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The Legend of Legacy Review: New Trick

/ Nov 20th, 2015 No Comments

The Legend of Legacy

Freedom in games isn’t always easy to come by. Japanese RPGs specifically are notorious for their linearity, limiting players’ freedom as a result. The Legend of Legacy is a unique JRPG because it gives a good deal of freedom to the player. The narrative and gameplay are, for the most part, open to player choice. It is one of the game’s biggest strengths, but also has some drawbacks.

Off to Adventure

Avalon is a place that draws its fair share of adventurers. There are legends of great power residing somewhere on the island. Many have attempted to uncover the mysteries of the elementals, or tried to find the fabled Star Graal, but have failed due to lack of fortitude and will. While there are plenty of amazing things to discover, the unforgiving terrain and dangerous monsters are waiting to push back the weak of heart. Avalon houses many secrets, but only the strong will learn what ancient power resides here.
 

The Legend of Legacy

Sometimes your party will caution you against aggressive folly.

The Legend of Legacy’s story is all about freedom. Players have the freedom to choose their protagonist from seven available adventurers, including the loveable frog prince Filmia. The protagonist you choose will determine the companions you start with (you have the ability to recruit new companions during the game and choose your party as you desire), and your choice will also determine the perspective on the story.

Each protagonist has their own goals and outlooks, giving a different lens to the game’s story. Filmia for instance is looking to help his people by finding the secrets of Avalon, and his journey is attempting to accomplish that goal. The different protagonists aid in the freedom of the game, but also give it a wealth of replayability.
 

The Legend of Legacy

Filmia is the real MVP.

The game begins with slight prodding by the King of Adventurers to go out and explore a certain area, which is where you first encounter the elementals. After that small request, Avalon is yours to explore. While the non-linear approach is refreshing for the JRPG genre, at times the story feels a bit formless. It is easy to get lost exploring different areas without paying much attention to the little story details you discover.

Form Up and Explore

Narrative isn’t the only area where The Legend of Legacy tries to play with the JRPG conventions; its gameplay mechanics also have some fun twists. Combat is still a familiar turn-based affair, but what gives a new dimensions and depth is the game’s formations and leveling system. During the game, you discover different formations for combat. Formations allow for party members with certain high skill specialties to take point in battle.
 

The Legend of Legacy

The Legend of Legacy has some cool battle mechanics.

The different stances provide the ability to tackle battles in new ways. The standard all-out attack is a formation focusing each party member on inflicting damage on the enemy. While, they still can perform different actions, this formation is about offense. Other stances can shift a party’s makeup, like one allowing a defense specialist to take the brunt of damage up front or another allowing a support member to aid the other members in battle more effective. Players can also create their own formations to favor their play style.

Instead of an experience system where you fight enemies, gain experience and level up, your party levels up specific attributes through combat. Certain base stats like attack and speed level up naturally through combat, while abilities level up through use. The more you use a specific ability in battle, the stronger it gets, but more abilities unlock as you level up abilities as well. The experience system adds a level of mystery to combat, which makes the rewards for fighting much more intriguing.
 

The Legend of Legacy

The experience and leveling system is a refreshing change of pace.

Another cool mechanic in the game is the light cartography element. As you explore parts of Avalon, you start filling out a map and get a level of completion. Fully exploring an area fills it out completely on the touchscreen, making it easier to revisit an area. There is a huge benefit to extensive exploration of Avalon’s many locations because a fully explored map can be sold for monetary gain to merchants. Players can sell each map only once, even if it isn’t 100% completed. It is in players’ best interest to hold onto maps until they can properly explore everything it has to offer.

Overall

The Legend of Legacy has enough novel twists on the JRPG genre to make it worth of any fan’s time. Its non-linear approach to story is refreshing given how ridged the structure can be in genre contemporaries, but the freedom has its own drawbacks. Some of the combat mechanics in play make its relatively old school approach not feel dated.

The Legend of Legacy feels like one of those hidden gem JRPGs that people fondly recommend to other 3DS owners looking for a good example of the genre.

 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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THE LEGEND OF LEGACY REVIEW: NEW TRICK

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall83%

GAMEPLAY8.5

The Legend of Legacy offers a fun spin on the JRPG genre with its clever take on leveling up and combat.

GRAPHICS8.5

The game’s cute chibi art style immediately draws you in and the gorgeous pop-up environments keep your attention.

REPLAYABILITY9

The Legend of Legacy offers a wealth of replayability with the ability to get a fresh perspective on the game by playing as one of the seven characters in a new game.

STORY7.5

While the non-linearity and freedom are refreshing and novel for the genre, the story becomes a bit formless at times.

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