An old-school JRPG with an epic name.
Released in the UK by NIS America, The Legend of Legacy is an epicly titled JRPG from developers FuRyu offering an old-school, nostalgia-inspiring experience along with some more modern twists on the 3DS.
The game revolves around the island of Avalon and heroes that head there seeking adventure and treasure. As is often the case, players begin by choosing a character from a selection of seven. Each character is different and brings their own flavour to the story, although what there is of a story is not changed up by much depending on the character chosen. In fact, the story in The Legend of Legacy is perhaps one of the most notably lacking things in the game. There is no real overriding story to the game, with players instead resting happy in the knowledge that they are on Avalon to explore. There is the occasional bit of direction offered, and the different characters bring their own stories, but there is no epic JRPG story to follow. Some gamers may find this frustrating as it can lead to random wandering until finding what is needed to proceed. But on the other hand it does offer an impressive amount of freedom.
So players will mostly be exploring to fill in their maps, which are gradually uncovered as areas are discovered. This in itself is an incredibly compelling reason to keep playing the game, and not just for completionists. There are a fair few different areas to the game, and each has a map which can be sold once the area is fully explored. Trying to make a point of finding absolutely every area of a map is a worthy quest, and will lead to an abundance of both experience and treasure.
The experience will come from the thoroughly enjoyable combat in the game. Turn based combat has always been the best fit for JRPGs in my mind, and the turn-based combat in The Legend of Legacy is very well done. The characters in your party, which will be made up of your chosen character along with other characters from the initial selection, will take turns to simply attack or use their various skills or abilities. The variety of the character classes offer different ways to approach combat, and the option to set different formations for the characters on the battlefield gives further depth to the combat. Running away from a particularly difficult encounter is an option, but will result in the player being set back to the start of that map area, losing progress. Also, if a character falls during combat, they will return after the combat is complete, but with less HP.
As is traditional in the older JRPGs, Legend of Legacy does force a certain amount of grinding on the player. It is possible to see most enemies before approaching them, so avoiding combat is possible most of the time. However, there are often times when, without the appropriate amount of grinding, players will find their parties to be under-powered for a given encounter. To make the grinding that little bit more paletable for the modern gaming public, there is an auto-battle option available by holding down the A button that will allow players to quickly get through the more standard encounters.
New equipment can be purchased in town or found while exploring, and equipped by the characters to make them more powerful. These items become stronger as they are used, giving the player more to think about as they play through encounters. The same applies to abilities which also improve as they are used, and characters who act according to certain roles in battle will find themselves unlocking new abilities to complement those roles.
Visually, Legend of Legacy has a cute veneer. Slightly washed out colours have a calming effect, and the chibi heroes are difficult not to fall in love with. There is a nice variety of monsters to fight against, and the environments which come into view as the player wanders, all look great. It is not the most technically impressive graphically, but it suits the game and the handheld that it is released on. The audio work is equally as good, with some lovely music and the voice work, what there is of it, is certainly sufficient.
The old-school feeling that is inspired by The Legend of Legacy will appeal to many JRPG veterans out there, and these are the same people who will enjoy the grinding in the game. However, many newer gamers will struggle not only with the grind, but also the lack of direction offered by the loose narrative. For JRPG fans though, there is a lot to like in The Legend of Legacy on 3DS.