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Let’s Talk About Banner of the Maid!

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Banner of the Maid is a Chinese SRPG that takes place during the French Revolution and it’s great. Here’s what I think of it so far.

I love it when Chinese games are localized in my language. I don’t have to go through the pain of finding a translation or saying, “fuck it” and playing them in Chinese. Banner of the Maid is one of the best games I’ve played this year and I thought it would be a good idea to share what I think of it with you today.

Banner of the Maid is a Chinese game that takes place during the French Revolution in an alternate timeline. It has excellent music, gameplay, level up system, and so much more. It’s basically a Chinese Final Fantasy Tactics that tells a decent story that takes place in France. The real highlight here is the gameplay. It’s absolutely fantastic and kept me interested in the game the entire time I played. That’s not a knock against the story though. I enjoyed that too. The characters are interesting and unlike Fire Emblem, they all play a good role in the story being told.

This game, like Fire Emblem, is laid out in chapters. It’s not an on-rails experience like the older Fire Emblems game were though. In between chapters you can restock on supplies, complete side quests to earn reputation with one of 5 factions. Earning reputation is the only way to unlock new items in the various different shops around town. So if you want to unlock stronger weapons for use in battle you’ll need to raise your reputation with the Jacobins faction. You can do this by completing side quest for them or favoring them in story dialogue. I wish I would’ve favored them sooner than I did because I went a long stretch of the game without good weapons and I struggled because of it.

On the other hand, if you want better accessories to wear you’ll need to upgrade your relationship with the royal family. It’s a balancing act and it’s one I really enjoyed. In battle is where things get really good. You’ve got your ranged canon units, melee calvary (Hussard), Dragoons (basically knights on horseback), etc. Every unit excels against a particular unit and is weak against it. Think of the weapon triangle from Fire Emblem and you’ll have a good idea of what I mean here.

For example, Hussards are strong against ground-based units, but weak against Dragoons. They would take double the damage and face being wiped out if you had them charge a dragoon unit, but other units would fare much better against them. Ranged units are excellent from a distance but struggle up close like the archers from Fire Emblem. You don’ have to worry about trying to memorize what every unit is weak or strong against because the game will flat out tell you if a unit you’re using is at an advantage or disadvantage in battle. Meaning don’t attack if you’re at a disadvantage unless you absolutely have to.

After your units reach level 15 you’ll be able to advance them to a higher rank. They’ll get stat bonuses, similar to Fire Emblem, and be rewarded with new troops to lead into battle since they don’t actually fight themselves.

Banner of the Maid is a great game. I’m not sure where I would place it in my best games of the year, but I know it’ll be pretty high on the list. It’s a great game that I’m glad was localized here. I hope the localizations for Chinese games continue to happen on Steam. I’ll keep buying them all.

What do you think of Banner of the Maid? Have you ever played it? Is it something you think you would enjoy? You can let me know here, Twitter, or Facebook.

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