Thursday, April 18, 2024

Demo Play Thursday - SaGa: Emerald Beyond On #PS4

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the PlayStation 4 version of SaGa: Emerald Beyond, developed by Square Enix.

I've known about the SaGa series of games for a long time. But the only game in the series i know i played was Unlimited Saga on PS2, and even then i don't think i played too much of it. This recently released demo is a great way for me to check what a new game in the series looks like.

SaGa: Emerald Beyond does a poor job of presenting itself as a demo and what is included. near the start, at the character select screen, i didn't know if i was limited in character because it's a demo of it's a game where you need to unlock characters. I don't know how big the demo is in general and it doesn't say. so i don't know if i came close to the end or not.

A big highlight from playing this demo was the fantastic music from Kenji Ito. i really enjoyed listening to it and there are periods in this video where i'm not talking mostly because i'm listening to the soundtrack. The second highlight for me was the battle system. Whilst it wasn't explained the best, i did find the game's timeline based party focused combat system to be fun to engage with and by the end of the demo i was trying to add strategy to the commands being issued to make best use of it's timeline system. But it was the other systems related to combat that the game did a poor job in conveying and the commands available really needed a more in-depth explanation as to what each did. As did the level up system as i never really understood how it all worked and the game never explained it.

There were a few little frustrations with SaGa: Emerald Beyond but for the most part i could live with them. The one that annoyed me the most, and i complained about the most in this video, was the story taking place in the latter third. It was unrealistic, even for a fantasy RPG, and honestly came across as cheap. my character is an alien and yet no one treated him like one. the world was engulfed in ice, but the way my character talked made him seem callous like he only cared about his mission. it was like two stories were taking place at the same time and little to no effort was made to combine them into anything looking realistic. 

For me, the highlights of this demo weren't enough to get other the lows. It's a poor demo and i don't think it shows off the game great. there are too many unknowns as to whether this is just the game we were playing or if certain parts of the game have been removed from this demo. If you're interested in this game, maybe you've played one of the earlier games in the series, or maybe you're interested the battle systems, then this demo is worth playing. But for most others it's not one i recommend trying out.