Romancing SaGa 3 – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Turn-based combat
Developer: Square Enix, Artepiazza
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Mac, PC, Switch, Android, PS Vita
Tested on: PS4

Romancing SaGa 3 – Review

Site Score
Good: Clean, simple combat, can save anywhere
Bad: Pretty bad illogical story, boring combat (at start)
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Romancing SaGa 3 is a remake of the 1995 same-named RPG game. It seems that the game (the Super Famicom version at least) was previously already released on multiple consoles such as the Wii and the Wii U, but only in Japan. Now, we in the western world also get to relive this oldie with revamped graphics.


Despite Romancing SaGa 3 being an appreciated, valued game by people who played the original, the game is almost twenty-five years old. The fact that it has nostalgic value to a few should not be overshadowed by the value the game has to new players, today. The fact is, the game just doesn’t turn out to be so great right now. The story is a bit of a mess for starters.

The game starts off pretty strong with an introductory story about how every 300 years the fate of the world is in great peril. The Archfiend is standing straight across the Matriarch, which is to be seen as the evil versus the good. You, as the player, get to choose one out of eight characters which will all follow a story after the Matriarch won the war from the Archfiend. Choosing a character basically allows you to ”take over” their story arc and replacing it with your own name. It’s a nice concept, but the game leaves you relatively free after a few hours of unguided, introductory gameplay.

Because it leaves you free, it feels like there is little relevant story being given. Anything that draws you in is quickly abandoned until much later. Choosing one of the four guys available in our playthrough, we quickly found that our character has a little crush on somebody who denies his love. Then a new lady comes bursting in a tavern where we are sitting with our friends, and we are tasked with protecting her. Not only is the crush-story suddenly over and replaced by repetitive gameplay, but also aspects of the task already don’t make sense. You are at some point asked to bring the new lady to a city ruled by a vampire overlord to… keep her safe? Jokingly being said that she shouldn’t come back unable to resist the sunlight, you then go straight to the vampire count and ask him for some help while every girl in the town is afraid to be used as a blood sack. It just. Doesn’t. Make. Sense.


Remakes always raise the question of how a remake fits in the modern age. How much should you do to maintain the balance between old and new while delivering something that’s worth a new version of something that already exists? Romancing SaGa 3 seems to take this balance quite literally as it seems to keep the character and enemy sprites the original used and updates the walkable maps and backgrounds. Visually, this is rather breaking as it creates a difference between these elements, whereas the original felt much more like something whole. It’s not terrible, but it feels like the game just went half-way. Include that the animations are mostly static images, and it doesn’t work so well together, especially when parts are moving on the screen.


Romancing SaGa 3 has some very good, traditional retro music. With a lot of different tunes and themes, it might be the best thing the game has to offer depending on your personal preferences. Recognizable battle music, a theme for each main character, and more are all present in the game. Accompanied by traditional sounds indicating slashing hits, arrows, skills and more, this really feels like it fits the game as well as it did in 1995 and gives plenty to enjoy.


Romancing SaGa 3 is a turn-based combat RPG. This means that, for a large part, the combat plays out just like a Pokémon or Final Fantasy game would. Though Romancing SaGa 3 is a bit different. For one, you don’t walk around an empty map until a visual trigger shows you that you encountered an enemy. Instead, the game shows all enemy sprites patrolling the map and you can try to avoid them or touch them.

When touching an enemy, you will be brought to the combat screen where enemies are on the left side and your characters on the right. This is where the second main difference with games such as Pokémon comes up. Besides the visuals, the combat system also feels a lot like an RPG maker game. But unlike those traditional games, it’s different in two ways. One is that you queue everybody’s attack at the start of the combat round and watch as it plays out. Especially at the start, due to the lacking difficulty and little available skills, this can be very tedious. Another aspect is that you can cycle through multiple weapons and your proficiency with each decides the damage and available skills. Skills are seemingly randomly learned during combat, which gives a nice surprise, but it doesn’t make the overall combat less boring.

Romancing SaGa can be enjoyable if you don’t expect a complicated system, but in the end, you are mainly just selecting the same skills over and over while waiting till the combat is over or grinding enemies for experience, if you can’t win the fight. Romancing SaGa 3 has a bit weird way of handling its user interface as well. Vital information such as your characters’ HP is not included when choosing attacks and such, and when selling an item it doesn’t show how much you can get for it. These seem like pretty small remarks, but for a game that already simplifies a lot, it does matter, since minor flaws are enhanced by the lack of information on-screen.


Where Romancing SaGa 3 might have been something great in the past, it feels outdated in a couple of ways. With a fresh look, we can say that the story is not so interesting due to its weird choices and cannibalistic behavior of destroying some own story arc set-ups. The graphics look fine, though not as strong as the original where the game felt more like a whole, and while the sound is great, the gameplay is generally ”grindy” and somewhat boring.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Romancing SaGa 3 - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for since 2017.

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