The JRPG genre has undergone countless evolution across the years but still to this day whenever the term JRPG is used many immediately think of a certain type of game; a turn-based battle system, a world of magic and an epic quest to journey on. Over the years that iconic image of what a true JRPG is has been largely lost as the genre ventured into a plethora of different styles both successful and unsuccessful ventures alike.
Every once and a while a game comes along that brings things back to basics, appreciating the simplicity of the foundations that the entire genre is built upon. Legend of Legacy is one of those games, a throwback to old school JRPG’s such as the original Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games. Among the overly complex and mind-numbingly deep character leveling systems of the modern JRPG and ridiculously confusing storylines, Legend of Legacy stands out as a refreshingly basic title that focuses more on its core elements rather than extraneous features and revels in simple fun and a sense of adventure.
Legend of Legacy comes from Japanese developer FuRyu whose ventures into games development have thus far gone largely unnoticed in the West. That should change now because Legend of Legacy is actually a pretty damn good game and definitely worth a look in for fans of the traditional turn-based JRPG style of games.
You begin the game with the ability to chose a character to play, each a different class and with a different motivation to journey to the island of Avalon, the setting of the games ‘legendary’ tale. You are given the option to chose out of seven playable characters. Each character is slightly different and like many oldschool JRPG’s fit into the typical class types like Warrior, Healer, Archer, Mage, Swordsman, etc.
Interestingly the game seemingly sets up a different storyline for each character which at first I found to be rather fascinating. Unfortunately when I decided to start a new game as another character I was a little disappointed to discover that the plot changed very little other than my character’s motivation. Now that’s okay because which character you select ultimately only matters as far as which class you’d prefer to play as primarily, so the lack of variation in the plot is no major problem. It simply gives the illusion that their may be immense replay ability with this game which is really not the case. That said, one play through is more than long enough that a second go around is likely unnecessary for the average gamer.
The game plays exactly like the JRPG series of old with turn-based battles focused on selecting actions and watching them play out turn by turn. Interesting to note however is the way in which the game approaches its exploration elements.
Each dungeon is shrouded in shadows much like the maps in your typical RTS game would be. As you venture through it the map becomes revealed and the game rewards you for completing each map with merchants purchasing completed maps from you giving a good deal of encouragement to explore every inch of the map for what might be hiding in the shadows. This really sets the game apart from other JRPG’s all the while perfectly blending with the traditional battle system creating a truly fresh experience.
Visually the game takes more than its fair share of nods from Bravely Default, stylistically it looks to be heavily influenced by that game, with its stout characters and simplistic water coloured art. The game looks utterly gorgeous and pairing it up with its moving soundtrack from acclaimed composer Masashi Hamauzu of Final Fantasy XIII fame, you have a splendid visual and aural experience to behold in Legend of Legacy.
Legend of Legacy is a lovely throwback to the JRPG genre’s past which manages to carve out some new territory all the while serving as a nod at the ‘legends’ that came before it. If you are in the mood for a trip back to the genre’s roots, Legend of Legacy is a great modern take on the classics and a fantastic outing for FuRyu, a developer that has only just begun to begin forging their own legacy and the first great chapter is undoubtedly Legend of Legacy.