• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

A Place Among the Greats: Legion Saga II

Recently, I wrote a pretty glowing review of Kamau’s first Legion Saga game. Although not technically remarkable, I praised the game for showing what could be done with RPG Maker 2000 with even the most limited skills. Sure; by today’s standards, the game is pretty ordinary, but the statement it made was brilliant.
Legion Saga II takes that message further. This time, the game stands as a study in effective sequels and though the game is a bit of a disappointment by today’s graphic standards, it still deserves a place among the greats.

In Legion Saga II, you play Nastra, a fugitive from his homeland pulled into a new rebellion just south of the events of the previous game. Even in this story, simple though it may sound, Kamau has taken giant leaps in his storytelling abilities. It’s no longer a simple revolution story; there are multiple layers in character motivations and interactions. Old characters from the first game reappear and this time they’re given extra development; the most notable being in the ninja warrior Shotan.

The most easily noticeable step forward, though, is in the graphics. Gone is the RTP of the previous game- a bunch of chipsets that were considered lazy back in the early 2000s (I’ll review the game that changed this later). It’s replaced with graphics made up mostly of what we today call Refmap, but back then called Mac & Blue. It’s nice to see Kamau break away from the RTP, and it would be even better to see him stick to entirely Refmap tiles, but unfortunately, no; Kamau uses tiles from Final Fantasy VI, Suikoden, and I think the later Tales games’ graphics make appearances here. The result is a HUGE amount of inconsistencies. The same goes for facesets, which are a hodge-podge of Suikoden rips, Chrono Trigger rips and Roco facesets. At a glance, these mostly look similar enough not to worry, but again, it lends to the MASSIVE inconsistency in graphics.

It’s not all hopeless, though. Kamau does a few custom things in Legion Saga II that go some ways to making up for the inconsistent resources. Battle animations are show characters attacking, which is a big deal for RPG Maker, and picture-based duels, while they look like someone just spilled paint on a canvas and decided to roll with it, are fun to see. It’s a pity, therefore, that these graphics are inconsistent as they are, because it would be great to see this attention applied to all parts of the game.

Sound-wise, Legion Saga II does the same thing that Legion Saga did- collect music from a range of games and plop them down here. He’s made a far better selection in this game, though, and it’s really thanks to these sounds more than anything else that the game has a significantly darker feel. Some of the themes from the previous game come across to the new one and gives the whole series this feeling that everything is connected.

Gameplay wise, there are a few things that carry over from the previous game: You get a castle to populate with characters that you can recruit from all over the game’s world. There are a few differences here, though. One of these is this game’s world, which feels far bigger than Legion Saga’s did; taking in two nations instead of one. The most impressive addition, though, is the inclusion of Ridman, the previous game’s protagonist, as a recruitable character. This you can get by saving Legion Saga at a certain spot and transferring the save file over to your Legion Saga II folder. I haven’t seen this feature in another RPG Maker game EVER, and honestly, it’s pretty damn clever.

Also worth noting is the Orbcraft system. One of the most disappointing parts of Legion Saga was its skill system which left no real room for customisation. The Orbcraft system goes some ways to rectifying that by allowing you to equip elemental skills to different characters. It takes a little of the personality of some characters away, but it’s a nice addition to the gameplay.

Legion Saga, like its predecessor, deserves a place among the greats. It gets a four and a half out of five spilled cans of paint.