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Special Demo Review, Kupo.

Disclaimer: As the game is presented as long, this is based off of about 7 hours of gameplay and is broken down into five points: Writing (Plot and Dialogue), Aesthetics/Design (Graphics, Audio, Atmosphere and how everything meshes together), Gameplay (Self Explanatory), Engagement (Is it fun? Interesting?), and Effort (Did the creator show that they put work into it?). This review does not necessarily reflect the quality of the final product and will not impact the average score displayed on the site.

So one day I was bored and had nothing to do, so I scrolled down in the forums and found a request to review a special demo of this game, Legacy Saga. I shrugged and said to myself, "Sure, why not?" So, how did it go?

It was okay, but it really needs more polish in a handful of departments. Potential is there, the execution just falls flat in places.

Overview

Legacy Saga starts out with an opening sequence where a certain Mr. Evil Demon Overlord has a nice lovely chat with a dame he apparently knows about evil plots and stuff, involving Earth and some other world. Standard stuff. Then, the legendary heroes come in, beat him to a pulp and banish him to some other realm. (Because killing a demon isn't right. I dunno!) Time skip to 1000 years later, we play as the protagonist, Jeromy, who goes into the forest to get some berries for a pie his mom is making. However, he gets involved with a man named Jesse, who is chasing a pink-clad criminal who apparently is very dangerous. Things start twisting with the plot getting more and more... twisty. I dunno how to put it.

Now then, let's break down this game to see what makes it tick.

Writing: Potentially good, but extremely flat (0.0/1.0 Stars)

The story itself is pretty tried and true for the most part, in concept. Evil Demons, lots of party members, all that good stuff. I want to like it, but I can't.

My first issue with this game is the choices of words used. It's VERY hard for me to take the game as seriously as it should with gems like these:



For the second picture, I can't really see a demon overlord as a serious villian if he isn't using fitting words. "Pissed off the wrong demon" doesn't work with the setting/exposition well; it could work in more light hearted works like Disgaea, but this seems to be more of a serious effort.

The rest, well... Profanity is something a game shouldn't take lightly and use liberally. The only time it really works is if it's a parody, if it's well timed (see: Precision F-Strike) or if it's part of the character (i.e. Cid Highwind from FFVII). Hearing a lot of crap like this is not a good impression on the player.

Another major issue here is just a very prevalent lack of emotions in the text. Lots of scenes have their potential impact destroyed because of a simple lack of either exclamation points, dots or question marks. Case in point:



As said above, if there were some simple adjustments to the text, you wouldn't feel like the event is monotone. Better phrases in these images would be:

"...What? Since when did you get married again? I don't remember anything like that at all...!"

"What!? Y-you killed him, yet you're sorry...!?"

(Those are my suggestions, so you may disagree with my phrases, but they feel more alive like this imho.)

One last issue I have is characterization. Loads and loads of characters leads to people losing focus and development, and I'm seeing that here. Based on the Special Menu, there are a lot of playable characters, which worries me. All these characters aren't characterized enough to be distinct, with a very select few who speak slightly differently, and even then fall flat.

I like some of the ideas implemented, like the connection between Jeromy and (spoiler) and some other stuff like that, but the excecution... I simply can't appreciate it.

(And that doesn't even cover spelling!)

Aesthetics/Design: Nice details in some places but mapping isn't great (0.5/1.0 Stars)

For the most part, the game looks alright. Graphically, there isn't anything ugly. The monsters seem to all be ripped from older FFs (IV-VI), and for the most part work, but it's obvious where the sprites come from due to their colors/contrast. Battles, overall are the nicer looking aspects of the game.

I think the main issue, if anything, is the mapping. Some of the maps feel unnatural, some do, so it's variable. Some of it is flawed and needs more tests; i.e.:


Spider-Jeromy anyone?


Consistency is important to a game, so yeah. The overworld sprites feel too big, so you should probably somehow address that.

For the music, I'd say it fits but needs more variety. A lot of music is taken from SNES/PS1 games, so some tunes you'll recognize (I applaud the nod to Tales of Destiny), though I wish there was a bigger range of tracks to set the mood properly, since some scenes don't feel right (i.e. when Jen is woken up the danger theme should already be playing).

