(SNES / Super Nintendo)

Game Review

Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

You must succeed in ousting the evil usurpers - your fate, and that of the entire population, depends on it.

The Ogre Battle series has long been a favorite among hardcore strategy fans and it won't take you long to see why that is once you begin playing any of them. This Super Nintendo release of Ogre Battle has become quite a coveted game cartridge over the years and its rarity has made it even more collectible. Now Square-Enix has finally decided to make their strategic masterpiece available to all Wii owners with the release of Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen on the Virtual Console service. So how exactly has this decade old 16-bit strategy title held up over the years?

While you'll notice some similarities between Ogre Battle and many of the other strategy titles of the 16-bit era, Ogre Battle has its own very unique style and game play design that really makes it stand out from the crowd. The real-time pacing of the game puts a greater emphasis on your choice of movements and actions and forces you to make quick decisions when enemy attacks begin to become more frequent.

Ogre Battle also gives you a large amount of freedom when it comes to creating and managing your units. Putting your various units into formation can be a very integral part of the quest as you always want your strongest units up front and your more vulnerable units in the back in order to help protect them.

Your main goal in the game is to liberate the various towns and temples across each map. As you do this, you'll be given your pick of tarot cards that can aid you on your quest. These tarot cards can also be used in battle and come in particularly handy when you begin facing enemy troops of a stronger variety. As you move your units around the map, you'll come into contact with enemy troops that you'll be forced to do battle with. It's at this time that all your hard work managing your units will pay off.

Unlike more traditional turn-based rpgs, Ogre Battle carries out the combat sequences on its own with very little interaction from the player. You can choose to use tarot cards or change your tactics during battle, but for the most part the entire fight is executed out for you. The stronger and better equipped your units are, the better chance you have of being victorious. Each scene has specific goals for you to achieve and as you liberate towns and temples, you'll be given information regarding your current quest. In truth the game offers up an almost endless amount of game play options for even the most ardent strategy game fans.

The play control itself is extremely intuitive and set up for ease of use. The menus are quite easy to navigate and no matter how detailed and involved you choose to get in setting up and controlling your units, Ogre Battle's efficient control scheme makes it easy to execute, which will leave you more time to focus on your strategies instead of fumbling for game commands.

The visuals in Ogre Battle are about what you'd expect from the Super Nintendo console. There's not quite as many flashy Mode-7 effects as found in many other Super Nintendo RPGs, but the level of detail is still quite sufficient. The battle scenes themselves are generally the high point of the visual experience and while the animations of the battles are a bit on the basic side, they do enough to simulate the elements of battle and carry out the actions of each character. The maps themselves could have used a bit more color variation and detail, but it's difficult to complain given how good all other aspects of the game are.

The music is typical of Square's Super Nintendo offerings and shows a solid amount of charm and personality. The various music tracks seem to fit the action taking place around each scene perfectly and although many of the tracks repeat themselves over and over during the scene, they're of such high quality that you really won't mind. The game tosses in a few short segments of digitized speech to mix things up a bit and while they're a bit muffled at times, they're still a nice touch and do add to the already solid audio experience.


Since the actual Super NES Ogre Battle cartridge is quite rare and expensive, it's nice to see Square-Enix releasing this amazing strategy title for everyone to enjoy, even those on a strict budget. You're getting a lot of game for 800 Wii Points and Ogre Battle still stands as one of the best strategic video game offerings of the 16-bit era and an absolute must-have for strategy game fans.

NOTE: Despite the Wii Shop stating that only the Classic Controller could be used to play Ogre Battle, it can also be played using a Gamecube controller.

From the web

Game Trailer

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (47)



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

Great score for a great game. Fully deserving. The neat Ultima-style character creation is worth mentioning, too.



Corbs said:

While I'm not what you would call a big strategy game fan, even I can appreciate how good this game is.



Andyman64 said:

I like when they ask you all the vague philosophy questions at the start. Probably get this if out in Eu.



Link79 said:

Everything else about this game sounds great but the battles being played for you sounds kinda boring. I was never that into stragety games though I do like Shining Force. I know this isn't quite the same yet I am still slightly interested. Would I be a fool to pass it up?



Dazza said:

@MickEiA - Because this never came out in the EU, so if it does it will be a import costing an extra 100 Wii points. Hopefully it will come out during the next Hanabi festival.

Great review Corbie, I'm glad you didn't have to give this game a 7/10



Cally said:

The only game in this whole franchise I have experience with is

Question: is this the same as the PlayStation Ogre Battle? The guys who later became "Team Ivalice"?



timp29 said:

I might look into this game after tetris party buys me onslaught and sin&punishment.



Corbs said:

Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen was remade for the Playstation and is called Ogre Battle: Limited Edition. It too has become quite rare and expensive as well. There was another game called Tactics Ogre also released for the Playstation console as well.



