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A solid game

  • LockeZ
  • 07/01/2011 10:07 PM
  • 2108 views
Metal Gear Solid: Lunacy of Legion is a mash-up of Metal Gear Solid and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The story and music are primarily from MGS, while the graphics are primarily from Zelda, and the gameplay is a hybrid. I've only played one game in the MGS series (MGS2), and remember next to nothing about its plot due to having only played it once nine years ago, but that doesn't stop this combination from making me extremely happy. I didn't feel that my lack of familiarity hindered my enjoyment of the story at all - characters and settings that I'm sure have lots of history in the official MGS series were presented in a concise and self-explanatory way. In this sense the author did an extremely good job making a fan game - I don't like it just because I'm a fan of MGS, I like it for the same reasons I liked what I played of the real MGS series.

The two series have fairly different styles of gameplay, and yet the author managed to merge them together extremely well. Both MGS and Zelda are action-adventure games which include heavy amounts of exploration and problem-solving, typically through the use of various tools which are acquired during the game. This is an element that Lunacy of Legion nails right on the head. The game involves exploring the overland to reach dungeons, which are Zelda-esque in layout and design but full of stealth sections. Another reviewer complained that it's not always obvious where to go - this is true, but I would not consider it a fault. The game is designed heavily around exploration and discovery. The only time I had trouble figuring out where to go was in one instance, after the first dungeon, when the game told me to go west but I had to first loop around through a path to the southeast.

Combat is mostly stealth-based, and works pretty well most of the time. If you get caught in a dungeon, it can be extremely difficult to hide for long enough to become safe again. I would like to see the ability to hide in lockers or some other assured method of regaining stealth mode in dungeons. I often had to run across three or four maps until I found a safe place to hide, and even then there was nowhere completely safe - there was seemingly always a chance that an enemy soldier would enter and find you no matter where you hid. Other times simply entering a certain map from a certain direction would instantly put me back in stealth mode. It felt hard to control.

I died a lot in this game. Every area has new and difficult challenges. Despite this difficulty, I rarely felt like my deaths were undeserved - I almost always knew what I'd done wrong, the game rarely came across as cheap. Difficult, certainly, but not cheap. But when you die, you don't have to reload the game, and you don't even get sent back very far. You pretty much just get sent back to the last safe location you left, which is almost never more than two minutes away. So the difficulty usually felt good, and made it feel like an accomplishment when I made it through an area. Also, I assume a player who's more familiar with MGS would probably have much less trouble.

There were a fair number of bugs. Some of these have been fixed since I reported them to the designer - others are essentially unfixable due to the game being made in RPG Maker 2003. The bugs did detract from my enjoyment of the game. On a couple occasions, bugs made it impossible to continue without reloading my game (the quickest way to do which was to intentionally die). Other times bugs changed my movement speed, or released my stealth attacks too soon. These problems should of course be taken into consideration, but I'm also aware that most of the bugs are limitations within the RM2K3 engine, not problems with the designer's code. Frankly, for an action-adventure game created in RPG Maker 2003, I'm kind of amazed the game works half as well as it does. Zephyr knows what he's doing and could probably make an amazing game given better tools.

Overall, the game was well worth my time. I did several Let's Try videos of it for Zephyr (1) (2) (3) (4) but stopped because I essentially ran out of things to tell him to change, other than bugs. He knows how to make a high quality action-adventure game, and has done so in Lunacy of Legion.

Despite the issues I had with bugs and the unpredictable nature of regaining stealth mode, I think I had the most fun playing this game of any RPG Maker game I've downloaded.

Posts

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Thanks for the review! I've been waiting for a new rating of the game since I changed so much about it. I'm glad that the game left a very positive impression despite the numbers of bugs you encountered.

Did you finish the whole game? I hope it didn't get too frustrating that it makes people quit. The stealth-mechanic is hard to perfect and I'm hoping that most haven't turned into a trial and error.
Congrats on the positive changes, Zephyr, sounds like they went a long way. I just finished Metal Gear 1 and 2 with the intention of finally playing through the whole series, I may as well give this one a download as well.
author=sbester
Congrats on the positive changes, Zephyr, sounds like they went a long way. I just finished Metal Gear 1 and 2 with the intention of finally playing through the whole series, I may as well give this one a download as well.
You're welcome to give it a try. This one "chronologically" takes place between MGS2 and MGS4. It takes a few things in mind from previous story, but overall it's not that important.
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