The Legend of Legacy – Review
Follow Genre: JRPG
Developer: Furyu and Grezzo
Publisher: Atlus (NA) / NIS America (EU)
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Tested on: Nintendo 3DS

The Legend of Legacy – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Amazing battle mechanics and general gameplay
Bad: Little character interaction and vague story
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Most people say they play JRPGs for their great stories or graphics. However, every so often titles appear that would rather focus on offering challenging gameplay, and therefore adding bits of story as extra flavouring rather than the raison d’ĂȘtre. The Legend of Legacy is clearly one of them. Set on the island of Avalon, the player is simply given the option to explore. Which battles you fight first and what places to investigate is completely up to you.

Legend of Legacy Logo

Story

The Legend of Legacy is set on a mysteriously emerged island named after the land of the gods of old: Avalon. With the elementals flocking to the massive drifting rock and more and more people buying into the idea that this place really is the fabled Avalon, adventurers from all over the world set sail to this mysterious place. We guess a legend of a possible legacy left by deities is enough to bring out the travelling bug in people.

While the game offers an explanation for your chosen hero to decide to investigate Avalon, the plot itself thins out then and there. From that point on, the player is charged with the task to make up their own goals as they explore more of the land. This isn’t actually all that bad, as it actually makes you take closer notice of the whispers of the elemental stones and even the description of various items. Newly unlocked locations are mysterious enough for you to want to turn every leaf (and touch any ancient contraption) just for the sake of science. In short, The Legend of Legacy actually has a very rich lore and fascinating, yet difficult to follow, background story for those willing to dig deeper.

Legend of Legacy rev 1

What is bad however, is that the seven playable characters, with the exception of your personal starter trio, seemingly band together without a reason to do so. This wouldn’t have annoyed us that much had it not been for one thing: the near lack of meaningful conversations. The Legend of Legacy tosses around pieces of a mystical rhyme as if every player is going to meticulously note them down, but actually getting to know your team is clearly too much to ask. It’s a pity, as the game does attempt some back-and-forth during certain points, though it is just never deep enough.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are, as expected, pretty sweet. Character models made us think of both Persona Q and Bravely Default, giving them all a cute teensy look despite the fact most are well into their twenties. Furthermore, The Legend of Legacy showcases some of the best enemy designs we’ve seen in a long time, with our favourite being the griffin-like Archwings. The only part we’re not a fan of, is the eerily empty Inn. Ah well, can’t have everything.

Legend of Legacy rev 2

Sound

The background music offered in The Legend of Legacy are well-crafted jewels sporting highly recognisable melodies. Furthermore, they are easy on the ears. Now, this isn’t without importance, especially when you know the game doesn’t feature that many tracks and you’ll be listening to the same battle tune over and over for most of the game.

Gameplay

The Legend of Legacy is an atypical JRPG for the 3DS that is all about exploration and strategic team management. We’re going to be frank here- though The Legend of Legacy might have a story that would disappear should you sneeze at it, the game holds itself due to its amazingly versatile and highly addictive gameplay.

The mysterious land of Avalon mostly consists of uncharted territory. A lot of merchants and other non-fighter types have set sail to the place, yet are all a bit too attached to their lives to even think of risking it outside of the safe city walls of Initium. Of course your band of adventurers doesn’t mind staring creeps in the face and before you know it, you have become the leader of a group of fighting cartographers.

Legend of Legacy rev 3

As you’d expect, map completion is a huge part of the game. The Legend of Legacy starts out with only a few known locations for you to explore. As you move around, a map is drawn on the bottom screen, showing not just ridges and trees, but also locations of strange artefacts and exits. The cartography is without a doubt the reason why The Legend of Legacy is so addictive. As you move to the more complex locations, mapping starts to become increasingly harder. This in turn makes every bit of extra ground you uncover feel like an accomplishment, resulting in ‘just a bit more’ quickly becoming the standard reply to anything resembling ‘are you finished yet’.

Of course, uncharted lands would not be labelled ‘there be dragons’ had there not been monsters. In The Legend of Legacy, there is no such thing as a random encounter. Instead, various black and pink beasts patrol the maps. You can bump into them to start a fight or try to sneak past them. Of course, this doesn’t always work as well. Before you know it you end up being chased by an enraged pest or ambushed by monsters that had been hiding right where you are trying to pass.

The turn-based battles allow for a range of strategic choices. Roles and skills all level separately, and characters can be taught anything, making fights more about how you manage your team and less about reaching that certain level. This is also apparent when you look at the way new skills are acquired. Gaining skills happens through ‘Awakenings’, which are moments of clarity when a character is under certain amounts of stress.

Legend of Legacy rev 4

Fighting stronger enemies like guardians of temple ruins means a much higher Awakening-rate than simply battling random enemies on the map. The same can be said for the levelling of HP and SP. The result is vastly faster growth when you focus on finding the right strategy for boss battles rather than trying to grind through all the small fry you encounter. Even if you are still unable to defeat the big guys, simply trying to last as long as you can already makes for a great training session. Just be sure to run the moment it is getting too much, or you end up with a Game Over screen.

Magic is a special type of skill. Usually reserved exclusively for the creatures of Avalon, it is directly linked to the elementals roaming the skies. However, once you are able to locate singing and whispering shards corresponding to certain elementals, even you as humans can use magic. By using the singing stone, a contract with the entity of choice can be forged which grants you the ability to use the potential of the whispering one. As only one team can have the blessing of an elemental, battles can become true tug-of-wars for the same powers. There is a total of four types of magic: water, air, fire and darkness. The first three can all be used. Darkness however is linked exclusively to monsters and a mysterious dark mist. This mist sometimes covers entire maps and summons a powerful entity to stalk you should you chose to enter the location anyway.

Legend of Legacy rev 5

Whether a character learns skills quickly or not depends on their affinity for a certain weapon and magic-type. This is the one aspect in the game that makes testing the various player characters worthwhile. Don’t be scared to miss out on anyone and not being able to create the best team possible. The Legend of Legacy hands all characters to you on a platter by having them appear in Initium pretty much from the start. By simply walking up to them and choosing to add them to your party, they become part of the team. That’s pretty much it. No encounter in a certain corner of an elusive map, no introduction tied to an in-game event. Nope, just saying ‘hi’ in town is enough. For anyone that prefers characters to meet up with a reason, this is a serious let-down.

Initium isn’t just the city where characters can be added to the roster. It actually serves as the main hub for the entire game, allowing you to save, rest up, visit the shop and even contract ships. The shop is your main reason for wanting to complete maps. For every completed location, the shopkeep hands out a substantial amount of money. Sometimes the man even sells passes to new locations long before you’ve been able to unlock them the conventional way. The items the shop offers aren’t always the best, though. Ignoring the extremely expensive special products, most of them are pretty basic. This is where the ships come in. For a certain amount of money, a trade vessel can be sent out. The longer the vessel is allowed to commerce, the better the items it will come home with.

Legend of Legacy rev 6

Conclusion

The Legend of Legacy is a remarkable JRPG that makes up for its lack of story with incredibly balanced and highly addictive gameplay. Scouring the lands for hidden gems and elemental shards while dodging enemies is a remarkably challenging pastime. Toss in the amazing battle mechanics and the rush you feel when finally defeating the stronger opponents, and you know The Legend of Legacy is a hidden gem. Players preferring superior gameplay over storytelling will certainly love this title.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Legend of Legacy - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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