Revenant Saga review for PS Vita, PS4, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: Switch, PC, PS4, PS3, Wii U
Publisher: Kemco
Developer: Kemco
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

There are two things you’re likely to notice when you start playing Revenant Saga:
1) It looks and plays like the most generic old-school RPG imaginable; and
2) The game’s world is populated by enormous jerks.

For the first point, your first impression will be entirely accurate. Revenant Saga really plays as a cookie-cutter RPG that could easily have come out on the NES. Sure, the turn-based battles are kind of 3D, but apart from that, it’s all the most stereotypical stuff you can imagine. Like, whatever retro RPG you’re picturing in your head right now, that’s almost certainly what you’d get here, too.

It’s the second point, though, that hints at the fact that Revenant Saga doesn’t totally conform to type. When you start playing, you’re given the usual spiel about great evil befalling the land, strange illnesses, demons roaming, etc, etc, etc. If you’re like me, you might be ready to tune out and give up before you’ve ever had a change to play.

And then the dialogue between two main characters begins, and you get the sense that there’s more here than meets the eye.

You discover that the main character, Albert, just lost both his parents to the plague a few months before the start of the game. Then his friend Anna tries cheering him up, telling him that it’s already been two months, and he should move on — which, frankly, really makes her seem like an insensitive jerk. Then, almost immediately after she says those things, a servant rushes in and tells her that her parents have caught the plague and are about to die.

From that point on, you discover that Revenant Saga is populated by all kinds of terrible, terrible people, who seemingly have no filters between their brains and their mouths. Anna, obviously, is the worst. Other townsfolk are just plain mean. Even the demons who can speak come off as passive-aggressive losers more than anything else. It’s hard to tell if all that was intentional, or if the game lost/gained something in the translation, but, secretly, Revenant Saga is hilarious.

Does that make it worth your time? Probably not, since you still have to slog through a generic RPG to get to the hilarious bits. Of course, if you like generic retro RPGs, then, good news: Revenant Saga delivers everything you could hope for, along with a surprising amount of humour.

Kemco provided us with a Revenant Saga PlayStation Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B-