Thursday, September 01, 2005

Quest's Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber

RPGs on the N64 were rather few in number, and for the most part, left much to be desired. Quest’s Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, however, was a different gameplay experience that proved itself to be quite lordly indeed among RPGs.

The game’s storyline focuses around Palatinean soldier Magnus Gallant, who witnesses injustices committed by his own kingdom, and later joins a rebellion against it. The story is gripping and full of political intrigue, and turns out better than most of what the N64 saw in that department.
The game plays like a real-time strategy RPG, wherein the player first organizes units out of up to 5 characters, and then commands the units on a map against enemy units in a mission-based campaign. Commanding the units is incredibly simple, using the control stick and A button to issue movement commands, with an advanced command menu accessible with the R button. The units themselves are customizable in several ways, from character classes, to equipped gear, right down to the very positions of the characters within the unit itself. The organization of the units in your army can be done in any number of imaginative ways, which adds loads of replay value to an otherwise 30-40 hour game.

While the game’s music remains mostly appropriate to the situation, none of it is particularly memorable, and the in-game sound effects aren’t exactly brimming with realism either. The graphical character and environment rendering is rather simplistic as well, but the aesthetics of the game are quite outweighed by the engaging gameplay and plot. Ogre Battle 64 would likely bore hardcore action fans to tears, but it’s most certainly a game that deserves the attention of RPG and strategy fans.
The Evil Ryan Von Levingston


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