Legrand Legacy Review – First Sip
Legrand Legacy is a turn based RPG, commonly referred to as a JRPG (a term coined to differentiate from the western RPG games, think Final Fantasy vs the Elder Scrolls or Star Ocean vs Mass Effect), Legrand Legacy is developed by SemiSoft studios and published by Another Indie and Mayflower Entertainment.
The story in Legrand Legacy is pretty typical of the genre, you have an amnesiac hero (Finn or Finnias) who find himself in a bad situation, (about to be murdered in a roman style gladiatorial arena), there is a hint that he may have more power than first meets the eye, and then as the situation feels most dire a stranger comes and rescues him, taking Finn on a journey that will be the first step leading him and a group of other heroes on a world changing quest, pretty standard stuff, however the cliches of the past are still fairly present in recent efforts by some of the biggest releases, for instance both Ni No Kuni 2 and Dragon Quest X1 have loosely the same opening in terms of locations (castle, secret passage that leads to the sewers, fields etc.), JRPG’s have frequently borrowed elements from each other, so basic plot being cliché isn’t much a shock for a debut title, additionally large portions of the script were rewritten in a free update patch to improve the dialogue and flow of the game.
The graphics in Legrand Legacy, are another throwback to classic PS1 era JRPG’s, like a smoother Final Fantasy 8, the game has lovely hand painted static backgrounds and the characters themselves have an interesting comic or anime style to them, the designs of the major characters and enemies are fun as well, with some typical human characters, a race of humanoid Lions, and all sorts of weird and wonderful monsters, especially the giant bosses, everything from a multi armed deity to a giant snow fox, ultimately the game isn’t the best looking JRPG out there, but everything looks good, the cutscenes are fairly impressive for a small team and it easily stands amongst the best looking games from the era it most closely resembles in other aspects.
The music in the game is quite nice, nothing as instantly classic as the iconic Final Fantasy battle themes but certainly above obvious stock music used in some other titles, truth be told, there is a fair bit of the game I have yet to experience and the music generally opens up to the player over time, especially when you have to spend a lot of time in a certain location or backtrack to a previously explored area, sound effects are very swooshy and all fit in fine, much like the classic games it near emulates, there is no voice acting, it would have been nice to have some, however the lack of voicing really plays to the nostalgia factor, and as a debut title, voice acting could get very expensive.
Legrand Legacy utilises a turn based battle system, each character selects their move, attack, guard, magic (called grimoire), item etc. once you have completed selection for your whole team they will execute the commands, whilst the enemies execute their own, the order of the selected option will generally be executed in order of the speed stat in descending order (i.e. fastest goes first, slowest goes last), however some options will shift the order which adds another tactical element, each character learns different grimoire skills, generally focusing on a different element and attack style so you’ll need to match up your team to the enemy one in order to maximise your effectiveness, each character also has a special attack known as an arcana which can be used when the power has built up enough, essentially the Limit Break from a few of the Final Fantasy titles, most moves (attack, guard, grimoire and arcana) all bring up a wheel called the ACT (Action Circle Tempo), which if you’ve ever played Shadow Hearts is essentially the Judgement Wheel, however instead of the multi part combos from the judgement wheel you have a singular pie slice to hit, and the button is random each time, this can be changed to be the same each time or even turned off and played as a straight turn based RPG, both at the cost of less XP for the characters.
Legrand Legacy essentially needs a controller, while it is possible to play using a mouse and keyboard the controls feel awful, the default setup feels somewhat nonsensical, however swapping to controller I found it to be fine, not even needing to adjust the default, however for PC an Xbox style controller (A, B, X, Y button layout) is recommended as the ACT wheel will display these buttons for the prompts.
Overall Legrand Legacy is a love letter to classic JRPG titles, the biggest one being Final Fantasy 8, right down to the developer’s decision to name their company SemiSoft (SquareEnix being called SquareSoft back then), and even the title of the game Legrand Legacy, being alliterative in the same fashion as Final Fantasy, however they do pull influences from other titles such as Legend of the Dragoon, Shadow Hearts and even a battle section similar to the War sections of the Suikoden franchise, among all the love and touchstones for other games, Legrand Legacy also manages the most important thing, being a solid title by its own merits, while most that will be interested in the game will probably, like me, be fans of the other titles I’ve mentioned and have that warm feeling of nostalgia to heighten the experience, even someone that grew up long after the JRPG hey-day and is only familiar with the more action oriented Final Fantasy titles of late should find a lot to love.
In Coffee Terms
Legrand Legacy is like a brand new barista, taking influence and sometimes ingredients from the blends they loved, it has all the same flavours as the bigger brands and even a few subtleties of its own, while it’s not topping anyone’s list of favourite blends it still stands head and shoulders above cheap manufactured knock off blends that lack the heart and soul that they have put into their blend, as barista’s they have been open to feedback from customers and have shown a willingness to refine their blend to match the palates of the consumer as long as it still remains true to their vision, simply put, a delicious blend that compliments classic blends and is well worth a taste.
Legrand Legacy is not my usual type of game (he doesn’t like reading), for the game that it is (I think he means an indie PS1 style JRPG), it has really good graphics, I like the music at the start (the title screen) the most, it’s awesome how different places have different music (again he doesn’t really play JRPG’s), I like the characters, I really like the old man Geddo, he’s like a cool wizard (slight spoiler, something bad happens and Ar0n actually got pretty sad, there is footage on YouTube for those that are interested), it was ok but I like other games like this more (BattleChasers Nightwar and action ones like Kingdom Hearts are his picks here, I would agree they are both amazing too).