wastes no time in throwing you right into the thick of things. Little backstory is given aside from showing the destruction and later rebuilding of the Earth. From there, the game shoots you a few years in the future with the introduction of the main character. Seconds later, you’re thrown into your first fight. After the fight, there’s a little more story and you’re off on your adventure.
From this point, the game follows the familiar RPG pattern; enter a new town, learn about its problems and fix them. To this end, MS Saga isn’t something as grand as Final Fantasy, but then again, it never tries to be. Enough is shown about the characters that you get a sense of their personality, but these reasons rarely – if ever – go below surface-level concerns.
MS Saga places most of its focus on fighting and building mobile suits. Battles are turn-based and options are chosen from a menu, but any similarity to other RPGs ends there. Rounds begin with a display informing you as to what type of action an enemy will perform. This can be anything from a melee or ranged attack to a special move. From here, you have to figure out what counter-strategy you’ll answer back with. If an enemy is planning on using a melee attack, it might be a good idea to try and get some range, but then again, defense might be better. Or, you could always try to counter with a special move… the possibilities really are endless, especially when you have a full party of 6 mobile suits under your control.
Battles are a hybrid of random and non-random encounters. As you journey through areas, you’ll come across a few random battles as well as the occasional crystal. Touching a crystal initiates a battle, most of the time with a boss who is guarding an exit or item.
As you win battles, you’ll acquire both parts and data. Parts are what go into altering your mobile suit’s stats, while data lets you create new suits altogether. After collecting data parts, which are sort of like the DNA of mobile suits, you can create new suits. Loading more data into the system results in a suit with improved stats. Max out the data fed into the system and you’ll create some really powerful suits.