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Potentially Good, But Not Yet

(Welcome to Zeuzio's first ever review!)



Legacy Saga is one of those frustrating RM games. A game that you know should--and very well can--be better. It feels like a big amount of effort is missing. If that effort is found, then this game could go from being ho-hum to something really cool. Why do I say this? Because there are some very nice aspects about this game, and I can tell the creator likes his project. The potential is there, just waiting to be reached. Let's start with the story.


Story - plot, characters, theme

This game's story has the potential to be engaging and even emotional at points. Unfortunately, the execution makes it seem at best only mildly interesting, and at worst a big mess.

The player has the option to skip the game's intro in the beginning. It might be a good idea to do so since the intro is bogged down with unnecessary random encounters. Otherwise, the intro is solid and adds an air of mystery to the game. Basically it's about the downfall of a demon who wants to destroy the world and whatnot by the hands of four powerful heroes. If anything, it's a bit cliché, but it works. It is a bit odd that the characters featured in the intro are named after their classes, however.

The basic plot of the game revolves around a boy named Jeromy. His journey involves meeting many allies and some supernatural enemies. Along the way, he'll discover some dark truths about the world as well as himself.

While this sounds all well and good, the way it's presented is inconsistent and often devoid of impact. The plot twists are there, but it's hard to care about them because the game often fails to establish interest in the characters who're involved beforehand. For example, Jeromy's mother seems like an inconsequential character at the beginning of the game, asking him to fetch berries for her amazing pies and only having a few, unimportant lines of dialogue. Later in the game, however, she all of a sudden becomes a major part of the plot, even though she was hardly established in the first place. Another big example would be someone who just seemed to be referred to as "the king". His role in the plot is still an enigma to me. Apparently he is corrupt and collaborates with demons or something, but he only has a few lines of dialogue. I'm not even sure what he's the king of, actually.

It's really hard to care about and relate to the characters in Legacy Saga--even the playable characters-- because their roles in the plot aren't really defined. Perhaps with the exception of a few of the main characters, most of them have little or rushed characterization. It's a bit silly when one character's best friend dies and his best reaction is "He killed my best friend, I want revenge," while another character's reaction when his favorite horse dies is a monologue describing his feelings of despair. The dialogue doesn't help either, as many character's seem to talk the same way, and the tone is always casual even in tense situations. Even the villains seem less like forces to be reckoned with and more like unlikable douche-bags that seem to have not much more motivation than many of the heroes.

There are a few redeeming qualities, however, and I think the story's main problem comes from that it tries to do too much. The characters and plot points that aren't very important detract from the action that's actually meaningful. The main characters have interesting stories, but many of the side characters seem to be there just because "hey, why not?" If the story was more focused, then I think it'd help out tremendously.

Story Pros
- The story has potential to be tempered and improved upon
- The main characters are solid enough, and have interesting stories

Story Cons
- It's hard to relate to the characters, as many of them aren't fleshed out and are just "there"
- Many major plot points lack impact due to silly dialogue and weak characterization in general

Score: 2/5


Gameplay - difficulty, balancing, fun factor

This game is mostly easy, but I'll share more on that later. When the game is hard, it's mostly because the game tends to not give you good directions on what you need to do.

[

The berries on that tree are either really tiny, or invisible


In a few too many situations, it's simply hard to tell what to do. And not because it's supposed to be a challenge either. In the above screenshot, you're supposed to to check that tree to get the berries for your mom's pie, but there's absolutely no indication that the tree has any berries or even that they are in the area. Because of this, I thought the dungeon had hit a dead-end. There are other little moments that are just as vague--like having to sit in a chair to resume conversation--that seem inconsequential but are still annoying. There was even one point where the game pointed you in the wrong direction.

