While SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions is a game that isn’t too difficult to hop into, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a difficult game. There’s a definite challenge, one that is adjustable, but the greatest one comes from wondering if you are doing the right thing. Like many games, you make many decisions that alter what happens around your party. Unlike many games, these have very real, often immediate consequences that can scar you. Especially if you leave the autosave on and force yourself to deal with the repercussions of every choice you make.
Since I have experience with the SaGa series and wanted to begin with a route that had a mage, I began by following Taria’s adventure. I figured it would be a good way to wade in and headed off after a phoenix. Things seemed fine! Since part of her initial questline involved getting a volcano to erupt and hatch an egg, I figured helping to get a calming water elemental to freedom would be a good first step. I didn’t want to kill it, because Taria specifically described it as an innocent longing to return to open waters when I investigated it in its lake. So, I decided to open the sluice gate to begin to set it free.
Which is when some fiends immediately descended on it and killed it.
Fortunately, I had saved before making any decisions, so I could go back and undo the horrible thing I had done. Still, it is a perfect example of what SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions characters’ decisions can do to you. The game is constantly asking you to make choices. Every one of them causes a change in the world around you. They’re also immediately happening and forcing you to alter fate.
This even happens in more regimented stories. Urpina’s story starts out with more structure than someone like Leonard’s. Still, immediately after her quest begins, you could opt to not to follow the shadowy figure and deal with some specters in a swamp. She could then decide to seek the information that would set them free or deal with these ghouls in a more forceful manner. Neither one is necessarily wrong. SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions excels in shades of grey. It makes you wonder if what you’re doing could eventually lead to positive or negative things.
It also means you have to learn to accept things. Going back to Taria, her story has a habit of very early on forcing you to do things that can lock you out of options. Remember that volcano? Well, once you do things that perhaps cause it to erupt, it becomes impossible to revisit a town caught in the lava’s path. After you clear out a lighthouse to make it usable again, you have three different coals to use. Let me repeat myself: three. If you haven’t looked at your items, you have no idea what the difference is between them. These are just the relatively spoiler-free decisions I’m bringing up.
There are so many of these moments in SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions. The game is constantly testing you. What do you think is the correct course of action? Will you feed the good dog you find in the world? What will you do when you come across a hazardous area? It’s a lot of pressure, but framed in a very good way. Especially if you see yourself going back multiple times to play.
SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions is immediately available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, and mobile devices. You can learn more about it in Siliconera’s interview with 8-4.