It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Langrisser game appear outside of Japan. Only the original Langrisser was localized back in 1991 as Warsong. Seeing Langrisser Re: Incarnation Tensei get picked up by Aksys is quite a surprise. People might wonder what makes this strategic RPG so different from the others on the market and what the Nintendo 3DS entry retains from previous series. In short, Langrisser is often about maintaining a sense of gravity and scope, while also ensuring equality on the field.
To start, Langrisser takes its name from the legendary sword the hero in each entry wields. It’s a weapon holding the powers of Lushiris, the goddess of light, and watched over by Jessica, a mage who continually appears in the games. Only the descendents of light have the power to wield it, and the more people believe in and follow the hero, the strong the sword and he will be. As Langrisser Re: Incarnation begins, Autokrato IV, the emperor, orders his minions to destroy the town Ares, the hero, is from and capture him. It’s because of this attack that Ares and his maid, Maiya happen upon Langrisser.
Langrisser is known for massive battles with multiple units on a large field. Some of these are enemies, another group will be allies outside of your control, and then there’s finally your own army of controllable characters. In previous games, battles can take hours as you control upwards of 30 units on the field. Langrisser Re: Incarnation Tensei’s scale isn’t quite so grand, but plenty of characters are available on the field, with players able to hire more mercenaries to act as their own generals’ underlings between fights.
There’s a sense of equality in the Langrisser series. Even if units begin to level up, that doesn’t mean newcomers won’t be as useful as established members of your army. Each unit’s health is set at 10 and certain classes have an edge against others. Cavalry is stronger than infantry, infantry units work well against lancers, and lancers should be used against cavalry. People should also try to use archers against pilots and clerics against undead units. Once generals start advancing to higher classes, you will see definite differences in power, but the game is set up in such a way that people won’t be penalized for using a new units instead of one they’ve had since one of the first few chapters.
You’re also always given choices in Langrisser. The game begins with a personality test of sorts. It’s the first time you’ll meet Jessica in Langrisser Re: Incarnation Tensei. Here, she asks nine questions. Your responses determine the identity of Ares. In my game, he ended up being a mage. As this, and all Langrisser characters, levels up, players get to determine which classes they advance to, reaching the best, fifth class if the right decisions are made and enough effort is invested.
People also get to determine the course of their adventure. Langrisser games have multiple paths and endings to choose from, with there usually being light, neutral, and dark options. In Langrisser Re: Incarnation Tensei, people get this option during the storyline, determining what Ares’ motivation will be for the rest of the game. They also get to talk with allies between battles, with affection leading to the acquisition of new skills thanks to the partnership formed.
While Langrisser Re: Incarnation Tensei is quite different than the previous Langrisser games and an acquired taste, it does manage to preserve some of the series’ hallmarks. It won’t have the same legacy as other entries or fanbase, but the nods to the past are quite evident to anyone who takes the time to go ahead and look for them. Even if this isn’t the exact game people wanted or expected, the traditions have carried on.
Langrisser Re: Incarnation Tensei is immediately available for the Nintendo 3DS.