The Legend of Legacy piqued my interest when I heard that the team behind the game (Furyu) was billing the title as a spiritual sequel to the SaGa series of games, a series of RPGs that I played many moons ago. Did I enjoy them? Hard to tell since I was quite young when I played them but the name always stuck with me over the years. I was excited to start this long RPG trip and ready to see if the game will live up to its ‘Legacy’ namesake. Well, does it? One way to find out…
Story seems to be an important aspect for a lot of JRPG fans and if your looking for the next big JRPG storyline within The Legend of Legacy, you might as well stop looking because the game isn’t delivering in that front. The game will allow you to choose seven characters, each person having their own reason for being there and their own gameplay specialty. The first time I played the game, I tried to start off with Owen who is a typical mercenary type character, who got a job to take down false gods from a village and then I restarted the game to try ‘frog prince’ Filmia, who at the start of the game wakes up to find out his kingdom has been lost. Obviously the point of his adventure is to find out what happen to his kingdom.
This might make a lot of people want to try every single main character, but don’t worry you meet them all in the main game anyway. Right when you start your adventure you are given two of the main characters you didn’t select as sidekicks and when you get into town you will be able to recruit them all anyway. I only played with the starting three characters because I don’t see the point of grinding to level up new characters you recruit in town.
The issue is that character growth for each of these characters’ “storylines” is virtually non-existent and when you do get a few bits of information regarding your characters story its not the most cleverly written parts of the game. Actually scratch that, I would say nothing in this game is cleverly written. When you have a long form RPG game like this, you have plenty of time to tell a characters’ story. I’m one of those folks that like their games to get to the point and while this game does get to the point, it should also have the meat in character development. There has to be a balance and this game doesn’t do that in my opinion.
But what about the gameplay? The game has everything you’d expect from a JRPG. Town that is a hub for selling, buying, Inns, and of course recruiting new members of your party. In this town you will also be able to speak to people that give you explanations of the games mysterious land, a king that is encouraging the strong to go out and explore the untamed land and a few other stops that aren’t very important. Once you get your missions you can leave the town hub, which will take you to a map that allows you select your destination. Each section will start you off with a unexplored map, once you explore it, it will fill up and when you get 100% completion on the map you can sell it in town. Each map is filled with things you would expect from ‘dungeons’ in any JRPG including enemies, treasure chests and more. I do adore the art style in this game, especially when you run around these unexplored maps since trees and other objects pop out like a pop-up book. Very clever.
This game has monsters appear on the map, allowing you to run away from them and them chase you (think Grandia or Chrono Trigger). If you get into a fight it will be old school turn-based combat. The direction of the camera angles is dynamic and it looks great while fighting with its water painting inspired backgrounds. The battles in this game are short and dangerous, with one wrong move ending your game. When you start a battle you can choose your formation which the game already has a few pre-made including Protector, All Attack and Run Away. You can store up to 6 pre-made formations, but since we know what All Attack and Run Away does for the most part lets talk about Protector. This stance is important as it assigns one of your character to block for your other two characters, so if the bad guy attacks your healer, your blocking character will jump in and take the blunt of the damage. Formations and character’s stances are keys to winning battles.
If you choose to run away you are guaranteed escape from a battle, which will make you go all the way back to the last entrance of the dungeon you are on and lower your character’s HP from its maximum. If you barely survive battles, don’t worry because your health is replenished after the battle, which is a good thing in my opinion. The game uses ‘elemental energy’ as magic that uses up SP, something you should maintain a close eye on during combat because it really does drain fast. Elemental energy, like the name implies is basically magic that uses a elemental source, for example wind or water. The issue is that you can only use those powers to its full effect in a place where that elemental energy is strong, making the location of your battles more interesting.
While the aspects of the battle system is great, other tiny details sort of drag it a few points down. For example the game never tells you the order of attacks in battle, which in my opinion is important in JRPGs especially this one were one wrong move can kill your whole party. Its nice to know when all three opposing enemies are going to take their turns and when your characters take their turns.
The leveling up in this game is pretty simplistic, for example if you have a character blocking all the attacks it will level up his blocking skills automatically and add new ‘blocking moves’, same if you have a character using a sword or spear. It totally reminds me of The Elder Scrolls leveling system sort of works out, meaning there is no skill tree or menu full of skill points. It automatically levels up based on the character’s style of combat. Some will find this good and others will find it cheap. I personally like it since I don’t like messing around with menus much.
The progression takes a bit to get used to, for example once you explore a section there will be multiple paths out of the map, if you go north you will unlock a new region and if you go to the west you will unlock a totally different region. The issue here is if you go someplace that you aren’t suppose to go at your current level, you will be having a hard time with the enemies. This used to be a ‘feature’ in older JRPGs back in the day but now strive for more linear progression. Something to keep in mind if you decide to play the game.
The Legend of Legacy might not have the most in-depth storyline of any JRPG, but what it does it does well. Its combat feels dangerous and planning your battles is satisfying. There are minor issues in combat like them not giving you what attack order everyone is attacking (seriously, I lost some battles due to this). The game does have quite a bit of nicely detailed environments for you to explore and a pretty long campaign that will eat at your Nitnendo 3DS’ battery as you try to clear sections to sell off your maps.
The combat is challenging but does get repetitive and the game has quite a lot of areas to explore but offers little to do outside of combat and other ty pical JRPG things. While this game will appeal to die-hard JRPG fans, to most people it won’t be more than an average game into an already oversaturated genre.
- Lots to explore
- Great art style
- Little to no story
- Shallow characters