Also, on a last note, the Cut Throat fight didn't reset the battle theme, so towards the end the FFVII boss theme was ingrained into my skull. ._.

Gameplay: See Writing section. (0.5/1.0 Stars)

Like writing, I like some of the ideas in battles, but it's not executed well.

Battles are like SNES-PS1 FFs where battles are coducted with the ATB. Fun stuff. Except, well, it's not.


Ha, I've fought FOEs deadlier than you. (For the record, I beat all of these guys.)


This game is mind-numbingly easy. Not much strategy other than attack and survive. That's all it is. Skills feel like they cost a horrible amount of MP (cut the 9s to 4s, etc.) and white mages just flat out suck. Potions do much more than a single white mage, putting them in the scrappy pile behind the more damage oriented players. In addition, I've noticed enemies give a seemingly inconsistent amount of EXP, with some bosses dropping less experience than some normal encounters. Ultimately, the game is balanced, but it's boring. I'd seriously recommend adding more damage abilities.

Outside of battle, sometimes you're just very lost at what to do next. The indications on where to go should be made clearer to the player, or streamlined, because otherwise people will feel aimless and quit because they can't proceed the story.


Oh, am I supposed to sit now? You could've just said so instead of staring into my soul..


The one thing I did like was the Special Menu. It was a very nifty feature that I liked, though It baffles me why certain characters get their special options when everyone else doesn't (mind you, I don't see the options as bad, but this further pushes characters into boring territory.) But again, this game is too easy, so other than party changes, you can simply ignore some features and manage well on your own.


I love you stars. (The game is too easy to need these, though.)


So yeah, I can see a little potential if you made the game more strategic with more options.

Engagement: I did it for the review (0.5/1.0 Stars)

This game has a few points that kept me awake, but for the most part the gameplay really drags out my patience. Granted, it never got so terrible I had to quit, but this game isn't the most fun it could be. That could be remedied by better gameplay and finer writing. Also, there are very odd points of seriousness coupled with narmy dialogue, which really makes me question if this is a parody or not. Oh, and then there was this:


...goddammit.


Whelp.

Effort: Well, he has a game out for sure (1.0/1.0 Stars)

I can't complain about this part. I feel like there was some care and detail put into this, and the battle presentations are good, so I'll give points for that. I also give points for the length he got up to (though demos shouldn't be so long, otherwise it's more of a beta or something like that). So I mean, as I've said once before, effort does not equal quality, but he did make an earnest effort in this game, just not excecuting things right.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5.0 (Okay, but just okay)

Reasons: Some potentially good ideas flattened by monotone/profane dialogue and easy, grinding battles.

Play this if you enjoy: Older RPGs from the SNES days

Don't play this game if you dislike: Poor dialogue, repetitive battles

Personal Advice to the Creators:

I honestly think my review has been a repeat of the other reviews, but generally I agree with them on a number of issues. I suggest getting someone to proofread dialogue before a final release and add extra dimensions to the battles, or at least more damage skills. I suggest looking at Etrian Odyssey, they tend to give each class a great variety of skills that are all quite useful.

So yeah, make this game less repetitive and add more character/effective writing, and you'll have a winner. Best of luck to you on that!

Posts

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First response to this, I put a lot of work into my story, which I feel is my second strongest part of my game (next to the special features.) Speaking of that, you barley touched on them. You didn't go into much detail about the star point system much less any of my other features. What about everything else in the special menu. The blue magic system, party change menu (that it self has a bunch of extra stuff), talent menu, ability menu. The fact that the characters are very customize-able. Oh and you didn't say ONE thing about the moogle town. It seems like you focused 80% of this review on all the things you didn't like.

I do agree with the dialogue problem (that's been a problem for a long time with my games) and some of the characters seem plain and the battles can getting repetitive. This is my first BIG project in quite sometime, which I will do better for the sequel. You made it seem like my game was the kind of game you can just look away, watch TV and keep hitting enter. To say my game kept you barley awake, I don't understand. I fit so many interesting plot twists (no holes that I have found, again something you didn't mention.) As far as the cussing, that's personal preference. I don't have characters swearing every other message.

