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To Reap or Not to Reap?

  • Solemus
  • 10/08/2017 11:14 PM
Legends of Perren: Task of Malice is a fun game, even if the story and the title itself hint at a game of greater scope and magnitude. My primary complaint is that the game is too short. But keep in mind the fact that the designer built it in only 9 days, which is pretty impressive. Don’t expect anything too elaborate from the game, and you won’t be disappointed. I enjoyed the addition of the Catoblepas! Straight out of Dungeons and Dragons!

My playthrough time was about 7 hours, but I tend to spend a lot of time looking for secrets. The closest things to secrets I came upon are probably the occasional stashed loot or semi-hidden chest, and the 450 G reward for killing Ricky the Butcher. There is also a small side quest that allows you to acquire the Light Saber, Erika’s best weapon, and makes it possible for you to buy the Scythe of Pain, Malice’s best. Visit the smith in the frozen city.

There isn’t much in the way of new material here. A few NPCs I haven’t seen before, and some character set modifications. There wasn’t a ton of detail in the maps…they seem mostly thrown together. Not bad, just nothing special. The towns have a nice feel to them, though. And there is some creative use of parallax background here and there.

The music is all stock.

The story opens with a grandfather reading a story, reminiscent of The Princess Bride. A little girl watches her new friend’s town get destroyed, then her own death soon follows.

But Death has other plans for her, and trains her to be a Reaper. Death is too busy, so he sends the girl, now a young woman, Malice, to deal with the Gafsk problem.

The basic idea of the story is that you are trying to acquire all four elemental objects to stop the Empire of Gafsk from taking over the world.

A ship is acquired after the first battle, in which you must defeat a Gafsk soldier who spouts dialogue hearkening back to Warcraft 2 and Star Wars.

With this ship, you can go almost anywhere in the game. But it’s best to go from one island to the next in sequence, to start. In the town of Circel on the first island, you will have Gloop the slime join your group (because no one else is willing to help). He is primarily a combat-based character, but has some nice abilities that can slow enemies down and poison them.

On the island just to the north of Circel, you’ll meet Erika, the BattleAngel. Don’t let her name fool you. She gets a TON of powerful spells/techniques, and you’ll probably be using those more than attacking.

The last character is Junko, who joins once you acquire the airship. She is a Healer with some elemental magic, but her real strength is in her ability to boost the attributes of all your characters in battle.

The story is pretty simplistic, but there are enough geeky references, sexual innuendos, and comedic dialogue scenes to keep things interesting.

The gameplay was pretty straightforward. Battles were conventional, and role-playing tasks were nothing out of the ordinary. The main difference was that whenever you found a dead body, you could reap their soul! This meant you had to battle the soul for control, and then send them on to the afterlife. As a reward for doing so, all of Malice’s stats would be raised.

There are also statues that will increase Erika’s stats, and certain points in the game where Gloop will be pleased and gain some extra stats.

1. Dialogue bugs: There are several places in the game where part of a character’s speech text is cut off. There are also important tasks that you are asked to complete which, if you miss what was said, you can’t return to later. Fortunately, the game is small enough that you can figure it out on your own.
2. Music bugs: There are many points where music changes, then goes silent. Then, after another battle, the altered music plays again unnecessarily, then goes quiet again. It’s a little tacky.
3. Lack of Guidance: There are numerous places that you are just expected to go during the game without anyone telling you to do so. This is especially problematic with the well on Palmaria, which no one ever talks about. You just have to be lucky enough to click on it and go in.
4. The challenge of the game shifts dramatically downward as you play. In the beginning, there is some difficulty in combat. As you gain characters and a crap load of spells, the game becomes way too easy. Experience is given out way too liberally, as well.

One thing the game had going for it was the healing challenge. The last person to join is the healer, so up to that point, you had to get by with items. This was actually a fun challenge, requiring constant restocking of supplies. Even having Junko, the Healer, in the group wasn’t terrible at first, because her healing spells were weak. But as she grows in power and acquires dozens of spells, all the fun goes out the window as you never need a healing item again. The end of the game is especially disappointing because of its brevity. Just as I was starting to enjoy the boss battles, they were over.
Overall, this was a fun game to play. It wasn’t as challenging as I would have liked, and it was way too short, but the humor made it all worthwhile.