Written by Pete Gallagher.
In its twilight years, the 3DS is becoming the home to many a JRPG. With plenty of good ones to choose from out there already, is there a compelling reason to pick up this one? That depends entirely on what you like to play JRPGs for.
If you like a deep and intriguing story then Legend of Legacy is not really for you. The set up is interesting – a mysterious continent known only as Avalon has appeared – shrouded in mystery it has attracted many adventurers, some of whom are looking for answers and some are drawn by the lure of treasure, riches and glory. The story is minimal but there’s a great magical and mysterious atmosphere.
From the start you are given the chance to play as one of seven different characters and the story is different depending on who you pick, which I liked as it gave the option of trying out every character’s story to see how it pans out. Unfortunately the characters are rather flat and are the stock and trade ones you normally get in this genre – nothing new here.
Straight away we’re on familiar ground and this game never strays. It’s familiar but fun though – I liked the animation style and how it incorporated exploration and made it a worthwhile goal. In each area you explore the map as you go. Each map you complete can be sold for cash but can only be sold once and is worth a lot more when fully completed. This not only establishes a fun sense of discovery but means that you spend a fair amount of time trying to explore every nook and cranny of an area – something I liked a lot.
This is definitely a game for grinders – you have to do a fair bit of leveling up for your party to progress. Early on, I found myself staring at the game over screen more than a few times. The difficulty does give you a good sense of achievement, but I found I was playing more to further my characters skill set than find out about the story.
There’s not much hand holding, allowing you to explore the island at your leisure. The game’s fight system is initially simple but greatly develops as you play. Battles are a three character set up where you can swap to different fight formations as the encounter goes on. Characters don’t level up but skills do – it gives you a little buzz each time you find out that a move has been upgraded – and it’s one of the key things that kept me playing.
The game also allows you to use elemental magic by making connections to various elements. These can be summoned at will on the battle field but here’s the rub – the bad guys can summon them too and occasionally thwart your efforts in spell casting.
I liked the option of different formations and being able to create your own allows for good customisation. However, I didn’t like the magic system – where you have to connect with an element before using a spell. It treats magic as this amazing thing as if games of this kind haven’t been doing spells for ages. Call me crazy but when I cast a spell on a turn I want to know that it will work 100% of the time. I know that you could argue it adds an extra challenge but it was one that quite honestly I could have done without.
Also, I wasn’t a fan of only a character’s skills leveling up – I would rather know what level a character is on as a guide, rather than have to remember lots of stats. The leveling up, while interesting, didn’t seem consistent either. Initially I thought it was based on what skills I’d used but then sometimes I’d level up I hadn’t been using, leaving me a bit clueless as to what it was all about.
Overall this is a grindy JPRG with a cute style that will appeal to those looking for those kinds of games. If that’s your bag then chances are you are going to like Legend Of Legacy, if not there are already plenty of others out there to choose from that will satisfy your need for a compelling story and great gameplay.
Written by Pete Gallagher