Now back to the easy aspect of the game, which unfortunately, consists of battles. The best strategy is basically mashing the attack button and using the occasional item, even for bosses. Why not skills? Because a) they cost too much MP for what they're worth, b) they're practically worthless anyway, and c) items and attacks can do whatever skills can do only better. Seriously, the strongest skill I had in the game dealt maybe about 60 damage to one enemy for one third of the castor's max MP, while normal physical attacks dealt around 40 to 50 damage. Meanwhile, the only healing spell I encountered heals about 100 HP for a good chunk of MP, while the lowest-tier healing item heals a whole 40% of a character's HP for a shockingly low amount of cash.

As a side-effect of this, the characters are highly unbalanced. Since mages can only deal about as much damage with spells as the fighters can with regular attacks, why bother choosing them at all? The healers are particularly bad, considering items do their job way better and they don't even have the advantage of elemental damage(which is also rare to be able to exploit, by the way). The worst effect of this, though, is that the battles get repetitive very quickly. About halfway through the demo I started running from every battle because I didn't want to sit through every battle just mashing a button. I digress, though. The demo did not offer much in the way of skills, but in the complete game there should definitely be more skills introduced in the beginning, and they should actually be effective and worthwhile to use.

The gameplay does have some pretty unique aspects to it, however, most of which come in the form of custom made menus. The Star Point system allows one to trade a special currency called "Star Points" for items that boost your characters' stats permanently. The only drawback here is that the items are all very costly, and Star Points aren't exactly common to find. Because of this, the system is unable to reach its full potential.

You are also tasked with managing Jeromy's skills, since he can only carry four at a time. Although I didn't make much use out of this considering I never found more than three of Jeromy's skills in the demo, which is a shame. Two other characters also have skill management systems in place, the more interesting one being blue magic. The demo actually ended right about when it came into effect though.

I'd say what really killed the gameplay for me was the balancing of the skills, and the game's easy nature in general. Even with interesting systems in place, the battles need to be engaging enough to make it all really matter. I don't want to just mash the attack button. While these problems are likely easier to fix than with the story, I'd say my experience with the game was more negative because of it.

Gameplay Pros
- The star point system adds and extra element of customization to your characters, although it's impact just isn't enough
- The skill systems, particularly blue magic, can make a huge strategic impact once the completed game roles around

Gameplay Cons
- Skills are not worth using over items and attacks, which is a shame
- Directions aren't always conveyed well, and getting hung up on seemingly simple tasks is easy
- Battles are too easy due to the lack of a need for strategy, as well as overpowered items.

Score: 1.5/5


Presentation - Graphics, Sounds, Usability

Presentation is Legacy Saga's strongest aspect, by far. If the story and gameplay are a bit rough around the edges, then the presentation is pretty much on the right track. First, let's talk about those special systems from earlier.


This is the Special Menu. It is your friend.


Above me is the Special Menu, where you access the aforementioned Star Point and skill systems, as well as have the option to switch out party members. The rune menu isn't featured in the demo, so obviously I don't have much to say about it. The menu is easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing, which is all one can really ask for. You access the menu from save points(which just so happen to be moogles), and exit it by selecting the exit option(in case you couldn't figure it out.) Basically, it's cool, and is definitely an appreciated feature.

So, what about mapping?

The mapping in this game can only be described as decent. Some maps, usually towns, are really wide and empty, but most everything else is okay. There is also no obvious clashing between graphics, which is also a plus. There are some hiccups with passability, for instance you can't pass under a lot of trees and roofs, making for some awkward mobility around some maps, but it's nothing major.

What about battles?


These battles look nice! If only they were harder...


The effort that has been put into making the battles look nice is clearly pretty strong in this game. The battlers all animate well and many of their skill animations look custom. The monsters seem to be mostly Final Fantasy rips, but they're appropriate and they do their job well. The battle-backs are also nice, and aren't the same old one's you see in many 2k3 games. There are also other various quirks like status bubbles when the characters are inflicted with a status, as well as a shield that pops up in front of characters when defending. Overall, good job with this, I'd say!