Lastly, I will fine tune the battles some and try to work out something for the white mages. I didn't mean to sound like a jerk. Keep in mind that I didn't disagree with everything, but this review kinds struck a nerve for me.

EDIT 1: Suggesting that my game could be a parody, that got to me the most. I've been working on this game for almost two years. I hope that was a joke.

EDIT 2: After I sometime to cool down a tad I wanted to appoligize for my seeminly angry reply. Though my feelings have not changed, I suppose I could have responed in a more respectful manor. I've decided to do a dialuge over haul. That ofcourse will take a lot of time, but I do agree that will really help.
author=Jparker1984
First response to this, I put a lot of work into my story, which I feel is my second strongest part of my game (next to the special features.) Speaking of that, you barley touched on them. You didn't go into much detail about the star point system much less any of my other features. What about everything else in the special menu. The blue magic system, party change menu (that it self has a bunch of extra stuff), talent menu, ability menu. The fact that the characters are very customize-able. Oh and you didn't say ONE thing about the moogle town. It seems like you focused 80% of this review on all the things you didn't like.

I do agree with the dialogue problem (that's been a problem for a long time with my games) and some of the characters seem plain and the battles can getting repetitive. This is my first BIG project in quite sometime, which I will do better for the sequel. You made it seem like my game was the kind of game you can just look away, watch TV and keep hitting enter. To say my game kept you barley awake, I don't understand. I fit so many interesting plot twists (no holes that I have found, again something you didn't mention.) As far as the cussing, that's personal preference. I don't have characters swearing every other message.

Lastly, I will fine tune the battles some and try to work out something for the white mages. I didn't mean to sound like a jerk. Keep in mind that I didn't disagree with everything, but this review kinds struck a nerve for me.

EDIT 1: Suggesting that my game could be a parody, that got to me the most. I've been working on this game for almost two years. I hope that was a joke.

EDIT 2: After I sometime to cool down a tad I wanted to appoligize for my seeminly angry reply. Though my feelings have not changed, I suppose I could have responed in a more respectful manor. I've decided to do a dialuge over haul. That ofcourse will take a lot of time, but I do agree that will really help.


In return, I'm sorry if I was a little too critical or harsh. My review style tends to be really cynical, and I should give more attention to the pros, really.

I do like the story, it invoked a feeling akin to Lunar: The Silver Star which I absolutely loved. I just really wanted to feel the emotions that the characters felt.

When I say parody, what I meant was that the dialogue is borderline serious/unserious, which really just stem from some choices of words. I do acknowledge that it is a serious effort, and I respect that! I just want a nicer execution that can communicate that to me.

I seriously think this could be a great game. With a little effort, it can be absolutely awesome. A tale of two worlds and an epic struggle with demons! That's awesome, isn't it? I sure think so!

But yeah, I'm once again very sorry if I hurt your feelings. I know how you feel, it's just whenever I write a review I tend to throw out emotions altogether. It doesn't help that I often watch Yatzee's cynical Zero Punctuation and the like. Don't take it too hard; hey, if you want, I can help you out for any troubles I've caused. I really don't mind, I just feel bad now xD
It's cool man like I said I did react a bit mean and didnt intend to. Thanks for the review. You did how ever spark me to do a dialogue over haul which is a plus
Whew, I thought for a bit there that you two were going to need to get a room.
Seriously though, the way you two actaully worked this out is a great example of how differences of opinion SHOULD be worked out! Kudos to both of you.
Some times criticism, no matter how well intentioned or constructive, can come off as mean spirited. And to people who have strived so hard to present something beneficial and meant to be pleasurable , they can have their feelings hurt.
Nothing more annoying or childish than watching, in a public forum, two people waging war on each other. So...once again, KUDOS, gentlemen!
author=Roy
Whew, I thought for a bit there that you two were going to need to get a room.
Seriously though, the way you two actaully worked this out is a great example of how differences of opinion SHOULD be worked out! Kudos to both of you.
Some times criticism, no matter how well intentioned or constructive, can come off as mean spirited. And to people who have strived so hard to present something beneficial and meant to be pleasurable , they can have their feelings hurt.
Nothing more annoying or childish than watching, in a public forum, two people waging war on each other. So...once again, KUDOS, gentlemen!


Well thank you sir.
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