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Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen – SNES

Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen – SNES

50981_frontPlatformSuper Nintendo

Developer: Quest 

Publisher: Enix America 

Release Date: May 15th, 1995 

Genre: Strategy RPG, Real-time Tactics 

Nerd Rating: 6.5 / 10

Reviewed by Rhutsczar

It is time to revisit the franchise that, while hidden and forgotten by many, helped bring tactical RPGs in front of the eyeballs of Western gamers. Grab your swords, bows, or staves and join me in the next Ogre Battle.

The great green world of Zetegenia.

The great green world of Zetegenia.

So where does March of the Black Queen fall on the timeline of the saga? Well, even though it is the first game in the series, it is actually the fifth chapter of the saga. March of the Black Queen tells the,story of an un-named protagonist who leads the Liberation Army against the evil empire of Zetegenia. The story doesn’t stop there, as the evil empress is being corrupted behind the scenes by Rashidi. Rashidi has been using black magic to manipulate and corrupt the royal family. While the story is rather basic in terms of common fantasy RPGs, for the time it was invigorating and rather thrilling. Does it stand the test of time? Depends.

Now let’s get into the serious meat of this Ogre Battle sandwich…the game play. For the most part, game play primarily focuses on the actually set up, organization, and implantation of strategy with your troops. After the troops are ready for battle, then the units are spread out across the battlefield, waiting to destroy whatever enemies lie in their path. However, once those enemies appear, the AI takes over with minimal player interaction during the actual conflict. This game is for the tactician inside all of us. Why should we actually have to draw out our blades when we can sit back behind the sidelines and have the minions do it for us?

battle-ghost-bq

Wait…these aren’t ogres…

Now exactly how can you put your minions to good use? Ogre Battle allows the player to design their own squads, consisting of 2-5 individual characters, in two separate rows. Each unit can attack with a different technique or a different number of times depending on where they are placed, so make sure you plan accordingly! Don’t be putting your mages and archers in the front row, when your tanks can be better utilized charging out front. While refined and expanded upon in Ogre Battle 64, March of the Black Queen sure as hell set out all of the ground work.

Just like with the rest of the saga, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen has an amazing soundtrack. Created by famous video game and anime composers Masaharu Iwata, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Hayato Matsuo, Ogre Battle can easily rank with the best of the SNES RPG scores. Need some convincing? Listen to one of the earlier tracks on the scor, “Beginning of the Tale”, below. Thankfully these composers lent plenty of their talents to the rest of the saga as well.

As far as replayabilty is concerned, you can easily have a different experience each time you play through on a different route. Whether it be trying out different tactics, recruiting different allies, or utilizing tarot cards more often, there are plenty of ways for the player to experience a new world before reaching their goal. The same could be said for all of the saga, but March of the Black Queen best showcases the little and unimportant tweaks that can change the story for the better. Which one of the branching endings will you find first? You neutral chaotic you.

Ogre_Battle_U_00008_6311

Canopus is at it again. He won’t ever learn.

Since Ogre Battle was released in the 90s, it has made a significant impact with strategy gamers. A rare gem within the hardcore gamer community, Ogre Battle is praised for the focus on actual strategic tactics instead of turn-based game play. Due to the title’s mainly automatic game play, it allows tacticians to play out their advance in any way they see fit. If you would like to grab your own copy of this SNES gem, be sure to shell out plenty of $$$ for an original. You could also just pick it up on the Wii virtual console. That will work too.

So in the grand scheme of things, if you are a fan of tactical RPGs, make sure you give the grand-daddy of the genre a try. Ogre Battle, while extremely dated, brings plenty to the table to satisfy a player’s RPG cravings. An intriguing albeit confusing plot, fluid game play and plenty of character/roster customization are all the makings of a solid tactical RPG. While the battle system may throw you off at first, it doesn’t take long before you are used to it. Personally, I recommend starting out of order though, tackling Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber first, as I feel that title best represents the saga as a whole.

So what did you think of Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen? Feel free to leave a comment and share your experience, If we haven’t satisfied your RPG fix yet, check out some of our other titles!

Written by Rhutsczar


Hello everybody! Thanks for reaching the end of whatever my newest/current addiction is above me. I’m pretty sure it’s an RPG, since it’s my favorite genre I try to find the most underrated and niche games possible. Anyway if you like what you read and would like to check out more, follow the links below. Also be sure to check out the RBG over on Beyond Bacon!.

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