Legend of Legaia
Released in March of 1999, Legend of Legaia was the second RPG for the PlayStation that year. Many people had been dying for a good RPG in 1999, and so they turned to this game. Did it meet their expectations?
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of polygonal graphics. On the other hand, I loved the graphics in Legend of Legaia. They were comprised of polygons. While a little "pointy" (a la FF7), they were made quite well. The out-of-battle graphics were quite nice, and often very colorful. The sprites were also given a lot of movement, making them more realistic.
The in-battle graphics is where this game really stands out. The characters in battles are textured to look extremely realistic. They look very good, and their movement abilities are almost flawless. Also, armor and weapons look different for each piece of equipment, which adds more realism into the game.
I thought the storyline in Legend of Legaia was really good. It has enough plot twists to keep you involved, while not being ridiculously strange or "over-done". The basic storyline is something like this:
(slight opening spoilers)
Humans had always depended on magical creatures known as the Seru to help them, by giving them extra strength and abilities. Around ten years ago, a strange mist enveloped the land. This mist caused any Seru it touched to morph into an evil beast. If a Seru changed to a monster while equipped by a human, the human too would become a "Seru monster". In the village of Rim Elm, all is peaceful, for the strong walls surrounded the town have protected them from the mist. One day, a horde of monsters come and smash the wall, and attack the villagers. It is up to Vahn, a resident of Rim Elm, to journey to the source of the mist and destroy it by reviving the legendary "Genesis Trees". So the adventure begins.....
Although seemingly simple, the story is quite complex. While not the best I have seen, I consider it very well written.
There are only three playable characters in Legend of Legaia, and they very much resemble the characters from Wild ARMs (the two games were by the same company). Vahn is the main hero of the story. He is from the village of Rim Elm, and decided to destroy the mist after his village was attacked. Noa is a teenage girl who was raised by a wolf, and decides to journey with Vahn to destroy the mist after she and the wolf are attacked. Gala is a monk of Biron Monastary, and is trained in the Biron Arts. After the monastary is attacked, he takes it upon himself to join you in defeating the mist.
Normally, characters such as Gala, I find annoying; But in Legend of Legaia, they were developed well enough that I didn't mind having him along. Although there are only three characters, they were developed well and you didn't mind having only those three throughout the game.
A highlight of Legend of Legaia - probably the best part. Battles are almost like a better-done version of Xenogears' battles. You enter different button commands at the beginning of a characters turn, and then they can perform different attack combinations, similar to the "Deathblows" in Xenogears. All spells are absorbed through each characters Ra-Seru after defeating a monster. When you kill an enemy, you have a chance of absorbing it (whether you succeed or not is random). If you absorb it, that enemy can now be summoned, much like the Call Spells from the Final Fantasy Series.
Dual Shock usage in this game is the best I've seen in an RPG - Maybe in any game. During spells, the controller vibrates. During any sort of earthquake, it shakes. During any attack you make, it vibrates. It is all done very well.
My only complaint with the gameplay is that there are way too many random battles.
The music in Legend of Legaia is very good. The music always fits the situation well. Cara's theme is a tune of mystery, while Rim Elm's happy theme shows the feelings on the village. The only music I didn't particularly care for was the battle theme. It was rather annoying, and I wish it had been done better considering how often you are in battles - you have to hear that tune a lot.
Length and Replay Value:
Legend of Legaia is about average in length for an RPG. It runs around 35 hours, give or take a few. The main thing that adds to replay value and length are all the secret items - There are many accessories that can only be attained through long, hard work, but are definately worth it. It's a game that you'll probably play at least twice, if trying to find everything in it. After you complete the game, you'll get a list of how many secrets you found, how many chests you opened, how many battles you ran from, etc. It will give you a total game percentage, based on how much of the game you completed. I was no where near 100% after my first ttime through.
The excellent battle system makes for a fun time playing, even with the large amount of random battles. Also, it is fun finding all of the secret items, just because of how awesome they are. The storyline is good enough to keep you involved so that you don't want to quit playing. All in all, it's a great game.
|Final (Average) Score||9.0|
Wandering Prophet's Reviews
Legend of Legaia Reviews
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