SaGa Emerald Beyond – How Does it Perform?

    The Emerald Wave can be crystal clear and smooth or.... blurry and choppy?

    SaGa Emerald Beyond is the newest entry in the SaGa series and it’s pretty dang good. Fans of the franchise lucked out this time, as this brand-spanking new mainline entry is on a plethora of platforms. Not to mention a simultaneous global launch! You can play this fantastic game on your choice of several platforms but how do they run the game? Read our SaGa Emerald Beyond Performance Guide to help you decide which version of the game is for you!

    SaGa Emerald Beyond Nintendo Switch Performance

    SaGa Emerald Beyond was announced at a Nintendo Direct, so I figure this is the target platform. It’s not shocking, especially due to the series’ history with Nintendo and Japan’s love for the series. The game appears to be 720p and targets 30fps. These specs are standard for the Switch. I can get over the low resolution, but I’m a little disappointed that the game doesn’t even lock 30 fps. The dips aren’t egregious, but there are some overworld stutters and there are drops in battle when certain effects pop up or when the camera angle changes. Switch is also the platform with the longest load times.

    You’ll commonly see load times ranging from 10 to even nearly 30 seconds. For loading a save file or booting the game, these aren’t awful times for the Switch. These loads start to wear out their welcome when you load into a battle scene. First, you load the preparations (with your characters and battle arena already loaded in). Then you sit through another load screen for the actual battle. I’m slightly miffed at having two loads just to start a battle, but it’s not too bad.

     Something I noticed about the Switch version is that in the options it has a ‘Battery Mode’. I couldn’t quite figure out what it did, even after testing it a bit. What I assume it does is turn some settings down to help conserve battery power. Not a bad feature!

    The Nintendo Switch version is portable, yes, but it comes with the typical sacrifices of the platform. Buuuuuut, you know what it means when a game targets Switch as its primary platform, right?

    SaGa Emerald Beyond PlayStation 4/5 Performance

    Yep! That means that the ports on stronger hardware are typically better in terms of performance and graphics! PlayStation is working with 2 SKUs, one for PS4 and one for PS5. It’s pretty simple in terms of upgrades, but beyond worthwhile. On base PS4 you’ll (sadly) find it to be 30fps like the Switch. However, the PS4 locks that target of 30fps. I’d also be hard-pressed to complain about the 1080p output and the faster-than-the-Switch loading. The nearly 30-second boots and 15-second battle loads are slashed in half. I can’t quite tell, but I believe the PS4 Pro version is higher than 1080p.

    Take the following with a grain of salt, but it wouldn’t shock me that they aimed for a higher res as Crisis Core Reunion prioritized 4k visuals with no options for a higher framerate. I don’t have the pixel counting capabilities Digital Foundry does, unfortunately, plus these visuals are really well crafted and scale super well (read further for more info).

    PS5 is the king of the console versions (as to be expected). It boasts a rock-solid 60fps, higher-quality visuals, 4K resolution, and shaves a few more seconds off of the PS4 version’s load times. There is one minor flaw; despite the high-resolution visuals the actual menus and similar screen elements appear to be authored at 1080p. What this means is that those with keener eyes could see this discrepancy.

    If you only have a PS4, you’ll still get a good game with solid performance, especially compared to Switch. Meanwhile, if you can snag a copy for PS5, you’ll get the prettiest and most performant console version. The only thing that baffles me about the PS5 is the lack of 120hz support. You can not convince me that it couldn’t handle it, and you’ll know why in the next section. 

    SaGa Emerald Beyond PC Performance

    PC, PC, PC. It has several graphical options that allow users to fully customize their experience. You can select resolution, framerate, texture quality, and more. That’s pretty standard. Depending on your hardware, you can exceed the PS5 or get as low as the Switch’s graphics profile. I doubt anyone who wants to play this game on a PC will have a PC that’s weaker than a Switch. And if they do… my condolences.

    I immediately cranked all the options to the highest they could go. I managed to get the game running on high settings at 2k, 60-90+ fps. And here’s the real kicker: while most of my components are PS5 level (like my CPU and SSD), my graphics card is a 1050ti… Even my old, crusty PS4 Pro strength (on a good day) card can manage THAT—no way the PS5 couldn’t do better.

    I do have a few general things to say, some that the PC version even helped me realize. I did a test to see how the game looked on low settings at 720p 30fps, like the Switch. What shocked me was how well the art style held up even at a lower spec. While super crisp and smooth games are wonderful, I don’t think anyone playing with lower settings will have much to complain about unless their system is just running it horribly.

    Concluding Remarks

    Fiddling with the PC graphics options led me to realize that this game’s art design is truly top-notch. At the same time, the game does look really nice on a PS5 or maxed-out on a PC, but it also holds up visually on a Switch or lower settings. 

    Every port has its plus-sides. The version I recommend the most is probably the PC version. The game isn’t super demanding at all, so just about anyone with an average PC or laptop can easily run the game at high frame rates with good graphics settings. I primarily played on PS5, and that’s an excellent version as well. The Switch version is neat, but it leaves a lot to be desired. If Switch is your preferred console, then go ahead and bite the bullet. The game is good, and there are way worse Switch ports than this. 

    Payne Grist
    Payne Grist
    Payne is a huge fan of JRPGs. SQUARE ENIX owns his heart, especially their 'FINAL FANTASY' series. He is currently studying various mediums of art and Japanese.

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