The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered Review

The Legend of Legacy?was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2015, yet its follow-up The Alliance Alive received an HD remaster to other consoles first. I was very impressed with The Alliance Alive, but this legend’s legacy isn’t going down quite as well with me.

The most important thing to know about The Legend of Legacy is that the narrative is quite basic and relatively uninvolved. A lost continent resurfaces, and adventurers come for their own reasons to discover its past. You will get some minor bits and piecs of lore here and there, but there’s not much at all in the way of cutscenes or dialogue. Picking the frog prince Filmia as my main character meant the dialogue that I did receive was pretty amusing, at least.

The combat overall is a somewhat intuitive menu-based affair at a glance, but there are a couple of systems, like this game’s version of magic, that do change up a few things from the norm. Your party of three can also be put into different formations, which is important not to ignore if you want to increase youor attack, defense or support levels during various stages of the battle. Formations are chosen on each turn so it’s easy to switch up on the fly if you want your tank in front or for everyone to dish out as much damage as possible.

Progressing through what story there is, and you’ll come across elemental shards which can be equipped to one of your slots. However, a contract must be made during the fight, so at least one party member has to activate the water contract with an equipped item before another party member can actually use a water ability. Sometimes my party members eventually inherently learned the skills from these shards so I could pass them on to someone else, but it rarely happened. This magic system at first seemed interesting, but became more and more tedious as I got into tug-of-war fights over contracts once the enemies could activating them.

Your health refreshes in-between battles, although your skill points do not, and the game is balanced around this structure. I found that I rarely used the skill point restoring items, as no items can be used during battle anyway, and doing normal attacks will slowly bring those skill points back up.

Fights can be pretty tough, depending on the sheer number of enemies encountered. Thankfully you can retreat back to the start of the entire area, but I definitely used the quick save function a lot. There is an early map in the game where giant bird enemies circled in pairs that were as tough as any boss encounter - a mere brush with one of these foes was better served with me exiting the game rather than starting back at the entrance.

A fun minor mechanic is that as you move around each sub-area you fill in the map, filling in all the maps of a larger area to 100% will grant you more money when you sell the map, giving me greater incentive to explore complicated areas, especially if I found the exit early on. Occasionally an area might be covered in shadow, which leads to an increase in great items to pick up, but this shadow also makes the enemies three times stronger, and places many shadow giants to chase you. Of course, by the time I felt I was ready to actually take one of these giants on, I couldn’t get the event to trigger.?

Getting new skills and equipment is a bit of a task. Asides from the occasional drops, the boats you can send out for a set time of real hours seemed to be the best real way to get a few useful items as the shopkeepers stock was unreliable and often trailed behind what I needed. Much like The Alliance ALive, there isn’t the usual leveling up system. It is instead more SaGa-like as you’ll still gain stats increases from time to time, but it is semi-randoma nd I often felt I completed fights that were basically a waste of time. At least the enemies that run around the map do not respawn until you leave the sub area.

Every character can equip any type of weapon and these all unlock skills by being used, though at times it can seem random it mostly happens in tough fights. This was something I was impressed by in this game’s successor, but here I found it annoying as I’d gain a new skill, not retreat, and then get beaten by a boss and when fighting them again would not gain that skill I didn’t keep.

The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered is what it say on the tin, a former 3DS game, so the visuals aren’t terribly impressive when brought to HD. A storybook look can almost be seen in the way some aspects of the maps are illustrated but even with the chibi models, the game looks…alright, nothing more, nothing less. The soundtrack fares a little better with some dreamy tunes, and the victory fanfare shall play in my head for quite a while. There’s no voice acting at all; it would probably stand out too much when the rare dialogue does occur.

However, the way various parts of the map would pop intentionally into place got very bothersome as I tried to make my way around and not remember there was a wall of trees in the way until they were right in front of me. These dungeons have minor traps, or boons if you’ve gained the right elemental affinity, such as torches that can be permanently lit to remove any monsters from that area, though their reach isn’t as useful as I’d like.

In the end I’m not really sure how to feel about The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered. There were points where I enjoyed myself, but I’m also not sure I’d beat it if I didn’t have to for this review. I don’t really mind the game's minimalist approach to narrative, but the dungeon design, repetitive battles, and difficulty walls I hit made it hard to press on. If the skill progression system sounds fun to you, The Alliance Alive HD Remastered is a much better option if you have yet to play it. But, if you’re looking for a game that gives you turn-based combat without much fluff, this would be still a fine choice.