The last great GBA game?
Preview by Aaron Drewniak (Email)
February 27th 2006
The Basics: Being the ruler of a peaceful and prosperous kingdom is kind of a jinx, even if your ancestors were powerful gods. Because you know that some young punk with an army at his back is going to take over in an orgy of blood and carnage to oppress the people. And so is the fate of Fantasinia.
Luckily for them, and unlucky for the new emperor Gulcasa, a young woman named Princess Yggdra escapes the burning capital, raising up the ancient blade Gran Centurio, passed down in her family for untold generations, and vowing to take back her birthright. Far in the south, she joins with a young thief Milanor, but this is just the beginning to forging her army...
Yggdra Union is a Strategic RPG with the STING twist, playing out like a mix of Shining Force with its unit versus unit battles, Tactics Ogre with its cards granting a wide range of special abilities, and its own set of unique gameplay systems with over thirty attack, defense, and support skills to put to use. Lush art fills every pixel of the GBA's small frame with the designs of Satoko Kiyuzuki (characters) and Sunaho Tobe (cards), while the personality-driven cast bring this fantastical tale of warfare and justice to life.
What do we think? Riviera proved that big RPGs can come in small carts, since it was chock full of innovative gameplay, striking visuals, and so many delightful characters that it was impossible to put it down for long. Just knowing Yggdra Union is by the same developer is enough to take my money, but a full blown SRPG that I can take anywhere, and battle for either five minutes or an hour at a time, is one temptation I'm not going to bother resisting.