So, this game has pretty good graphics for the most part, but the music is more iffy. First of all, there are plenty of instances where the music that's playing doesn't match the current situation at all. It's pretty strange when happy-home music is playing when the villain shows up, AND just after the main character has a dark revelation about his past. Or when town music plays while in "the king's" castle, or worse, during a tournament. The music itself is mostly good though, with only a slight amount of annoying tracks.

Presentation Pros
- The Special Menu is stylish and functional
- Mapping is good, but it could be better
- Battle are nice looking and have a bit of custom material

Presentation Cons
- The music needs to adapt to the situation more.
- Passability is awkward with trees and roofs.

Score: 3.5/5


Conclusion

Legacy Saga has a pretty good base to work with. It has what it needs to grow into something good. But, it won't be able to reach those heights unless its creator can really translate his enthusiasm to his players from within the game. What this game needs is more depth, more focus, and much revising. If this review came off as harsh, it's just because I really want this game to grow into what it can potentially become.

Overall Score: 2 / 5
Not an official score since this is a demo

Posts

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Well, I'd like to touch on the things you said were bad (some of them.) I Don't agree with you on the character development. Keep in mind, it is a demo. Not everything is going to unfold right away. Most of the characters will have a somewhat deep back story. I see what you are saying about Jeromy's mom, it takes a little bit of time, but she really is going to start having her moments.

As for the characters horse dying, that character felt that way because he was always alone. The horse was all that character ever had. As for the friend dying and wanting revenge, I agree and will try to change that up.

As for Jeromy's skills, its a demo so you cant expect to have full use of all the features.

And saying the White Wizards are useless and using magics are useless. I really dis agree. Though I could power them up some. As for the monsters being to easy, I don't know what level you had your party at, but I don't think the game was easy.

If I come up with any other things to say, I will let you know. Thanks for the review. Though I think you were a tad to harsh, I thank you.

EDIT: Also, I was kind of dis appointed you didn't touch on ANY of the special features except Jeromy's skill system (barley). What about the Blue Magic System, the moogle town, the star point system, the talent system, the character changing system. I appreciate the things you said needed fixed, but I feel kind of jipped with you not mentioning my major strong points of the game. Not attacking you or anything, just saying.
You're welcome! As for it being too harsh, keep in mind that my goal as a reviewer is, partially, to explain the game to potential players. My other goal is to help you as a developer, and by not sugarcoating things hopefully I can let you know where the game's problems really lie. It's nothing against you personally, and I'm really just trying to help. And if you don't want to take my advice, I'm not going to throw a fit. :)

author=Jparker1984
Well, I'd like to touch on the things you said were bad (some of them.) I Don't agree with you on the character development. Keep in mind, it is a demo. Not everything is going to unfold right away. Most of the characters will have a somewhat deep back story. I see what you are saying about Jeromy's mom, it takes a little bit of time, but she really is going to start having her moments.


Of course. However, I was only basing my opinion on what I saw in the demo. To me, the fact that the mom went from a NPC with little dialogue to a major part of the plot was just really strange, despite what happens later in the plot. And I did say that I liked some of the characterization, right? Jen in particular was good, and Jeremy could be great with a little more polish in his backstory.

As for the characters horse dying, that character felt that way because he was always alone. The horse was all that character ever had. As for the friend dying and wanting revenge, I agree and will try to change that up.


I didn't have an issue with this, really,(though it was a bit corny, particularly because of the horse's name). I was really just comparing it to the character who lost his best friend, and only had one line of dialogue to say about it.

As for Jeromy's skills, its a demo so you cant expect to have full use of all the features.


This is understandable. Although I highly suggest you power them up significantly as well as unlock more of them earlier on if you don't want your players to get bored. I'm actually much more patient when it comes to these things than some other people here are.

And saying the White Wizards are useless and using magics are useless. I really dis agree. Though I could power them up some. As for the monsters being to easy, I don't know what level you had your party at, but I don't think the game was easy.


