Two of my favorite games of all time, for various reasons, are Final Fantasy Legend 3 — otherwise known as SaGa 3 — and Chrono Trigger. The Legend of Legacy, recently announced for the West courtesy of ATLUS, combines the talent of Masato Kato (Chrono Trigger“s writer) with the developers and composer of the SaGa games. That“s my equivalent of peanut butter and chocolate. I was more than a little excited when the localization was confirmed, and I almost jumped for joy when I saw it on the show floor.
I sat down with the game for about twenty-five minutes and, thankfully, I got to play from the beginning instead of being thrown in the middle somewhere. The game introduces you to combat and immediately stresses the importance of battle formations. Unlike most RPGs I“ve come across lately, Legend of Legacy has actual mechanics in place depending on what formation you choose.
At the beginning, I could only see two: one that puts characters in a defensive stance, and one that has them all attack like normal. But apparently these formations are so versatile that you will eventually be able to create your own that adjust various battle mechanics to your liking.
Other than that, it plays like most traditional turn-based RPGs, with a few twists. You can attack and use skills, but pressing the d-pad right or left allows you to switch the weapon you“re using on a turn-by-turn basis. Want to smack an enemy with your bare hands? You can do so! Want to switch between your gigantic sword or the other blade you found wandering the map? You“re free to do that too. I could see certain weapons being advantageous over others — like not being stuck with a fire-based weapon against an enemy that“s strong against fire — because you can switch, and that's refreshing to me.
Your HP restores after each battle, so there“s no stress and you can grind easily and efficiently. Combat felt very fluid and entertaining, overall. I feel like once I learn more about Formations and how battles can be manipulated to suit your preferences, I“ll have a better grasp on what makes this concept so unique. But for now, it certainly has potential to be something special.
In Legend of Legacy, you...quite literally, create the map as you move, similar to how Bastion did it. The bottom screen is devoted to cartography — you can get a rare item or skill for completing 100% of a map. Battles are not random. Enemies are persistent about pursuing you. The boss I faced was very difficult, but I managed to survive in the end. And hey, what little I saw of the plot (I didn“t want to spoil myself, so I skipped major scenes) seemed entertaining. This is definitely a game you should look out for.
Once again, The Legend of Legacy is coming to North America this Fall, courtesy of ATLUS. You can check out the official website for more information.