The Legend of Legacy 3DS Review
It might not look like it at first glance, but The Legend of Legacy is basically a dungeon crawler. One that feels laser focused on being simple, for better or for worse. While not as dauntingly complex as others within the genre, it can still be fairly challenging, although a little obtuse at times as well. This game is chiefly about discovery, both in the sense of exploring new locations and finding new abilities through the battle system.
The game opens with a small amount of story, that then eventually recedes far into the background, at that point you need to go explore the island setting. Over the course of the game you obtain maps that unlock new locations to visit. On your first visit to a location a map displayed on the lower screen will be empty and walking around will fill it up. Maps can then be sold regardless of whether they’re complete, though selling an incomplete map will net you less money and you can only sell a map once. It’s a system that really encourages you to look in every nook and cranny, and once you’ve sold a map it starts getting spread around, meaning that other people start popping up in those locales. While those people will give rewards to you rather sparingly, they do feel like a tangible reward for your efforts, making you feel like you’ve conquered somewhere. Each new place you visit looks nice as well, and moving across the world makes it feel like a pop-up book in motion.
Battles work fairly simply. You can set each of your three party members to different stances, beginning initially with “attack”, “guard”, and “support”. Other stances can become available further into the game, but there’s very little indication of how you can find them. Once your stances have been chosen, it works like a standard turn-based RPG.
The character progression doesn’t work how it would traditionally. Using skills in battle can increase their power and related characteristics, for example using guarding related skills can increase your “Guard” level. The same goes for “attack” and “support” levels. Gaining new skills however is a little frustrating as it seems completely random. You can unlock new skills through use of other ones, though without consulting a guide it’s impossible to know which ones do which. I had one case where I had unlocked a skill, then died and had to reload a save without that skill. Trying to do the same things that previously unlocked that skill did not seem to work at all. It seems like a system built to encourage exploring all the different techniques you learn over the course of the game, but the lack of information over how it works makes it feel tedious.
Skills levelling up also help contribute to the game getting rather repetitive, since making them more powerful makes them more useful. This means that I ended up relying on a small set of skills because they were more powerful, but because I relied on them a lot, they kept becoming more powerful. It also doesn’t help that enemies end up repeating a lot.
The Legend of Legacy’s sub-par battle system really diminishes what is otherwise a decent experience. The lack of clarity in character progression harms it as well. The exploration of the world is somewhat fun, but that can’t make up for a flawed battle system when fighting is required to progress through the game.