PS Vita was a console with interesting turn-based games. Also, an important part of the available titles were Dungeon Crawlers, like Mind Zero, Mary Skelter Nightmares, Sword of Stranger City or the current reviewed title, Saviors of Sapphire Wings. Continuing the current tendency to port this console’s games, NISA released this game, with Stranger of Sword City revisited, on a pack on steam.
The Knights of the Round Table had fallen
On Saviors of Sapphire Wings, you are Xelth, a knight of the round table who dies after a battle with the king of the darkness Ol Ohma. After a hundred years in a world subjugated by darkness, you will reincarnate to put an end to bad times. During your journey, you will meet new companions, which will join you for different motives, but with a common goal, to finish the era of the darkness.
The main character and your characters come with a predefined aspect and class, but one of the remarkable points of this game is that you can modify characters’ avatar, in a limited selection, the protagonist gender (this only for the main character), the names of your group members, the classes, they come with one by default, but you can put them as you wish, and the distribution of some stats points. After a few tutorial missions, you can modify all these features as you wish again. Also, after determining requirements, you can add a subclass for each one. They are interesting features to make your very personal team, meaning a wide range of different strategies to try.
Preparing for your journey
During your adventure, you will visit several towns. These villages are menus where you have locations related to the story, dungeons and shops. The story ones will trigger some events, and shops and dungeons are self-explanatory. For moving between towns you will use the Rondaer, your HQ, and where you can do the majority of actions.
In the Rondaer, you can manage your items store, save your money, as a bank but without gaining interests, and create new items through basic alchemy. Also, you have a magic furnace where melt the equipment that you don’t use. Additionally, you can consult the bestiary and the item collection too.
Asides from the main quests, there are secondary quests to accomplish, they are usually related to some actions on the visited dungeons. Also, there are passive quests, if you kill a determined number of a kind of enemy, your damage against them will improve. The same happens with the items that you melt, every item melt improve the damage dealt or the defence of the kind of items that you left there. Finally, here you can improve your relation with your companions.
Battle against the Darkness
The battles on Saviors of Sapphire Wings are turn-based. Your party is composed of a maximum of six members, but you can change the composition when you want. You can attack, defend, run, use items, skills or magic and some team abilities, based on your friendship with your mates. They are in the first person, where you see the enemies, and your team is reflected in the down part of the screen, but you won’t see them. They are the typical Dungeon Crawler battles. Exploring dungeons, you will suffer random encounters, asides from some predetermined marks on the map. There are some hidden, and marked, treasures too. There are traps where to place bait for the enemies, this will attract enemies with extra treasures, and if you kill the one with it before it flies, you can obtain this treasure too. Also, some random encounters will come with extra items too.
The available skills are class-related, healers can heal, wizards have elemental spells and melee members have special attacks. You will learn new skills, levelling up. The team skills have different effects, from buffs for your entire party, to deal damage to all the enemies.
Defeating enemies will grant you experience, money, items, a rank (rewards are related to this), and relationship points with the members of your team. Each relation level has a gauge, and when you fill it, you can improve your level with this member. This is done at the HQ, where you have a conversation with them, and if you do the right conversational choices, you will get the new friendship level. Also, you can gift items to your partners to improve their mood (you can check what they like on their profiles).
Years ago, when I was younger, I played some titles of the Wizardry saga, not all because not all the chapters were located on the west, but I enjoyed the available ones. They consisted on to create your party and then explore dungeons under a story. The battles were turn-based and in the first person, and they were the precursor of the current dungeon crawlers. When I saw one of this type of titles coming to PC, I try them if I have the opportunity; because they remember me to this saga.
Saviors of Sapphire Wings is an interesting dungeon crawler. It has a decent story and all the characteristics of the genre. However, it has some deficiencies: I miss complete towns or a major interaction with the NPCs; even with the companions, some secondary quests are mediocre, and the keyboard binding is terrible, common on PS Vita ports, but fortunately, you can solve this at the start of the game.
It has nice points too, as you can personalize all your team or the soundtrack, which is great. Graphically, this title comes from PS Vita, and it shows it. There is a mix between 2D anime characters and enemies, plain backgrounds and 3D dungeons, which is common on this genre.