Party_On_Dude said:

Yeah I guess it a not bad score, but not an RPG that interests me; more like turns me off... because most people like myself will agree that there are other classic RPG franchies!



Corbs said:

Ogre Battle isn't really an RPG, it's a strategy title. I don't lump the two together and wouldn't even try comparing this game to something like a Chrono Trigger, Lufia 2, or Final Fantasy III. That would be apple to oranges, so-to-speak. But as a strategy game, Ogre Battle is outstanding. If you like strategy games, that is.



tatemon555 said:

Great review, Corbie! I'll get this soon enough, but I still don't have most of the other classics on VC.



Viral said:

To be honest, this game does interest me. My only hope is that eventually we will be treated with Fire Emblem originals.



Bass_X0 said:

i'm sure you don't regularly play ALL the games you've downloaded enough to make space for this.



brooks83 said:

Complaining about storage space is so 2008

Seriously though, you can either sit there and complain and deprive yourself of playing some great games, or you can suck it up and transfer some games to an SD card. I recently had to do it. It's annoying, but we all know Nintendo isn't going to fix the problem anytime soon.



Cthuloops said:

Love strategy games, so this could be a win for me!
I'm with Viral also. We need to see the classic Fire Emblem games come over here.



Adamant said:

The classic Fire Emblem games are in Japanese, so I assume people would object rather vocally should they be brought over.



Objection said:

I was burnt out on SRPGS and strategy games after playing FFTA for a hundred hours but I may take a look at this now.
The classic Fire Emblem games are in Japanese, so I assume people would object rather vocally should they be brought over. Not if they translated them, lol.



Objection said:

To anyone who knows: how does this compare to the N64 game? And any chance of that game making it to VC?



Adamant said:

@Objection_Blaster: Not if they translated them, lol.

They don't do that. Why waste time translating a game when they can just release games that don't require translation?
If they DID translate import games, they'd most certainly add a translation tax too, especially if the game was very texty, like the later FE games.



Ferret75 said:

Isn't it true that some games in Europe have like five different language options?



tootie_kicks said:


That's because Eurpoe contains countries that speak those languages as their main langauge (German, French, etc), rather than English.

If they were going to translate stuff for release in PAL, they'd probably have to translate to those languages as well, which would be too much effort. It is REALLY annoying if you're Australian, because we get lumped in with Eurpoe, but we only need English. So we get games late (or note at all), and the excuse is 'localisation;, and we don't need it...



Bass_X0 said:

Yeah but they can't release games JUST to England and Australia; its too small of a market for them. Its something I've learned to live with for the last 15 years.



Viral said:

To be honest, only a select few would bother with Fire Emblem. I hate to say it but I only enjoyed them and only ONE of my many other friends liked Fire Emblem even remotely. Maybe someday I will get lucky and they'll release them as a Wii-Collection... I can dream can't I?



Viral said:

I can only imagine how difficult it is...hopefully it will be Fire Emblem difficult...



Ferret75 said:

I don't really get why European VC releases have to have five seperate languages for each game.

I understand the multiple region thing, but the whole idea just seems kinda rediculous (the five languages in one game thing, not the multiple regions).



Objection said:

@Adamant- If they DID translate import games, they'd most certainly add a translation tax too, especially if the game was very texty, like the later FE games. Is there anyone who isn't fine with that? I'd rather pay the extra 100-200 points then not get the game.



Adamant said:

Given that they add 100 points for doing nothing but just bringing over a foreign game, I think it would be more like 5-600 extra points, especially for texty games like this. Why spend all that time and money when they can just release games that can easily be added with no translation nessecary?



Objection said:

Sure, Ninty would prefer to release easier games. The reason they'd spend all that time for a series like FE though, is that it now has name recognition and would sell well.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

Since Super Mario RPG was released in Europe without german/french options, I think this would be a regular import priced 900 points.



Metroid133 said:

I played the first battle today on the game, and I must say its fun! I can't wait to dig into it more!



FedEx said:

I find it surprising that a lot comments find this game unappealing. I must say that the 1st time I played this game I was not convinced at all. However, I gave it a chance, being a fan of strategy games.
Now, the Ogre Battle Series is my favorite strategy series (well, above Fire Emblem, FFT, Advance Wars and the like). Even today, I consider the N64 Ogre Battle sequel (which plays just like this one) to be my all time favorite game.
So if you like strategy games, do not let this game pass you.



whalleywhat said:

They could charge a lot of money for a Fire Emblem translation and I'd pay for it. It's my favorite series. They'd probably do well, because those games aren't available anywhere else, but it'll never happen.



Zac429 said:

Great game...but what are the chances of the Snes or SGEN versions of Shadowrun coming out?



Croz said:

Does this game work with the wii component cable/interlace mode?

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...