- Replay Value
Most of the people reading this would do just about everything to save a member of their family, right? I know that if my brother were in trouble, I would tread a tower that has not been explored in eons. While Alto’s situation is a little bit different than the one I just described, it’s pretty much the same thing. You see, Alto’s sister has been turned into a crystal by the curse of an ancient artifact. The only way to save her is by using an ancient weapon called Melize, a weapon who also turns out to be somewhat human. Melize and Alto end up striking a deal which would end with Alto giving his life to save his sister, but right as he is about to cash in, Melize loses her memory. Now you must work together with Melize to recover her memory so you can save the sister you find so dear. Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t do all this for my family.
Legasista pretty much had me sold when I found out that it was published by NISA, and when I realized it was a dungeon crawler. Nothing gets me more excited than traversing dungeons and killing baddies. Then you bring in the fact that there is an expansive loot system, and I think I am in heaven. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the gameplay in Legasista. The mechanics actually work well, and the individual customization options are pretty expansive. Combat is smooth, and I didn’t find any huge problems that turned me off. And while playing from the “looking down” perspective got annoying at times when you could only attack in the four cardinal directions, it was nothing that hurt gameplay too much. There was just a bunch of readjusting going on. The fact that there is not only 4 or 5 different types of weaponry to use, but magic to utilize, also kept combat interesting throughout. Enough about the combat, let’s take a look at that sexy customization system.
While a majority of Legasista is focussed on the dungeon crawling, the rest focusses on the customization system. I mean, what loot based game isn’t going to have a kick-ass customization scheme? Legasista bases itself around the fact that you have a certain amount of slots, and you can fill those slots with various pieces of equipment. Each piece of armor, weapon, or stat booster is different, and finding identical items is uncommon. This creates a system where your character is unique, which I very much enjoyed. They also added a lot of replay value outside of endless customization in the form of random generated dungeons called ran-geons. While the main dungeons aren’t randomly generated, these ran-geons can be done as many times as you want. They are great for grinding, loot whoring, and just playing in general. It may be a little bit annoying when the enemies are increased by 100 levels from floor to floor (that happened once…..just play it and you will see), but they add that extra element that enhances the games value through the roof. In addition to the customization of armor and such, the character customization/creation was very well done.
Usually when there is a character creator in games, they are very shoddy, and your created characters are no match for the games established characters. This is not the case in Legasista. While the characters start off at a slightly lower level than your characters (that’s because the character creator isn’t unlocked until 1/4th through the game), they become very useful. You can customize their class, gender, name, age, special skills, and other various aspects. While the system isn’t as immense as that of Skyrim and Fallout, it’s simple and fun enough to use. Plus it’s really satisfying to actually use “Buttdick (Dan)” the axeman in battle (Named after our Reviews Editor, Dan Knight). Oh yeah, and it was hilarious to go ahead and make your characters voice play at 50% playback. Slow japanese voices are on the quite hilarious side.
One more thing that I thought Legasista did very well was their aesthetic aspects, mainly the music and graphical components. Straight off the bat, the music that plays when you are waiting for the game to load got me tapping my foot. It had a very “Japanese” feel to it, and I enjoyed it. The rest of the game follows a similar pattern, providing some high energy tracks that make you want to keep playing just to listen to it. I also liked the artwork and character designs in Legasista. It had that highly childish feel that I have come to expect from Nippon Ichi and NISA, and I could not complain in the slightest. The colors were colorful and vibrant. Everything was just really appealing to the eyes.
Now, even the best of games have their obvious flaws; Legasista is not free of that burden. One of the biggest flaws lies in its character development and story. To put it bluntly, the story is uninteresting and cliché. I can’t even begin to count the number of games that have the main character trying to save someone they love, and the side character falling in love with them. Legasista might have a robot for a side character, but it has still been seen before. Even then, the characters are just not very well done, and they seem uninteresting. We have the dull one who barely talks, the sassy witch with huge boobs, the clueless lover, and the heroic figure. There’s nothing special about a single one of them (except maybe the witches huge knockers). Luckily having a stale story didn’t set this game back too far. It just slightly annoyed me. Not to mention that halfway through the tutorial, I liked the bean sprouts more than I liked the main character.
The only other flaw I found in Legasista was the lack of a dub feature. The game was completely voiced in Japanese, and there is no option to set it to english. It may just be me, but I found this annoying. Sure, the dialogue sections only lasted about 30 seconds on average, but that was 30 seconds where I had to read. Oh man, the horror! How could you make me read, Nippon Ichi! Anyways, an english dub option would have been nice, but it’s not a huge deal.
Overall, Legasista is a very good game. It’s definitely up there in my list of great PSN games of 2012 (right up there with Closure and a few others). The gameplay flowed really well, and it was fun throughout. Nothing got stale, which is something I enjoyed. Though, I will admit that my favorite part of Legasista (outside of the actual dungeon crawling and loot hoarding) was the ran-geons. Nothing does it more for me than randomly generated dungeons…which would explain my 100+ hours of The Binding of Isaac. While I realize that a game like this would be hard for someone who doesn’t enjoy the niche, I still would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good dungeon crawler. Plus I mean, who doesn’t want to play as a character named Buttdick?