Amazing art, visual customisation options and the ability to recreate the Game Boy system-like experience make this collection a must-play for RPG fans.
By Duncan Heaney

Three of Square Enix’s most venerable RPGs are back in COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND on Nintendo Switch.

This new compilation contains three full games originally released on the Game Boy: THE FINAL FANTASY LEGEND, FINAL FANTASY LEGEND II and FINAL FANTASY LEGEND III. Not only that, but COLLECTION of SaGa also features new art and quality of life features that make these handheld epics even more enjoyable.

Read on and we’ll explain why it’s worth getting excited about this fantastic compilation:

You can experience the origins of the SaGa series first-hand

The SaGa series is one of the most respected RPG lines in gaming. It’s seen multiple beloved titles, including Romancing SaGa 3 and SaGa SCARLET GRACE: Ambitions - both of which released in the West for the first time just last year - and this year’s Romancing SaGa Re;universe.

COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND shows you where it all began. The collection includes the first three games in the series: THE FINAL FANTASY LEGEND, FINAL FANTASY LEGEND II, and FINAL FANTASY LEGEND III.

“But wait!” you may be thinking. “If it’s the start of the SaGa series, why are the games called FINAL FANTASY?”

Well, while the first title of the series was called Makai Toushi SaGa in Japan, it underwent a name change in the US to give it greater visibility among Western gamers.

This practice of changing the name for different regions was quite common in the long, long ago of the 80s and 90s. For example, the first game in the Mana series took the title of FINAL FANTASY ADVENTURE in the US (and Mystic Quest in Europe).

While all this naming and renaming makes things a little confusing in 2020, the original names have been kept for this come-back compilation to keep things clear for those who originally played them.

The important point is that the three games in this collection represent the true foundations of the SaGa series, and established many of the traditions that persist to this day, such as non-linear character progression, large party sizes and turn-based battles.

In that respect, the collection’s the most entertaining history lesson you’ll ever play!

The games are genuinely great

A collection is only as good as the thing being collected, so it’s a good thing that all three games included in COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND are stone-cold classics.

The first game in the SaGa series - THE FINAL FANTASY LEGEND - was the first RPG ever made for the original Game Boy and it came out swinging for the fences. The game tasks players with climbing a mysterious tower and exploring the worlds connected to it. With an engaging world, satisfyingly deep mechanics and lots of re-playability, the handheld adventure holds up as a fantastic RPG, even today.

The first game was incredibly well-received both critically and commercially, selling more than a million copies - the first game by Square (as we were then) to do so. So naturally, a sequel arrived soon after. FINAL FANTASY LEGEND II ups the ante with a more expansive adventure that tasked players with collecting MAGI - fragments of an ancient Goddess.

The third game in the series - FINAL FANTASY LEGEND III - is a time-hopping epic filled with big ideas. The world that is on the verge of being destroyed by an artifact known as the Pureland water entity. Amid the chaos, a team of brave kids is sent back into the past to prevent the disaster before it’s too late. It’s a hugely imaginative RPG that stands up as one of the system’s most memorable games.

You can change the game speed for faster gameplay

Although COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND preserves these games in their original form, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of a few modern conveniences as you play them.

For example, you can boost the speed of the game, even allowing characters to travel around the maps much more quickly. This makes the pace of gameplay much faster than the originals - perfect for when you’re traversing familiar areas or are playing on the go when time is precious.

You can recreate a Game Boy-like experience

There’s a particularly cool feature in the collection for those of us who like an authentic retro experience: the ability to play the game vertically in Handheld mode.

Removing the Joy-Con controllers from the Switch, and setting the Screen Settings to ‘Vertical’ turns the entire screen into an old-school portable gaming console. The screen sits in a window at the top, with virtual buttons at the bottom of the touch screen.

It’s nostalgically lovely - it really does evoke fond memories of playing on the original Game Boy system… albeit with the added benefit of not having to sit under a lightbulb to see the screen.

It’s packed with art, music and wallpapers that celebrate the series

One thing that’s come to define the SaGa series is the incredible art, and COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND features illustrations that showcase this aspect well.

Not only that, but the game includes commemorative music. The original games were renowned for having some of the best soundtracks of the series, with tracks by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu, Kenji Ito and more.

You can even change up the wallpapers on the game, switching between multiple options that reflect different facets of the games and series. In that respect, the collection’s a real visual treasure trove for fans.

COLLECTION of SaGa FINAL FANTASY LEGEND is out now digitally on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch. If you’re a fan of the series - or Japanese RPGs in general - it’s well worth checking out these entertaining and influential games.

To stay up to date with news about this and other Square Enix games, follow us on social media: