One of the problems with long-standing series is that there isn’t an easy way to visit the original titles. In a lot of cases, the original games were simply good for the time and/or more of a relic of the past than something worth playing in the modern age. This was a common problem with a lot of classic games, as the goal was to hinder progression in the name of value, with varied cost metrics and elements result in more accessible experiences. This is part of the reason so many remakes and remasters release. So, when Langrisser I & II was revealed, I was cautiously optimistic. This could be a great way to give these iconic strategy RPGs a second life, though it could also be a reminder of how bad things were in the past. With things possibly going in either direction, is it worth playing Langrisser I & II or does it belong in the past?
Langrisser starts with a war between two kingdoms. You place as Prince Garett, who escapes the initial attack on the castle and journeys to stop the other kingdom that is being influenced by malicious forces. As you progress the story starts to move to one of the importance of balance between good and evil and ultimately bringing the end to the chaos. The adventure deals with tough questions and leans a bit more into the morally grey area that has become increasingly common since Langrisser originally released.
The second adventure follows Erwin and deals with differing opinions on how to solve problems. While there are different opinions on what role the legendary hidden weapons should play. Unlike the first adventure, this one offers different endings and allows players some control in the outcome of the adventure. This gives the adventure a bit of stake and offers interesting paths and different consequences that Langrisser II is more than happy to explore.
Between story, segments are a wide variety of battles. Fans of tactical RPGs will love Langrisser I & II and will be quick to learn how to overcome the various challenges you’ll face. This is not an experience where you can simply mindlessly attack or do battle without some kind of plan. There is a heavy emphasis on tactics and that extends far beyond attacking a lot. Things like position, buffs and forcing enemies into specific spots will make or break your adventure.
Less skilled players have the option to accept resources to reduce Langrisser I & II’s difficulty and you’re free to save as much as you’d like. Even if this sounds difficult, it honestly isn’t too bad. As long as you’re maximizing efficiency, paying attention to losing conditions and not running into a bunch of enemies, you should be able to hold your own.
Even if you’re unsure, there are some resources to help give you an idea of what you should and should not do. For instance, there is a damage predicter, so you know when someone might die or if this is enough to possibly take out a foe. Sometimes the right call will be going for the attack and other times you’ll need to know when to walk away. It’s still always going to be a gamble, it’s just one where you can get an idea of the odds.
All of these things come together to make Langrisser I & II an engaging experience. There will be times when you lose, situations where you realize sometime later you made a mistake and a game where learning from the past can help you in the future. It just requires a small investment for things to start going and you’ll be rewarded.
In addition to bringing Langrisser I & II to current generation consoles, graphics have been updated. Now things are a lot more streamlined, characters are a bit cuter and it feels more like a modern adventure than similar titles that did not receive a coat of paint. It was a small touch that didn’t change much but it helps prevent people from being scared off by the rather basic sprites.
Langrisser I & II Verdict
It doesn’t take long to see why this series was so popular. The story might take a little bit to get going but it offers an interesting adventure for our heroes. Gameplay takes some getting used to, especially if you’re not one to plan ahead but anyone willing to invest the time will quickly learn how to overcome any challenge. Throw in a new coat of paint, multiple titles, and charming battles and it’s easy to suggest Langrisser I & II to anyone that loves RPGs.
[Editor’s Note: Langrisser I & II was reviewed on the PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]