[Beyond PlayStation] Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix Review
Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix is a new entry in the turn-based SRPG from Circle. Learn more in our Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix review!
Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix is a new game in the SRPG series that takes place in the Kingdom of Dryden, in the northern continent. Unfortunately, King Harold, ruler of as far as the eye can see, is obsessed with the tale of a Phoenix that blessed a hero many generations ago, and it was thanks to this that the hero managed to defeat 1,000 enemies, this establishing the Kingdom of Dryden.
Because of this, the King is continuously seeking turmoil and conflict as a constant, fighting with all neighboring countries from the moment he ascended to the throne 10 years prior. Along with those battles, a civil war erupts from within the kingdom, forcing King Harold to find a way to battle in all fronts. Enter your group: the Crimson Birds, led by Commander Kane the Crimson Flash, and by Vice-Commander Jeremy the Phoenix. You will thus play as a band of mercenaries, working for the highest bidder, when your actions start to impact the future of the kingdom and its population. Will you continue battling for nothing more than coin? Or will you realize that you have a bigger part to play for the wellbeing of the kingdom?
The gameplay loop for Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix is always the same. You will start a mission with a story event during which characters will talk for a bit, letting you know what is about to happen and why – if you want you can skip these by pressing the + or – buttons. After that, it will be time for the battle. You will need to prepare by positioning a set number of units (and sometimes specific units that have to be in that battle), and after you’ve selected all of your actions, your enemies will take their turn. During your turn you can instruct units to move, attack, use a skill or magic, use an item, change their equipment, investigate to pick up items or open chests, defend, or wait.
The direction in which a unit is facing in battle is very important because attacks dealt to a unit from the side and the back will deal more damage, as well a having a higher accuracy. Something else to consider is height because units who are standing higher than other units will get to deal more damage, while the opposite is true for units who attack while being at a lower height compared to other units. Another element to consider are the bonuses to attack and hit, as well as to defense and avoid, which are bestowed when your units surround and enemy unit, or when you’re surrounded by allies, respectively.
Once you manage to complete a stage you will receive points that will be distributed as SP between your units. The amount of points you get will depend on the number of enemies you’ve defeated, how quickly you beat a stage, how many treasure chests you opened during the battle, as well as a fixed points bonus for clearing the stage. SP points can be used to obtain new skills for your units, as well as to level them up. Some skills might require magic points (MP) to be used, while others just need to be selected. Something to consider for skills is the range they have, if they will target one enemy, one ally, if it will target more than one of each, or if a skill requires specific equipment.
As characters level up, they will gain access to changing their class. This is something that will require you to use SP, as well as reach a specific level. Intermediate classes require that a unit reach level 10, while advanced classes need the unit to be level 20. There are also special classes which require a unit to be level 20, while also demanding the use of a specific class change item.
With the gold you collect, you’ll be able to purchase new equipment and items as needed. Having the best equipment that money can buy is definitely a good plan, so be sure to make your gold count! Another option is synthesis, which is unlocked as you progress in the game. This will allow you to combine magic items to create stronger ones, and this will also requiere you to pay a fee. Items can be regular items, magic items with special effects and better stats (which you can soot from their name being displayed in blue), or rare items, which are more powerful – and rare, of course! – than magic items (their name will be displayed in red).
When you start a new game, you can select between playing the game in Easy or in Normal difficulty. In Easy enemies are a bit weaker, an ally’s hit points will recover when leveling up, and it will have up to eight turns after a K.O. for another ally to help it recover before it has to retreat from the battlefield. In Normal, the enemies strength will be a bit higher, a unit’s hit points will not recover when you level up, and the unit will only have five turns after a K.O. to recover before it is force yo retreat from the fight. If you’re not as experiences in the SRPG genre, then you might want to dive into the game in Easy mode, so that you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed.
Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix is a fun SRPG on Nintendo Switch that gives us a new release in the Mercenaries series. If you’re familiar with previous entries, potentially from the excellent Mercenaries Saga Chronicles, then this $12.99 entry will be a good option, keeping you busy for dozens of hours.
This Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by by Circle Entertainment.