Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix
Top Critic Average
If it were a launch title, we'd recommend tactics fans investigate Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix, at least until something better came along, but something better did come along – several things, in fact. If you're an insatiable tactics fiend who's munched through everything else, including the previous collection, this is stodgy, competent filler that should keep you going for a while; it's a supermarket meal deal or a plate of cocktail sausages. It's no-frills and fine, but with a veritable buffet of tasty, interesting alternatives, who wants a sausage on a stick? Perfunctory, cliched writing and a lack of niceties make it a tougher sell when there are literally hundreds of hours to be had elsewhere.
Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix cannot be criticised for what it's not and it's certainly not a bad game - it's artwork is pleasant enough for the eyes and all the game mechanics work. The problem is, it doesn't do anything to rise above the mere threshold of functionality and it sticks to generic and worn out formulas for its plot and dialogues, it's riddled with clichés all over and the gameplay just feels shallow and unrewarding.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
The fourth entry to the Mercenaries series just doesn't do enough to make it stand out from the SRPG crowd.
Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix is good, but it falls short of being great. Still, it's a perfectly serviceable title sure to scratch the itch for those waiting for another Final Fantasy Tactics.
It just requires some polish to go from good to great. Its easy mode is perfect for those looking to enjoy the story or use it to get into strategy RPGs and the “normal” mode is great for anyone looking for a serious challenge. So, I'd recommend at the very least consider giving it a go if strategy RPGs are right up your ally.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix. When you're in the mood for a tactics JRPG, but not necessarily concerned with narrative, then this no-frills approach to the genre will scratch the itch.
Because Chronicles was so mediocre and Mercenaries Wings is literally the same exact game, from its graphics and individual character abilities to the 99% broken and useless magic items and synth shop, it is hard to recommend unless you are just the biggest fanboy of the series or you just can’t get enough tactical RPGs in your life. But I can’t very well give it a harsh verdict either because it is still, in fact, a fully functional game. A mediocre game in the most genuine sense, but functional nonetheless. Mercenaries Wings could prove to be a decent filler piece in your strategy RPG slot if you are on a budget, but you’re better off picking up Chronicles first if a choice has to be made between the two.
Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix is a fun, tactical game that is ultimately let down by its stereotypical, plain characters and a dull storyline. Fans who appreciate strategy should give it a try, but shouldn’t get their hopes up for anything beyond the game being ‘good’.
Simply put, Mercenaries Wings is strategy RPG comfort food for any RPGamers hungry for a fix.