It's been more than twenty years since the original game was released for the PlayStation. Now, two decades later, this classic strategic role-playing game has finally gotten a sequel with Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia for the Nintendo Switch and Windows PCs. The game stacks the deck against the player in a few different ways. For starters, the players' main goal is to take their one small nation up against everything the other five can throw at them. Adding to the challenge, players must race the clock to be the last nation standing, conquering the continent within a set number of turns/seasons. There are also limits to the number of creatures that players can keep in their stables, which in turn limits the available options for the knights' forces.
Gameplay's broken up into two, self-explanatory main phases: Organization and Attack. Organization has players create different platoons of knights, soldiers, and creatures. This is the more time-consuming part of the game as well. Here's where players manage their troops and there's usually a lot of work to be done before each attack. It's a long, drawn out process that's impossible to just gloss over. There's an insane amount of micromanagement. Once things move to the Attack phase, the action picks up considerably, but it's no less involved than the Organization. Here, players need to monitor terrain for bonuses and disadvantages, corral their creatures before they move out of the rune knight's protection, and of course, they still need attack the opposition. It's a lot of work and a lot of preparation, but when it all comes together, it's effective. The PC version adds a couple of nice extras: The New Game+ option gives more return on your time investment by building on the progress of older game sessions, while the Creative mode lets players build and fight their own custom made battlefields. These can be entertaining, but really only for the players that dedicate the time to fully complete the game and want to dive back into the title. For hardcore fans of tactics based role-playing games, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a methodical challenge. But for younger or less experienced players, it can be overwhelming and frustrating.