Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

The Unveiling of Sagres RPG: A Critical Review

Dive into the Age of Discovery with Sagres RPG, an adventure game where you navigate the treacherous yet exhilarating waters as captain Fernando. Steering through historically inspired narratives and settings, Sagres RPG plunges you into a world where every choice carves your path through the seven seas. Developed by ooze and published by Kakehashi Games, this role-playing simulation offers a blend of discovery, strategy, and combat, set against a backdrop of mesmerizing historical events and locations that promise to captivate and challenge.

As you set sail, Sagres RPG introduces you to a unique “rock-paper-scissors” combat system, alongside opportunities for ship customization, crew assembly, and exploration of the mysterious disappearance of legendary explorer Sir Antonio. Your mastery over swords, guns, and cannons will define your stand against pirates, sea monsters, and mythical creatures in this vibrant narrative of exploration and adventure. This critical review will sail you through the core gameplay mechanics, narrative richness, character development, art style, and much more, offering insights into why Sagres RPG is the treasure map for the aspiring adventurer in you.

Core Gameplay Mechanics

Diving into the core gameplay mechanics of Sagres RPG, you’re introduced to a rich tapestry of rules and actions that form the backbone of your adventure. Central to the experience is the 2d20 system, a dice-rolling mechanic that determines the outcome of your actions. Success hinges on rolling under a target number with two 20-sided dice, adding a layer of strategy and anticipation to every decision.

  • Movement and Exploration: Navigate through the Age of Sail, discovering landmarks and managing your ship’s resources. The gameplay is a blend of strategic planning and spontaneous decision-making, where setting up trade routes and recruiting navigators become crucial for survival.
  • Combat System: Engage in turn-based battles on both land and sea. The game innovates with a “rock-paper-scissors” mechanic, requiring you to outthink your opponents in a strategic duel of wits. Equipment choice, from weapons to armor, plays a significant role in determining the outcome of these encounters.
  • Resource Management and Interaction: Sagres RPG emphasizes the importance of resource management and player interaction with the game world. From ship customization to language system challenges, you’re tasked with making pivotal decisions that affect your journey. Trade resources for profit, recruit characters from diverse backgrounds, and overcome language barriers to unlock quests and information from guilds.

These core mechanics ensure Sagres RPG is not just about battling pirates or exploring the high seas; it’s about making meaningful choices that carve your path through a historically rich world.

Narrative and Setting

In Sagres RPG, you step into the boots of Fernando, a young and ambitious explorer in the 1400s, tasked with the monumental quest of unraveling the mystery behind Lucia’s father’s disappearance. This narrative thrusts you into a vast open-world experience, sprawling across 200 real-world locations, promising a rich adventure that spans over 14+ hours. The journey is not just about exploration; it’s a deep dive into a meticulously crafted story that has captured the attention of critics and gamers alike, earning mixed reactions for its compelling narrative and innovative gameplay features.

  • Positive Aspects:
    • Intriguing Story and Premise: The quest is more than a mere search; it’s a narrative filled with twists, turns, and discoveries that keep you hooked.
    • Interesting Language System Concept: A unique feature that adds depth to interactions and quests.
    • Good Ship Management Mechanics: Offers a realistic and engaging experience in managing your vessel.
  • Areas for Improvement:
    • Historical Inaccuracies and Romanticization: The game’s portrayal of European colonialism and historical events has been a point of contention.
    • Language System Implementation: While innovative, the execution of the language system, with its questionable groupings, has room for refinement.
    • Tedious Grinding in the Americas Chapter: Players have reported a significant grind, detracting from the overall experience.
    • Problematic Depictions: The portrayal of pre-Hispanic Central America and the slave/serf relationship dynamics have sparked discussions about sensitivity and accuracy in game narratives.

Sagres RPG, with its unique historical setting and RPG elements, presents a mixed bag of innovative mechanics and narrative choices. While it shines in creating an engaging story and immersive gameplay mechanics, feedback highlights areas where the game could evolve, particularly in historical representation and system implementations.

Character Customization and Development

In Sagres RPG, character customization and development stand as a cornerstone of the gameplay experience, offering players an array of choices to tailor their adventurer. At the onset, you’re presented with options that significantly shape your journey:

  • Nationality & Starting City: Choose your character’s nationality, each with its unique starting cities and features, setting the stage for diverse cultural and strategic gameplay paths.
  • Physical Appearance & Job Selection:
    • Gender, body shape, face, hairstyle, complexion, and additional cosmetic options like scars or glasses allow for a deeply personal visual representation.
    • Initial job choices of Adventure Learner, Trade Learner, or Military Learner grant access to unique skills, with the flexibility of easy job changes early on to adapt to the evolving challenges of the game.

