Game Info:

Mercenaries Saga  2: Order of the Silver Eagle
Developed by: Rideon
Published by: Circle Entertainment
Release Date: July 02. 2015
Available on 3DS
Genre: Tactical strategy
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for violence, language, and alcohol references
Price: $4.99 

Thank you Circle Entertainment for sending us a review code!

Mercenaries Saga 2: Order of the Silver Eagle is the first of the series to come to the US.  The first and third installments are available on mobile platforms in Japan.  After the better than anticipated success of this game, I hope to see more come to the 3DS platform.  Gamers who enjoy tactical strategy games like Final Fantasy Tactics will find much to like in this affordable eShop game.  

Since I have not played the original game, I don't know if the characters or story overlaps from it.  Mercenaries Saga 2 begins with religious leaders deciphering a book of God, and Lazarus, the prince of the land, narrowly survives an assassination attempt.  He's bedridden from an unknown poison.  Claude, the captain of the Silver Eagles, sets off on a journey to cure him and find out who is behind this treachery.

At first it's just Claude and a couple of his trusty men.  Throughout the game, up to ten party members will be available to join in on the thirty plus story missions.    At first the party members consist of fighters and a cleric, but later a witch, a thief, some archers, and a pirate will lend a hand.  You will have to defeat them before they will join you.   

Mercenaries Saga  2: Order of the Silver Eagle

Strong Points: Fun tactical combat; good story and character development
Weak Points: No 3D effects
Moral Warnings: Fantasy violence; drinking/drunkenness;  language

For those who are new to tactical strategies, the battle maps are divided into a grid and the deployed party members can move around and attack nearby enemies.  Units with melee weapons can only attack adjacent foes while magic users have a bigger attacking radius.  Long range weapons like bows and guns can go even further as long as the enemy is within the line of sight.     

When an enemy is defeated, gold and experience are gained.  Experience is also granted for using abilities and items in battle.  As skill points are accrued,  they can be used to power up current abilities, or change classes to learn new ones. The females can be changed to become dancers and their appearance changes accordingly.  Whenever a character changes a class, their equipment is all put back into inventory.    If you forget to re-arm then, it can be done on the battle screen as long as you're on the easy or normal difficulty levels.  The hard and maniac modes are less forgiving on changing equipment and reviving fallen allies.  

If you find that you're short on cash to buy the most powerful weapons and armor, or discover that you're under-leveled to progress the main story, you can play free battles to earn more money and experience.  Campaign maps usually have puzzle pieces in them that can be traded for powerfully enchanted weapons.    Free battles do not have puzzle pieces or booby-trapped treasure chests laying around.  Many maps have hidden treasures that can be located by the thief's search ability or if a player happens to step on it by coincidence.

Mercenaries Saga  2: Order of the Silver Eagle
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 76%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 8.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

The 2D graphics and art style make me wonder if this game is made with RPG Maker or one of its variants.  The graphics and sprite-like characters hail back to the days of the Super Nintendo, but they look fine on the small 3DS screen.  

All of the dialogue is text driven and there is no voice acting whatsoever.  The background music is pleasant to listen to, but since the battles can take a while to complete, the fighting music can get a bit repetitive.  Rideon also made Adventure Bar Story and the sound effect for successfully cooking a dish is the same for leveling up in Mercenaries Saga 2.

Like Adventure Bar Story, there is fantasy magic, violence and drinking references.  The magic can be somewhat avoidable if you do not play your magician class units, but in the final battle all units will be deployed (and needed).  Some of the fighting units can use a drunken battle style.  Last but not least the word d*mn is used a few times throughout the game.

If you enjoy tactical strategy games and don't mind the language and magic use,   Mercenaries Saga  2: Order of the Silver Eagle is a solid game.  The campaign took me a little over eleven hours to complete and the story was interesting with some unexpected twists towards the end.  While there is some re-playability with the unlocked harder difficulties, I see little reason to go through the campaign a second time.  It is well worth for the $4.99 price on Nintendo's eShop though.  


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