Wizard of Legend Review: Now You See Me
Kalvin Martinez / Jun 21st, 2018 No Comments
It’s hard to explain what exactly makes a roguelite great, but you know it when you play one. Wizard of Legend hits the mark of a great roguelite.
Much of it comes from its fantastic, yet simple setup, but that alone isn’t enough. The gameplay is highly addictive and offers a ton of challenge and plenty of room for creativity.
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Wizard of Legend takes place in a future where wizard battles and the Chaos Trials are a thing of the past. The Museum of Lanova has been built in memory of the Lanovian Council and the fantastical and grueling trials they held. The people of the future who visit the museum can learn about the trials by looking at artifacts and discovering their history. Not only can they learn, they can try their hand at simulated spells to feel what it was like to be a wizard during the Chaos Trials.
The player takes on the role of a wizard fan showing up to the museum in a cloak. As you run through the museum learning about the wizards of the past, you get an opportunity to try out different spells and take part in a mock battle. When you reach the end of the museum, you discover something fantastical.
There exists a portal that beckons you to enter it. When you enter, you find yourself transported to an odd house with anthropomorphic furniture. Here you learn you’ve been invited to participate in the Chaos Trials like the ones depicted in the museum.
The story is bare bones but effective and whimsical. Its setup of being transported to Lanova and invited to participate in the Chaos Trial is a good hook. Further, the Chaos Trials themselves have a great structure where you fight members of the Lanovian Council, each a master of a particular element.
The best roguelites utilize a simple narrative background and intriguing premise to draw you into its gameplay. Wizard of Legend does a great job at this.
The Chaos Trials are a brutal gauntlet where you have to fight through challenge after challenge to assert your dominance. Before you can take on each of the three Council members, you have to fight through two large areas full of mobs and mid-bosses. This is easier said than done as you have to maintain your health through nine different stages, including Council boss fights.
While the Council member battles are fiercely contested, the mobs and mid-bosses are no slouches. In many ways, surviving the hordes of mobs is tougher than the boss fights because enemies hit hard and are hell bent on keeping you from progressing. It takes deft combat prowess, smart thinking and exemplary resource management to achieve ultimate victory.
Each leg of the trials is themed after the Council member you face at the end of it. In order to master the trials, you have to survive Earth, Fire and Ice.
Every time you attempt the Chaos Trials, it won’t be the same. From the order of Council members you have to face at the end of each leg to the enemies and shops you’ll find prior to battling the Council member, everything changes to keep you on your toes.
A wizard would be nothing without an arsenal of spells. In order to handle the challenges ahead of you, there is a wealth of spells from various elements with varying effects. Your combat deck includes dash, basic attack, and power and special attacks. These four attacks comprise your permanent combat arsenal, but they can be upgraded in a variety of ways as you play through the game. The most obvious way to improve your spells is by killing enemies to earn gold and spend the gold at shops you find as you explore each map.
Your deck starts off only with the spells you gained during your trip through the museum. All of the spells you find during the trials are temporary, only fleshing out your deck for that particular run. While you can’t rely on them for consistent combat prowess, spending gold on them during a run is important because it’ll expand your deck to six spells, making you a more fearsome foe.
The roguelite aspect of Wizard of Legend comes in the form of gems. This is a currency you gain slowly through your runs that you can spend back in town after you die. There, you can buy new spells to use permanently to increase your combat strength.
In addition to spells, you can help increase your odds of success by utilizing relics and cloaks. Much like spells, relics are limited when entering the trials. You can equip one prior to combat, but are able to buy or find as many as you’d like to give you the edge in battle (just be careful of cursed ones from shady dealers). As with spells, you can also buy new relics in town to change up your loadout how you see fit.
Cloaks can only be purchased in town prior to entering the trials. Buying new cloaks is worthwhile as they’ll immediately improve your defense, attack and other skills. Trying out different cloaks with various types of loadouts can help you find better success in the trials.
Once you’ve gotten your loadout selected, relic set and cloak chosen, it is time to get down to business. You’ll die a lot in your attempts to master the Chaos Trials, but if you’re persistent, you may claim the title of master.
Wizard of Legend delivers some top-notch roguelite action. Its gauntlet style setup forces you to be vigilant and puts all your skills to the test. The card-based spell combat opens up a world of creativity when it comes to completing the Chaos Trials.
Wizard of Legend was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the publisher.
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