A Legacy Returns

The Legend of Legacy HD Remaster is a remaster of the 3DS adventure originally released in 2016. It has now gotten an uplift on modern hardware including the Switch, PlayStation 4/5 and PC. The game follows a band of misfit adventurers out to seek the treasures on the lost continent of Avalon. As you begin, you get to pick a character to play as from a roster of seven who all have their own reasons as to being on the island and while you begin as one character you can recruit all into your party eventually.

The game consist of turn based gameplay where the first 3 band of adventurers begin exploring a local forest and then end up returning to the town in which they set off from. Here you can buy new equipment, items and heal up. While characters do fully recover health after each battle, SP the resource needed to use skills does not, losing all your health in battle will also cause your characters max HP to decrease temporarily all of which can be recovered at an inn. After you speak to the king you set on fourth on your journey.

Anyone familiar with Square Enix’s SaGa series will find some similarities with Legend of Legacy and if you enjoy the systems of those games you may find some enjoyment in Legend of Legacy also however some of the stronger aspects of the SaGa games are much weaker here.

There is no experience or level system in Legend of Legacy, characters will level up their skills based on actually using them. Attributes such as HP and SP seem to level up at random but not to the point where one character has significantly better stats than the other so it may be that these are dependent on the amount of battles fought. Money is also very sparse and if you do get some after battle it won’t be much, you will likely be selling the items you find instead, grinding battles usually will be a thing early on as battles while not overly difficult, can result in losing easily if you don’t pay attention. The game uses formations in battle which characters stances determine their boosts to stats depending on the roles. The Pegasus role which you start of with has one character soak up the brunt of the damage whilst the side characters dish out the damage. It’s a safe bet especially to begin with, even if battles initially do take a while to get going.

While I found Legend of Legacy enjoyable it is not without its faults, the story sadly is mediocre at best, whilst the intro was detailed enough to explain Avalon and when I got to know my team, that’s when the story had flatlined for me. I kind of enjoyed the opening playing as Eloise who disguised herself as an ugly barmaid only to find that two adventurers who saw right through her disguise equally as shocked to find that she is incredibly beautiful. The game had set up for a lighthearted and warming story but sadly it ended here, the characters you meet henceforth don’t seem to have much personality either. After grinding for a bit early on and returning to town I noticed a frog like character standing near the harbor who introduced himself as Filmia and joined the party with no reason as to why or his backstory.

I assumed he was useless as he had a spear equipped but so did Eloise who I had already levelled and found a powerful spear for earlier on. I believe characters may have a few Individual skills that make them unique but nothing to really stand out as a reason to pick on one character over someone else entirely. Legend of Legacy does allow you to switch formations at any time during battles but party members can only be switched out back in town, meaning you have to switch in another character if you want to make them stronger.

Legend of Legacy does have a really nice art style and seeing the visual upgrade from 3DS to the big screen is impressive. It has a mixed bag of hand drawn art mixed with watercolor painted backgrounds and interactive buildings that look like giant cardboard cutouts. When you move across the maps in dungeons trees and rocks pop up out of nowhere like they do from classic pop up story books. The way Legend of Legacy looks just works in its favour even though some of the dungeon maps look the same and use the same assets from other maps. Enemies show up as shadows on the map and take form of a silhouette of what you will actually fight so if you know which enemies you do not want to fight, this is a good way to avoid those enemies. Exploring maps fully will complete the map and will let you know its fully explored, you can then exchange fully completed maps for funds and then obtain new ones to explore. Elemental affinity is another system that becomes available early on where you find elements shifting constantly which affects both in and outside of battle mechanics.

The linearity of Legend of Legacy is something that I enjoy way more than the convoluted SaGa series. While several maps can appear at once and you are free to explore each area you see fit, you aren’t whisked away only to find yourself softlocked or unable to backtrack. The game does have some difficulty spikes but nothing a bit of grinding can’t fix, when Legend of Legacy throws you a curveball you can grind it out and obtain significantly better weapons and armour by using the ship sat on the harbor in the main town. This feature was originally part of the 3DS’s Streetpass feature but now implemented without. You can send out a ship which will take real time hours to complete for example completing a voyage in 1 hour costs less but will in return present less rewards for doing so whilst the more expensive voyage will cost more, take longer but present better rewards. It’s great having a system which rewards you even when you aren’t playing, it is a feature I enjoy and I wish more games would utilize this.

Overall I have enjoyed my time with Legend of Legacy HD Remastered. It definitely hits the spot of almost challenging but not too difficult gameplay and locations are really great to look at, musically it’s nice and tracks are a blend of upbeat and calming tracks that work with the setting that Legend of Legacy creates.

A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by NIS America