A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game's central focus is the standard fantasy fare of "good versus evil", with players trying to fend off a potential apocalypse. There are also strong themes of friendship and teamwork. The game also shows how actively practicing skills can lead you to fulfilling your personal potential.
Positive Role Models
The game features a widely diverse cast of characters available to recruit to the player's party, each of which has his or her own unique story and personality. Some are more genuinely honorable, caring, brave, etc. than others, but most exhibit some sort of heroic traits and the desire to help others.
Ease of Play
Gameplay's a complex mix of commands and tactics, including what roles party members should play, party formations, equipment management, etc, all of which requires a lot of menu navigation, statistical analysis, and more. One unique feature this time around involves players becoming more adept in the traits they use more often, requiring players to focus more on individual party members.
Violence & Scariness
Characters use a mix of fantasy weapons and magical abilities to fight against enemy soldiers, minions, monsters, and other creatures. There's some blood, though the overall style is highly stylized and pixelated.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters and creatures are shown as partially nude or in revealing outfits. But the game's pixelated style reduces much of this.
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The word "bastard" occasionally appears in the dialogue.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the quests specifically focuses on dealing with a criminal organization dealing drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Romancing SaGa 3 is a fantasy role-playing game available for download on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. The game focuses on a battle between good and evil, with other themes of teamwork, friendship, pushing personal boundaries, and helping those in need. The game has a retro, pixelated look, which reduces some of the impact of the onscreen blood and violence, as well as some of the more suggestive characters that show up. There are also some references to illicit drug trade in one of the quests.
Is It Any Good?
In this age of ultra-realistic, hyper-detailed games, sometimes it's still great to go back and revisit the classics that laid the foundation for today's modern fantasy role-playing games. Having never been released in the west, Romancing SaGa 3 manages to be both brand-new and nostalgic at the same time. While it's more than two decades old, its mix of open world exploration, deep role-playing elements, and strategic turn-based battles is nearly timeless. Couple all of that with a robust cast of characters, each with their own distinct stories and personalities, all brought together in a story that plays like some grand episodic adventure, and the game quickly earns a spot right up there with other true classics.
While Romancing SaGa 3 pulls together all of these elements that RPG (or role-playing game) fans have come to know and love, it still somehow manages to pack in unique innovations that still feel fresh. For example, one major shock to the system is that experience points (XP) don't exist in this game. Instead, characters grow and improve through the active use of their skills. Need a powerful magic user in your party? Well then, you should start slinging some basic spells early and often. Feeling comfortable cutting a swift swath through enemies with that sharp sword? You'll be swashbuckling like a pro in no time. The idea here is that the characters don't improve arbitrarily, but rather hone their existing skills and evolve over time. This adds an extra personal touch to party members, as it's hard not to feel more invested in their story after helping them to truly grow into the heroes they ultimately become.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.