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Title: Warsong
Author:NCS/Masaya
Rom Player: Kega
Reviewer: Zaruki

Synopsis: INTRODUCTION:

In 1991, Sega licensed a game that was one of the first (If not the first) Strategy RPGs before the likes of Shining Force, Warcraft III, Inindo: Way Of The Ninja, and Final Fantasy Tactics. You would think that this game would be revolutionary in the U.S. but never receive the popularity it deserves. If you like Strategy RPGs (Like Warcraft III), you should check this game out.

Gameplay:

In this game, there are 20 scenarios that make up the whole storyline and you control generals to destroy other generals to complete your mission. The mission objectives vary in each scenario, but all objectives state the game is over if Garret dies. In the scenarios, there are Playerís Phase and Enemyís Phase, which are turns. Playerís Phase is when you, the player make strategic moves to place your troops to attack enemy troops. The Enemyís Phase is the AIís turn to make their strategic moves. In an allyís status, thereís a level up bar that levels up when itís full as that generalís unit destroys an enemy commander/troops. When a character reaches Level 9, they are given a choice of what unit to upgrade to. For example, Garret could become either a Knight or a Lord, becoming different units and able to recruit certain units. For each general, they can have a max of 8 soldier units and they are key to leveling up and to help your characters have a better chance at living, as any character whose HP reaches 0 is dead and theyíll never come back (The only exception for this is in the first scenario when your AI allies will be made short work of), so you have to plan your strategy carefully to keep them alive and to become stronger. The different classes in the game have different attack power and defense power, and some may have magic, so thereís a good amount of replayability in this game to try out all the different classes the characters can become. Certain characters (or all when choosing a certain class) can use magic, and magic in this game is fun to use, but MP canít be regenerated until the end of the scenario. While MP canít be regenerated, HP can. Generalís can heal their HP by using the Treat command or ally units uses a Healing Spell on a selected group. Soldiers heal by being only one square away from their commanders by the beginning of their turn.

Graphics:

If you heard the saying ďDonít judge the graphics of today with the graphics of yesterdayĒ, itís the same with this game. The Japanese version and the American version have different graphics with the portraits, and you may notice the changes in the portraits of Garret/Ledin, Calais/Jessica, Sabra/Nahmu, and the biggest difference youíll find is the Japanese character Kris with bugged out anime eyes and her American counterpart with less-than-bugged-out eyes. The Japanese/English graphic difference is very insignificant so they would receive the same rating. Anywho, the graphics are fairly detailed and easily distinguishable to know who are archers, horsemen, and magicians. Side Note: Satoshi Urushihara was the artist responsible for drawing all the characters for all Langrisser games including this one. If you're interested in his style, you should check online for the Legend Of Langrisser art book, which contains drawings of all the characters in the Langrisser games.

Music:

One word: Excellent! Yes, the music in this game is very good and catchy. Youíll love the title screen song, most or all of the playerís phase themes, and at least one enemyís phase theme. If there are certain songs you want to hear, check the Cheats section, since you can enter the sound test.

Originality:

This was the first Strategy RPG game, or at least the most noticeable as the pioneers of the Strategy RPG series.

Overall:

This game was a hit in Japan, and there were 4 or 5 sequels to Langrisser Hikari (Warsong), but unfortunately, didnít catch on as well in the N.A. With the GBA coming out with numerous rereleases from old Nintendo and Sega games alike, I believe that there will be a remake of Langrisser Hikari (Warsong) on the GBA, and I hope if that happens, a U.S. version will be out in the states. The reason why I bother to mention all this, is because this is an excellent game.

Best Cheats: Level Skipping - During the Playerís Phase, zoom all the way to the top left corner of the map. Press A if youíre not in the bigger overworld map (Where the icons are smaller but you see more in one screen), go right and down 1 square, hold the B button until you see a blue window saying Scenario. Use the D-Pad to navigate what stage you want to go to. You canít level skip to the last scenario, Scenario 20, only up to 19.

Sound Test - Same procedure with the Level Skipping Cheat, with the only exception is staying in the same smaller overworld (Bigger Icons) map. Remember, all the way to the top left corner of the map, go down and right 1 square, hold the B Button until you see a box that says sound. You can hear all the songs and sounds in the game. There are some unused music scores heard in the sound test that you wonít hear in anywhere else in the game.

Getting All Items (Except Warsong) - Highlight Garret(/Ledin), when you're in the recruiting soldier/assigning items screen, hold Up-Right (Or Up-Left?) and A+B at the same time for 10-15 seconds. You'll get all items (Including the Dragon Slayer) except Warsong (Unless you obtained it already and it'll still be in your items list). You'll know immediately when the code has taken affect is when your money drops to 0 and the music changes. I hear it's only available for the Japanese Version, Langrisser Hikari, but from what I've observed, it could work for both games.

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 6
Music/Sound: 9
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 10

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