Sega has always made great strategy/tactical role-playing games and were at the top of their game during the 1990s. On systems like the Sega CD and Saturn, Sega just couldn't be touched; they had their own unique titles that were completely different from all the other RPGs on the market and always fun to play. I recently acquired a copy of the little known game, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, without knowing much about it. The game is set in medieval times and I'm happy to say it continues the fine Sega tradition of quality strategic role-playing games.
The game will need to be imported and finding a converter cartridge will be a challenge. And since the game is mostly in Japanese (with only some English here and there) you will need to rely on the menu selections ... learn them! Thankfully the game is fairly straightforward and the menus aren't that difficult to use/remember.
Most of what you see in the game is on par with other games of the genre and time period. The battlefields are split into squares with movement highlights and terrain features. When you enter a one-on-one battle the screen changes to a cinematic view showing the combatants taking swipes at each other (you can turn this off for instant results). Add in plenty of great looking animated cut-scenes in between battles to tell the story (in Japanese!) and you get the idea of what the game is like. Characters include pikemen, cavalry, knights, archers, and elephant riders. The only complaint I have is I wish there was more character variety in the game.
You're given one or more characters to control in each battle. Since I can't read Japanese, I can only assume the ally that you can't directly control is an important character whom needs to be protected. Even so, you can give basic commands to her like advance, attack, retreat, and defend. Your controllable characters can be strategically moved (the terrain has defense attributes) and told who they should attack. If your ally dies you'll have to start the battle over.
The music, like the character types, is lacking in variety but what's there is of good quality. The sound effects are fine in terms of variety and sound fine as well. You'll hear swords clashing, weapons blocking, and horses walking/running, among other sounds.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan is an easy game to get into and requires a great deal of strategy, The language barrier does drag the fun down and complicate things a bit (especially after one play through.) If you love this genre though then you should definitely give this game a go.