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The Legacy better than ever!

About six months ago I reviewed the prequel of this story, the first episode: Demon Legacy.
I praised the story and I found that everything else was good or ok. No big flaws indeed, still there was space for improvements. But, when something is good it's hard improving every aspect, continuing a story in a interesting way.
Well. The author did that! But let's se how:

The Good

Phantom Legacy cleverly starts a totally new story. It's a bold but interesting idea since the old protagonists are still involved but are, of course, powerful and famous heroes. So we have Nero, a new protagonist with a misterious past. Clearly, to understand and appreciate fully the adventures of Nero, it is suggested to play the first game, to learn about the background and the dark world of this saga.
So, without any spoiler, is the story good? No... It's great and it kept me interested and entertained. And this also happened with Demon Legacy too!



But then there is mapping. In Demon LEgacy I found it to be average, here tinstead it's great! I absolutely like the vivid colours used and the differences between the bright city in the desert, the grey swamps, the colorful port city and the dark dungeons. The charset choice is good, because, while for a matter of personal tastes I usually prefer the typical rpgmaker chibis, I understand that the taller and more realistic characters are better suited for a serious and dark tale (even if humor is present and used sparingly too). What I loved were the facesets, as they are really nice and detailed. Most of them are just edits and some do not match very well with the charset (Alistair wears a top hat, but the faceset wears a sort of basque), but this isn't a big problem.
Music is evocative and appropriate and, again, better than Demon Legacy.

Speaking about the gameplay we have the return of the dreaded spiked traps, even if this time they are easier to avoid. We've also simple puzzles, like in the previous story, and well, combat of course.
Combat is improved too, while the system isn't changed, I found the difficulty to be more balanced and the characters combat skills to be better designed: some attacks can drain health, others drain mana, some weaken the opponent... it's no more a matter of "spam your deadliest attack, chug a mana potion and repeat"!
This is also because for some reason the protagonist and a couple of other characters cannot use items during combat, while others can. This is odd but adds to strategy.



Visually we have nicely animated battlers (they not only attack but change poses when severely wounded) and terryfing enemies. I like the sprite selection, as it enforces the "dark fantasy world" estabilished in the first chapter of this serie. Also no need to grind as random enemies, that are always visible, give really few experience points, bosses are your main source of xp.

And, I forgot, not only you can save everywhere, that's always nice, but there are some healing spot just before the major battles, that will cure you (like in Demon LEgacy anyway).

The Bad

Really few things to note here.
There are in fact only some minor problems, like for example the overlapping statuses: I had Lamia that was paralized during combat, but she was in her "furious" status and only that was shown so just noticing that the action bar did not fill I realized that she was also stunned/blocked!

Another little problem was the fact that in some section you have overlapping passages (like for example a bridge that is over a corridoor), and here I noticed that enemies can attack you even if you are on a different level. This was ok then the harpies did that (they fly, of course!), but when a golem did that... no! It's just a clipping problem, that lets the enemy touch and attack you anyway.

The Verdict
Phantom Legacy is a great game, no mistake. Dialogues are good, there are even some little "choose your own adventure" sections when you travel in which you choose your actions. Well we do not have any real minigame, but since the serious and dramatic tone of the story they aren't needed at all (I can't imagine, for example, Nero fishing between quests!). Cleary this game is a huge step compared to the prequel and a big step compared to many other good Rpgmaker games, both for story, graphics and gameplay. A classic.

So this gets a 4.5, almost perfect!