While the customization process is rich and varied, it’s crucial to navigate these choices with an understanding of their long-term impact on gameplay. Unlike games such as Baldur’s Gate 3, where specific origins like the Dark Urge can lead to unforeseen consequences, or Rogue Trader, where the complexity might overwhelm, Sagres RPG aims for a balance. It provides enough context for each choice, reducing frustration and confusion for new players. However, the challenge of name selection and the limitation of initial equipment to a book for Navigation skill access highlight areas for refinement. Through this detailed customization process, Sagres RPG not only allows for a personalized gaming experience but also encourages players to think strategically from the very beginning, setting the stage for a journey that is as unique as the characters themselves.

Combat System Overview

Diving into the heart of Sagres RPG, the combat system emerges as a thrilling blend of strategy and chance, deeply engaging you in the game’s immersive world. At its core, the system employs a unique “rock-paper-scissors” turn-based approach, where your encounters range from pirates and thieves to wild animals and mythical creatures. This diversity not only enriches the gameplay experience but also challenges you to adapt your strategy to a wide array of adversaries.

  • Dice Pool System: The crux of combat lies in its dice pool system, reminiscent of Rimelands: Hammer of Thor, where the number of dice thrown corresponds to your character’s skill level. Each die can land on one of four outcomes: double hit, hit, block, or miss. This mechanism adds a layer of depth, requiring you to weigh each action’s potential success or failure.
  • Defensive Mechanics: Both you and your opponent use the same ability score for attacking and defending, making each confrontation a tense game of anticipation. Success in an attack is determined if your hits outnumber the opponent’s blocks. Moreover, characters are equipped with two defensive stats, Toughness and Deflection, which protect against physical and magical attacks, respectively. An attack pierces through defenses if the hits, post-block, exceed these values, rendering armor ineffective.
  • Strategic Rerolls: Adding a strategic twist, you have the option to reroll any dice that didn’t contribute to a successful action by spending mana points. This introduces a calculated risk-reward element, as mana regenerates only when you skip a turn, forcing you to balance aggression with prudent mana management.

This intricate combat system, coupled with the game’s rich narrative and customization options, ensures that each battle is not only a test of might but a meaningful decision that shapes your journey through the world of Sagres RPG.

Visuals and Art Style

As you delve deeper into the world of Sagres RPG, the game’s visuals and art style present a captivating blend of traditional and modern aesthetics that significantly enhance the gaming experience. Here’s a closer look at what sets the visual tone for this adventurous journey:

  • 2D Scrolling Visuals: Sagres RPG adopts a 2D scrolling perspective that harks back to the classic era of role-playing games. This choice not only invokes a sense of nostalgia but also allows for a seamless and intuitive exploration of the game’s vast world. The 2D scrolling format ensures that your journey across the seven seas and the diverse landscapes you encounter are presented in a visually engaging manner, making every discovery a delight.
  • Anime/Manga Art Style: The game’s art style draws heavily from Anime and Manga influences, infusing the characters and settings with vibrant life and emotion. This artistic direction:
    • Enhances Character Expressiveness: Characters in Sagres RPG are brought to life with exaggerated expressions and dynamic poses characteristic of Anime and Manga, allowing for a deeper emotional connection with the player.
    • Creates a Rich, Immersive World: The detailed backgrounds and settings are designed with a keen eye for the fantastical elements typical of Manga, offering a visually rich environment that’s both immersive and enchanting.

The combination of 2D scrolling visuals and an Anime/Manga art style in Sagres RPG creates a unique visual experience that is both nostalgic and fresh. This artistic approach not only serves to draw you deeper into the game’s narrative and setting but also stands out as a distinct feature that enriches the overall gameplay experience.

Conclusion

Through this comprehensive exploration of Sagres RPG, we’ve navigated the vast seas of its gameplay mechanics, delved into the rich tapestry of its narrative, analyzed its character development and customization, and appreciated the distinctive visual and art style that sets it apart. The unique blend of strategy and role-playing elements, combined with a historically-inspired narrative and a deeply engaging combat system, establishes Sagres RPG as a noteworthy addition to the genre, encouraging players to immerse themselves fully in the role of Captain Fernando.

However, it’s also evident that the game, while ambitious, comes with its own set of challenges—ranging from historical inaccuracies to the execution of its innovative language system. These areas serve as crucial learning points for both developers and players, underscoring the importance of balancing innovation with sensitivity and accuracy. Despite its imperfections, Sagres RPG offers a promising adventure that is as enriching as it is entertaining, inviting further exploration and discussion among its audience. As we set our sails beyond the horizon of this review, Sagres RPG beckons with the promise of untold stories and uncharted territories, ripe for the discovery by those willing to embark on the journey.

Overall we really enjoy the game and love exploring the vast open seas feeling the digital wind in our face!

3.5 OUT OF 5

Save 20% on Sagres on Steam (steampowered.com)

 

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