, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen.
OGRE BATTLE: MARCH OF THE BLACK QUEEN
At the beginning of the game, the protagonist, whose name, gender, and other characteristics are chosen by the player, takes command of the Liberation Army. Throughout the course of the game, the protagonist is joined by various other characters, such as Lans Hamilton, a knight who served the king of Zenobia until the king’s death; Warren Moon, a wizard with the ability to divine the future; Tristan, the rightful prince of Zenobia; and many others.Twenty-five years prior to the beginning of the game, Empress Endora conquered the continent of Zetegenia. During her reign, a resistance organization called the Liberation Army forms to free the continent from her rule.
After the Empress is slain, it is discovered that she was manipulated by Rashidi, a dark wizard in the Empress’ employ. The protagonist defeats him, but before Rashidi dies, he uses his blood to release Demundza, the king of the Underworld who was sealed away after the first great Ogre Battle. The protagonist and his army manage to seal Demundza away again before he can become too powerful. There are more than one possible outcomes to the story depending on various factors such as the player’s alignment, their reputation, and which character they choose to recruit.
Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen is the first game released in the Ogre Battle saga, even though I believe it is actually episode four (Atlus kind of screwed the episodic structure up). The game is unique since it has a very interesting story, which was definitely rare for games released around the same time. The story (which you can read a quick synopsis above) caught my attention right away. I wasn’t the only one either, many of my associates (some who have never played/heard of the game before) had their attention grabbed immediately after starting the game. Another major plus for March of the Black Queen is the class system. The game features many different classes to choose from, allowing you to mix and match so you can play the way you want.
The game is definitely fun, but not compared to its successors (the rest of the Ogre Battle saga). Since the game was originally released on the Super Nintendo, the graphics are absolutely horrendous. They weren’t even decent for 1990’s standards. The gameplay can be somewhat drawn out, since the game is not necessarily a traditional tactical RPG like Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and Tactics Ogre: Knights of Lodis. In March of the Black Queen you fight with squads (containing up to 5 characters/classes) as a single unit. You could easily have 5-10 squads out on the battlefield at one time.This same game play style was once adapted for Person of Lordly Caliber, but to much more success.
Interesting little tidbit, all of the games in the Ogre Battle saga have Queen songs named after them. This game is March of the Black Queen – Queen.
- Interesting story,.
- First episode of Ogre Battle saga.
- Variety of classes.
- Game play style.
- Battlefield mechanics
SCORE: 6.5 / 10
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