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Found 5 results

  1. Jonathan Higgins

    Review: The Legend of Legacy

    Developer: FuRyu Publisher: ATLUS Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: October 13, 2015 ESRB: E10+ Official Website The Legend of Legacy has been on my radar since its initial announcement in Japan, due to its star-power. As I“ve mentioned many times before: this game“s development team mostly consists of folks formerly from Square-Enix and Level-5. Any decent amount of digging will lead to names most RPG fans know and love... like Chrono Trigger writer Masato Kato, for example. I had every reason in the world to be excited for this game, especially as one of the people who enjoyed the earlier SaGa games (titled in America as the “Final Fantasy Legend” series). I had hoped The Legend of Legacy, marketed as a spiritual successor to the SaGa franchise, would bring the series to the modern era and welcome newcomers in the same way that something like Bravely Default: Flying Fairy did last year. I“ll start by detailing the game“s story and presentation, since a lot of what I wrote during E3 2015 about the game still feels fresh in my mind. You“re given seven characters to choose from upon first starting your adventure. ATLUS have released outlining each character and their reasons for exploring the newly discovered island of Avalon. But, if you“re looking for a plot like Chrono Trigger, where character development takes priority, I“m afraid you“ll be disappointed. I“m not going to be so bold as to say the game“s plot is non-existent, but... I“d say it doesn“t shine in areas where most people attracted to the game would expect. Rather than focus on bonds between characters, there is a strong emphasis on the game“s world itself. Each major arc in the story comes with a few cryptic rhymes about god-people and the beings that created the world, and there are many more poems riddled everywhere you find magic spells in the game. I“m truly pressed to come up with reasons to experience the game as the other characters I didn“t choose, since there was so little dialogue between them in the forty hours I spent with the game. The visuals and soundtrack do a good job of carrying the premise I outlined earlier, making the game look and sound appealing to new and old RPG fans alike. As mentioned before, the game“s dungeons unfold before you as you chart the map. Environments genuinely felt diverse enough to keep my interest. You“ll explore areas that embody water, wind, fire and shadow. And there“s something to be said for the way the game“s music sometimes takes extra steps to enhance players“ immersion -- like not transitioning to the usual battle music when you“re in a high-pressure situation, and instead sticking with the music that“s already playing both during and outside of combat. If you“re willing to approach the plot differently than most RPGs and enjoy the idea of exploring lots of different environments, I“d say this experience might be something you“d enjoy. For all the ways the game“s presentation tries to modernize things and appeal to you, though: the gameplay of Legend of Legacy will only leave a small handful of people truly satisfied. FuRyu did very little to modernize traditional SaGa gameplay -- if anything, they made already brutal aspects of games from the past even worse. To start off on a positive note -- the game“s Formation system is intuitive, and mastering it will lead to less headaches during battles. To explain how this works: each character can assume the role of an attacker, defender, or supporter. Your defender will become capable of shielding allies from almost any attack very early on, allowing your supporter to heal and attacker to handle themselves properly. You can create your own Formation and mix and match the game“s full cast of seven to your liking to suit any combat situation. Most RPGs award combatants with experience points and feature a battle system that has characters level up to become stronger. The Legend of Legacy is exactly like the SaGa games, insofar as its battle system doesn“t work that way at all. Characters“ stats increase randomly. Theoretically, you could fight 10 different battles and not even be awarded money or items for your time spent. The game wants you to face stronger opponents -- thus increasing your chances of stat gains based on the weapons and attacks you use. Stats are also awarded based on the Formations your characters assume in battle. But again: character growth is random, which makes tracking your progress difficult. This method of developing party members also discourages the use of other playable characters who join your quest. This type of gameplay only appeals to a small niche of people who don“t mind an incredibly long grind, unless steps are taken to make the process more respectful of players“ time and efforts. Unfortunately, The Legend of Legacy takes steps to be even more difficult, rather than alleviate the grind. Anyone familiar with RPGs knows how to run away from battles. In The Legend of Legacy, if you run away from a battle because a foe is too strong for you, you“re sent back to the beginning of the entire dungeon you“re in. It doesn“t matter how far you“ve explored -- nope, back to the start. And all the foes you“ve killed along the way have regenerated, so you“ll need to fight them all again to proceed -- or avoid them. I“d be willing to let this aspect of the game go, because it lets you auto-save whenever you like to avoid being sent too far back for your liking. Goodness knows I“ve used the L+R+start soft reset feature of the game hundreds of times to reload my last quick-save. There are several areas in the game that have super-strong foes you“re obviously not capable of defeating during your initial exploration of the area. An example of one of these foes is a big, hulking bird seen in the game“s Roaring Valley area. Upon