Saviors of Sapphire Wings Gameplay Preview – Etrian Odyssey-esque Dungeon Crawling

Developed by Experience Inc, Codeglue, published by NIS America Inc – March 16, 2021 (Switch, PC)
*MSRP: $49.99 – ​

Saviors of Sapphire Wings and Stranger of Sword City Revisited are dungeon crawlers in the vein of classics such as Etrian Odyssey and more recent games such as Legend of Grimrock.

These games are port of the original Vita games so they may have a dated feel. It only takes a short while to get used to the game but once you get into the groove of things you’ll start to feel right at home.

The game starts with the Knights of the Round losing to Ol=Ohma.

Saviors of Sapphire Wings starts off with the Knights of the Round losing the war against the evil overlord Ol=Ohma (strange name), plunging the land into darkness and despair. The soul of Xeth Landlight, the leader of the Knights of the Round, is reincarnated by the Spirit God one hundred years later to once again take up the fight against the Dark Lord.

The game is a traditional dungeon crawler and a pretty solid one at that.

The core of the game is a classic dungeon crawler. You walk around exploring an unmapped dungeon step by step. Each step onto an unexplored area will reveal that tile on the map. While exploring, you will occasionally run into random enemy encounters, as well as fixed enemy encounters, random treasures, events, and boss fights. You do have quests to complete while exploring each dungeon.

The combat is pretty straight forward and fast paced. When you recruit new characters, you can pick their classes and stats to suit your play style. As you enter a dungeon, you can form your expedition team with up to six members, with three in the frontline and three in the back. You usually put more strength and vitality oriented classes such as the knight in the front and classes such as the mage and healer in the back.

The combat is fast paced and you do have things like elemental affinities to consider. The game is quite difficult at the start so some grinding to level up your characters would be recommended. You can exit the dungeon to fully heal and revive your team and re-enter to make another run. Having your entire team wipe will end the game and result in having to reload at your latest save point.

The art looks great. This is the Cyclops, one of the first boss encounters in the game.

Overall, Saviors of Sapphire Wings is a pretty solid dungeon crawler. The art style is pretty good, the music epic, and the game play satisfying enough. The combat is fast paced and character building pretty straight forward and intuitive. The story feels like an anime, for better or for worse depending on your tastes in narrative. The game still holds up if you enjoy traditional dungeon crawlers.

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