Review by GospelEXE33
A JRPG that relies on RNG to win
Over the past month or so, I have been slowly working on Legend of Legacy before deciding to willingly sell the launch edition box with the game over to someone else who may want this. As a gamer, I feel that if I buy a game, I should at least put in a good amount of effort to try to beat it to the best of my ability. Today, I provide you with my review and experience on this Atlus title that does not seem to get much praise, but for a good reason.
Story – 4/10
The story for this is basically nonexistent in my eyes. Each character has their own background story, but in the end, we are just adventurers exploring. I only got a decent glimpse of the story in the middle of the game when the characters start talking about “false gods” taking over the elements. Honestly, you’re better off Googling a synopsis of the story.
Gameplay – 6/10
Legend of Legacy introduces you to three characters in the beginning, one character that you choose in the beginning, and two other companions to accompany that protagonist in their adventure. Playing as these adventures provides you with the request to fill out maps for areas, which can be sold to a merchant for some money. Completing these maps or certain conditions on the fields will unlock more maps for you to go through. Battle engagement is not random encounter, but are based on touching the enemy on the field, although these are randomly generated.
This game does a good job on not holding your hand whatsoever. You are given three stance types at the beginning of the game: Attack, Guard, and Support (speed). You can build formations in the style similarly to Final Fantasy XIII’s paradigm system, but rather than this being RTA, this is turn-based. During the game, you will encounter “Singing Stones” which are used to make “contracts” to the element of that singing stone, or in other words, you gain control of the element on the field, which does various effects, such as lowers attack or defense, regenerates HP/SP, and more. Unfortunately, the game provides you with no explanation whatsoever on what each of these elements do exactly, but you are able to see how many of each element there is on the battlefield and which element is in favor. Certain enemies in the game also have the power to bring the elemental advantage over to their side, which can be annoying for some bosses and battles healing hundreds of HP.
As this is a JRPG, there is bound to be some sort of growth system for these characters. There are not necessarily levels for these characters like your typical JPG, but rather there are stat growths randomly, similarly to Final Fantasy II. Unlike FF2, your course of actions do not exactly determine what kind of stat growths you gain. I have had an instance where a character did not even attack, yet somehow they gain HP by doing nothing. Makes sense, right?
The stances noted above not only tied to your base stats, but also tied to the skills that you learn. For instance, you have a basic slashing skill that you use on your Attack Stance. Every time you use that skill, you have a chance of leveling up that stat for that skill. As for learning skills, these are also purely random. When using an existing skill, you also have a chance to learn a new skill at the cost of no SP (some skills cost no SP to begin with, but some of these cost at least something). In response to that, the skill that was just learned will also be used that turn, which may be in your favor, or may get you killed. Oh, you want to use Healing Water to revive a party member? Guess what, you get to learn Purify, a skill that restores poison! Shamefully, you are still dead...
Making a note of healing and getting knocked out in the game, once a party member's HP reaches 0, they are knocked out, which is very standard for any JRPG. However, you are able to revive party members not with revival-specified items like your traditional Phoenix Down, but with simple healing. When entering your KO phase, you also lose some of your Max HP, along with any other hit that you take while you are knocked out (yes, enemies can still target you when you are KOed.) Visiting the Inn inside of Initium can restore your Max HP and SP, but there are certain items, albeit rare, that can also restore your Max HP. After completing each battle, your current HP is fully restored to your current Max HP.
This game also has a port/ship system, in which you use money in order to send a ship out for supplies. After a few real time hours, the ship will return with some items, weapons, armor, and accessories that may very well help you in battle, especially very early in the morning, or to just make a profit from the items you obtained minus the money you spent on the ship.
Graphics – 6/10
The graphics are not spectacular. They are similar to Bravely Default, but there are were no special effects that really blew me away in this game, and not just because this was on the 3DS. There wasn’t anything too stunning about them.
Sound – 6/10
Nothing too memorable besides the repeated battle music stuck with me on this either. In fact, that was the music that you would hear for the first half of the game, in which the music would change, but was less noticeable and upbeat than the previous battle theme.
Overall – 5/10
Upon beating the game with my main character, Garnet, I was able to view an ending cutscene for that specified character. You are able to beat the game with seven characters, and completing an eighth playthrough of this horrendous game will view yet another hidden cutscene, which is far out of my reach, especially considering one playthrough took me 21 in game hours to beat, as well as probably another 3-4 or so just saving over and over to ensure that I don’t die and restart battles over and over again.
In a way, this game is very forgiving in which you can restart boss battles if you fail them. However, if you run into a party of enemies in which you have no idea what you are doing and you die, you instantly get a game over. Didn’t save? Too bad. Fortunately, this is remedied with the Quick Save option, which can resume your progress from the Continue option in the main menu. Using this option also does not bring you to the main menu, and you can resume your progress from there. However, having to feel like that I need to save every time I get some good skills learned, increased my max HP by a significant amount, or just completely feeling unsafe in the world of Avalon kind of takes the fun out of this.
As a person who enjoys grinding games, this one was taken to another level. For me, this was, in fact, very random, perhaps TOO random. Sure, I enjoyed those battles where I would improve my skills a lot, or learn two or three skills from a tough battle. When I am working hard on a battle and I get absolutely nothing? No money, no items, no improvement? The process feels very unrewarding at times.
Legend of Legacy was certainly a unique experience for me, but not something that I would return to you. This game by any means is not easy, unless you start to learn a bunch of skills that attack all enemies, then it will be easier for a while. There were battles, including the final battle where I had to play extremely defensively in order to simply have a chance at surviving. If you love a JRPG that just simply relies on a lot of RNG, this may be a game that you will enjoy. Other than that, you are not missing much.
Product Release: The Legend of Legacy (Launch Edition) (US, 10/13/15)
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