Just because you think the mages are good, doesn't mean your players will. Personally, spamming attack was the easiest way to win battles. Sure, there was point when all you had were mages, but they were only useful then because you didn't have four fighters to replace them. :P

EDIT: Also, I was kind of dis appointed you didn't touch on ANY of the special features except Jeromy's skill system (barley). What about the Blue Magic System, the moogle town, the star point system, the talent system, the character changing system. I appreciate the things you said needed fixed, but I feel kind of jipped with you not mentioning my major strong points of the game. Not attacking you or anything, just saying.


If I didn't include something, it was probably because it didn't affect my opinion of the game one way or the other(and my review was already running pretty long as is). The Moogle Town was interesting, but I only ever found one group of moogles and they didn't really do anything besides talk. I didn't use the talent tree much because I never unlocked anything. I did mention Blue Magic, and even said it was cool, but the demo ended soon after I unlocked it so I couldn't experiment with it much. Party selection was kind of covered when I was talking about the special menu in general.

As for the star point thing, I did cover that fairly extensively and even included it in the Gameplay pros. And I had plenty of positive things to say in the Presentation section. Again, the review is almost too long as it is now, so not everything could make it in.

If I come up with any other things to say, I will let you know. Thanks for the review. Though I think you were a tad to harsh, I thank you.


I've been there, too, and I do appreciate that you appreciate my work. It was fun, but it also took a fair amount of effort. So thanks. :)
just so we are clear, i do still want your feedback. If I sounded a bit diffensive, I'm sorry. As for that was not my intention.

I have since taken down my demo off here and started to fix a lot of the things you suggested.

I just wanted to touch on your review. As a whole, you didn't really do a bad job with it. From what you did write, you did a good job.

By the time of the next release, you will be added to the credits in game. Again, thanks.
Also, I would like to add. At the point when there is a party split. And you get to choose from three different story lines. In those story lines is when you really start to learn more about the characters back stories. Some not as deep as others, but you will really learn more about them.

In regards to Jeromy's skills, I do actually agree 100% after thinking about it I am going to add a few more early on.
Deckiller
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.
16034
Solid review!
author=Deckiller
Solid review!


Thanks! Do you have any advice for possible future reviews? :P

author=Jparker1984
just so we are clear, i do still want your feedback.


Unfortunately, I have things like school to attend to, as well as job hunting when the summer rolls around. I also would like to start reviewing some other games to really rack up my contribution counter around here. Not to mention that I want to start working on my own game perhaps pretty soon.

Basically, I don't really have the time or will to provide continuous feedback for your game. If you ever release a majorly updated demo version, or complete a beta version of the full game, I might come in and test it for you or something. And if this game is completely finished one day, I'll write a brand new review for it if you want me too. But I just can't be there for the whole process. Sorry about that.
author=Zeuzio
author=Deckiller
Solid review!
Thanks! Do you have any advice for possible future reviews? :P

author=Jparker1984
just so we are clear, i do still want your feedback.


Unfortunately, I have things like school to attend to, as well as job hunting when the summer rolls around. I also would like to start reviewing some other games to really rack up my contribution counter around here. Not to mention that I want to start working on my own game perhaps pretty soon.

Basically, I don't really have the time or will to provide continuous feedback for your game. If you ever release a majorly updated demo version, or complete a beta version of the full game, I might come in and test it for you or something. And if this game is completely finished one day, I'll write a brand new review for it if you want me too. But I just can't be there for the whole process. Sorry about that.


no reason to say sorry. Do your thing man, thanks for what you have done so far.
I dunno if this is any use to you at all but I once made an edit of something (I can't remember what right now) to make it into a fruit that matched the mack tiles style:



Perhaps it'd work for those berries?
author=NewBlack
I dunno if this is any use to you at all but I once made an edit of something (I can't remember what right now) to make it into a fruit that matched the mack tiles style:



Perhaps it'd work for those berries?


dude thanks, i was just about to make a post asking for berries lol. GET OUT OF MY HEAD lol.
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