Banner of the Maid is a highly unique entry in the shoulder-to-shoulder “thin red line” of turn-based JRPGs available for Nintendo Switch. Its alternate take on the French Revolution provides a wonderful backdrop for some of the best strategic gameplay I’ve experienced since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Vive la France!
Although the narrative was lacking and required some knowledge of the French Revolution in order for players to be fully immersed in the game, Banner of the Maid presented such a thoughtful strategy RPG that I looked forward to every single battle. The characters and visuals were excellent, the girls were cute, the guys were handsome, and being able to play as a powerful female lead was a great experience. Despite the weak storytelling and lengthy drawn-out battles, Banner of the Maid proved to be an excellent challenge and remains a game I struggle to put down at night.
Banner of the Maid is rough around the edges but past the pacing and localisation issues, players will find an engaging and unique narrative, along with easy to pick up gameplay that offers plenty of room to tailor the challenge.
The developers have done what is needed to bring the game to the Nintendo Switch as a highly proficient port, though they’ve done nothing of substance to update what the original release offered. Aside from the localisation, it didn’t need any updating anyway, and even considering that terrible localisation Banner of the Maid is one of the most refined, enjoyable tactics JRPGs on the console. Also, Pauline really is an excellent protagonist, and she is just that pretty. I hope it’s not the last we see of her… now that this is on Switch, let’s get her into Smash Bros next. I might even start playing that game again if she was.
Normally, a strategy RPG with solid gameplay, an interesting story, beautiful art and a strong soundtrack is one I'd be recommending without question and I really wish I could give Banner of the Maid that recommendation. The awful translation just manages to seep down and poison every aspect of the game though, at least a little bit. If you just want to focus on the battles and that's enough for you in this sort of title, you may find a lot to like. With the genre quickly becoming crowded on the Switch, though, there are simply better options for you to spend your time and money on.
It's clear that the developers of Banner of the Maid have a lot of love for the historical French period they've adapted in this game. Unfortunately, the gorgeous character art and intricate story is hampered by a rough localization and awkward gameplay systems. The intriguing characters are hard to follow thanks to awkwardly translated dialogue, while the upgrade and faction mechanics of the game only serve to bloat the experience. Banner of the Maid has plenty of solid ideas, but only a few of them truly shine through.
SummaryBanner of the Maid is a Turn-Based Strategy Game set in the late 18th century to early 19th century, based on the alternative history of the French Revolution. At the end of 18th century, as the House of Bourbon was on the verge of clasping, Louis XVI of France planned to secretly escape from his country. Starting from the French Revolut...