Sunday, January 2, 2000

Legend of Legaia

Genre: Role Playing Game
Platform: Playstation
Credits: SCEI

Legend of Legaia Strat Guides
Legend of Legaia Video Games
Legend of Legaia Toys
Legend of Legaia Music (OST)
Legend of Legaia Item Shop
All by Skysenshi
Bosses Guide
Leveling Up
Cover Description:
A legendary tale of betrayal and self-destruction. Abuse derived from the greediness of man. The powers of a magical creature betrayed. Will man realize his mistakes before irreparable damage is done?

Armed with a magical sword and the will to survive, lead Vahn and his cohorts to the redemption of man. Pursue a quest to save the world and discover a place where legends are born.

Discover the Legend of Legaia...

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2000 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2000. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2000 by default.

The power of patience and determination >>> by skysenshi
The very first thing that is noticeable in this game is the excellent battle system, much similar to the death blow combos that you do in Xenogears, but quite different in that there are so many combinations that you can do. No character has the same button combinations as the other, which makes discovering every combo quite challenging.

Aside from the attack sequences, there is the choice of using items for healings and power ups, using spirit for extra defense and attack power, and the most-used Ra-Seru magic. The battle system is coupled with unique battle gears that is really visible to the players' eyes. Everytime a player changes battle gear, the RPG player can see a change in attire or weapon. In fact, it feels like dressing up your characters.

Human emotions are likewise very tangible because the characters are near lifelike, not Final Fantasy 8 quality, but very similar to it. The plot and the characters also have very interesting backgrounds, especially Noa and Gala. The plus part here is that there are only three main characters, so you wouldn't have to worry about one of your characters lagging behind in terms of experience and capabilities. You also wouldn't be left wondering as to what happened to a particular character that you've formed an attachment with because each is given ample limelight focus.

The execution of events are well-done, not complicated, but touching all the same. The endings--there are three possibilities--are also quite adorable and entertaining, well-worth the pain of earning money and levelling up.

Going to the topic of levelling up and earning money, here is the point where Legend of Legaia's replay value falls below my expectations. All enemies you encounter are stingy by nature. This is especially annoying because most of the items you need to progress in your quests are highly expensive. Furthermore, the most powerful summons are quite difficult for an impatient person to attain. Imagine a requirement of 20,000 fishing points for a Water Ra-Seru Summon, when an average fish would give you 70-80 points. Imagine a requirement of 100,000 tokens when finishing a battle at the Muscle Dome at level 40 will give you 818 tokens.

You can say that you just need to level up so you can participate in a battle that will give you 13,000 tokens. But levelling up is not that easy either. All enemies aren't only stingy with money, they're also stingy with experience points! And to think you need to get to level 99 in order to get the final summon! This is an extremely boring task because you can finish all the quests at level 40+ unlike in other RPGs where you just turn level 60-70 instantly because of the number of quests you go through. 60 to 99 is a lot easier to achieve than 40-99. The game is also quite short, it's the earn-money-and-experience part that makes it tedious.

Comparing this with the attainment of FF7's Knights of Round Materia, there is no contest. In FF7, you are having fun racing the chocobo and breeding them to get the gold breed that will help you acquire that Knights of Round. Here, getting the Final Juggernaut summon gets you yawning because of all the work you need to do that doesn't even require skill--only patience and determination.

This game is also quite difficult when you are starting, because the stingy enemies give you really painful blows that sometimes you would need to level up just so you won't have to waste magic powers on them. However, in the course of your travels, the enemies gradually become easier to defeat, so the difficult part falls on the fact that you still have to go through so many boring battles to get this item or that level.

The game is still quite satisfying, though, because of the interesting sub plots and especially the ending. All those things you did to get the summons are completely justified. The technique the creators applied on the ending is quite unique because you can still control your characters. You also get to see your stats, how many of the treasures you've gotten, how many times you ran away from an enemy, and such. Overall, Legend of Legaia is a wonderful game. It's truly a big step towards extreme innovation in the world of RPG.

COMPLETION TIME: 99:59:59 hours
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: 99 for all characters
RATINGS: Gameplay 9; Battle 10; Story 9; Visuals 9; Characters 10; Sounds 7; Replay Value 6

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