arrival, your character makes note, “That bird looks pretty formidable. We should avoid it.” Rather than appear as typical foes do on the map, these giant birds are shadows you have to avoid. If you happen to run into the shadow and initiate an encounter, you“re forced to either run away or die with dignity. I can“t explain how frustrating it is to be in the middle of exploring an area, trying to chart 100% of an area“s map, only to accidentally run into one of these formidable foes and be forced to restart. I could only slightly alleviate this by choosing to save after every single battle I ever fought, in case the game throws something else at me too difficult for my liking. It“s unwelcoming at best, and absolutely cumbersome at worst. The Legend of Legacy wants so badly to be a game built on exploration and world-building like Xenoblade Chronicles or the Golden Sun series. But the rewards for fully exploring an area aren“t worth it (you“re just given money, and more adventurers journey to the map so you“re able to be saved after dying instead of being sent back to the title screen), and the map-charting aspect of the game often feels like a tool that was just included to give you something to accomplish while grinding. I wanted this experience to feel welcoming and bring a gameplay style that makes me nostalgic to the modern era. The Legend of Legacy feels stuck in the past, though. If you“re a seasoned RPG veteran who thrives on grinding and doesn“t mind the very 1991 philosophy of facing immensely stronger foes gradually (until you“re stronger yourself) I“d say this game is worth looking into. I“m hesitant to recommend this experience to everyone, though. While it feels like some of the concepts presented here could be refined and modernized to create an experience that feels refreshing, I can only describe what I played as antiquated. Even with its awesome pedigree, it feels more stubborn and stratified in the past than fun for everyone. Pros + The pop-up visuals are charming and help make the game feel like an unfolding story + Appropriate polish has been given to music, environments, and enemies -- everything about how this game is presented feels modern. Cons - The gameplay is truly antiquated, and will probably turn away newcomers with its difficulty and pacing. - A game that markets itself on choosing from seven characters and experiencing its plot with multiple perspectives... has very little character development, and is focused more on the world at large. Overall Score: 6 (out of 10) Decent The Legend of Legacy has a fully fleshed out world to explore, but its difficulty will only appeal to grizzled RPG veterans. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable 3DS code provided by the publisher.
  2. There“s plenty to love in this week“s Nintendo Download. First and foremost is Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, coming to Nintendo 3DS tomorrow. Have you gotten the amiibo bundle yet? It“s still pretty widely available. You can also check out our impressions of the game from E3 2015, if you“re curious how it plays. Next up: the last of SEGA“s latest line of 3D Classics arrives in North America. You can play 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with visuals that take advantage of the Nintendo 3DS and exclusive features later today. And then there“s The Legend of Legacy from ATLUS, a game I“ve spoken at length about since its announcement before E3. The demo is available now, the game releases on October 13th, 2015 (so before the next Nintendo Download), and...we“ll have a review coming before this week is over! Next up: the Virtual Console and some deals. Pocky & Rocky with Becky from Natsume is coming to the Wii U Virtual Console later today. If you own Runbow on Wii U, you can save 30% off select Wii U and 3DS games. A list of titles this deal applies to will be available here in just a few hours. Little Inferno is 50% off until October 15th ($4.99 vs. $9.99). A pair of Cooking Mama games will be on sale from October 12th until October 19th. Retro City Rampage DX will be $4.99 until October 22nd. And if you“ve waited a while to get Devil Survivor: Overclocked, it“s going on sale for just $9.99 from October 12th through October 26th. That“s an absolute steal--totally worth it! Last but not least, SEGA and Chibi-Robo have a few new themes this week. There are themes for the SEGA Game Gear & SEGA Genesis, as well as “Chibi-Robo & Friends”. That about does it this week. Be sure to check out the Nintendo eShop when it updates at 9 AM PT, 12 PM ET for even more information and deals. Will you be grabbing Chibi-Robo, or any of the other titles available soon? Be sure to let us know!
  3. I“ve often dubbed The Legend of Legacy from ATLUS an equivalent of mixing peanut butter and chocolate. This game combines the talents of some of my all time favorite game developers, composer and writer. For more on that, and my personal experience with the game from E3 2015, check here. Needless to say, I“m super excited for the game“s October 13th release date. But if the anticipation is killing y“all as much as it is me, a free demo of the game is coming to the Nintendo eShop on September 22nd, 2015. The demo features the opening prologue of the game, as well as its first two dungeons. And what“s more, you“ll be able to transfer your save file from the demo to the full game upon its release! ATLUS took an in depth look at the game while I happened to be on vacation towards the end of August; if you missed that or want to learn more, . If you“d prefer a more bite-sized approach to gathering intel about the game, there are several character trailers released, including a brand new one from today“s demo announcement. I“ll embed them all below. Be sure to check out the official site for more! Are you excited for The Legend of Legacy? Do you have any experience with the SaGa games its developers are known for? Be sure to let us know!