Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen is the latest Enix RPG to hit U.S. shores. Developed initially by a little-known studio and released in Japan about two years ago, this tactical role-playing game was long overdue. As the leader of a rag-tag band of rebels fighting to preserve your values of honor and decency against the tyrannical Zenobian Empire, it is your quest to liberate cities and build up your forces. Explore and conquer 25 huge areas, and steadily amass an army large enough to take back the land. You can recruit 75 unique characters and engage in thrilling battles which require a great deal of strategic thinking to prevail. It's much like a war simulation.
Battle sequences take place in Breath of Fire-like isometric environments. Scenes are animated splendidly, the spritework is gorgeous, and players even have the option of auto-battling to speed up the game. A fun quirk of battling is the usage of Tarot cards to unleash magical attacks. Your party will accumulate these as enemies are vanquished, and the cards can be stored until the opportunity arises to whip 'em out. Our favorite feature is the interactive storyline. In the words of Enix's Robert Jerauld, "It's like a new game every time you play." New characters introduce new stories, bringing about branching plotlines and, in turn, over 100 hours of possible gameplay.
Printed in Issue #25, May 1995
SOUND: Very Good
PRESENTATION: Very Good
JET'S REMARK: You've got to love reactive musical composition. Not only is the music lovely to listen to, but it enhances the mood as well. As the gameplay heats up, the music intensifies with it.
Review Station Last Stop
With its tactical setups and thrilling battles, plus fantastic graphics and storytelling that oozing out in spades, Ogre Battle is a strategy fan's dream come true.