The Ivy Tower was once a place of scientific advancement before it was abandoned over a thousand years ago. The tower fell into ruin once people began to believe that technology was an ancient magic. As Alto, you must enter the tower to retrieve the Almighty Ancient Weapon Melize to free his sister, Mari, from a curse. With the aid of T48R-B, an android manager who guards the tower, our adventurer faces the different dangers that dwell within.
Gamers familiar with the action role-playing classic ClaDun X2 for PSP will feel right at home with Legasista for Playstation 3. It uses the same play mechanics and dungeon-like labyrinths that portable gamers have been enjoying for well over a year now. Each dungeon is sectioned off into rooms that contain chests, traps and monsters. There are exits that either lead to a different floor or back to the Railyard (i.e. the Ivy Tower entrance), but these require keys to open.
The player is presented with a basic tutorial that explains the nuisances of combat and exploring the dungeons. As you explore the first few floors of the Ivy Tower, the game explains the importance of reading signs (which give useful advice) and how to use items. The player will also encounter a talking bean sprout named Sprouty. She becomes Alto’s companion and affectionately calls him, ‘Moshi’. Her job is to give Alto advice on how to survive the dungeons.
After the tutorial, the player is left to explore the dungeons even though Sprouty will continue to offer advice. The dungeons offer many rewards, but they are also filled with dangers like traps. Traps are floor tiles that can either inflict damage or heal the player. These traps include, but are not limited to: spikes, earthquakes, trigger traps (which when stepped on will trigger all nearby traps), egg traps (giant eggs are hurled at the player), and monster traps. Health traps, as the name implies, restores your health.
The game limits the number of times you can use. Lanterns, for example, can only be used while inside the dungeon. When armor and weapons are found, they must be repaired at the Railyard before they can be equipped. When found, armor and weapons with their names written in yellow can be equipped immediately. Not only are these items rare, but they are very powerful.
Equipment such as armor, weapons and trinkets are assigned durability bars. During combat, a damage marker appears over the player’s stats. When an enemy inflicts damage on the player, the durability bars closest to the damage marker are reduced, weakening the equipment. The damage marker moves based on the location of the damage inflicted (i.e. front, back, left or right), so different equipment can be damaged during an encounter. Once an item’s durability is depleted, it will be useless until it’s repaired. So it’s important to monitor your equipments’ durability. Additionally, items that are equipped require mana to function. And since each equipment slot is assigned a mana limit, it’s imperative not to exceed it.
Combat is your basic hack-and-slash variety. The circle button attacks and the X button jumps; pressing the circle button multiple times will execute a combo. The Left Shoulder buttons access your magic abilities (when acquired) and also switches between magic users. The Right Shoulder buttons allow you to toggle through items from your inventory as well as use them. You can also dash (or avoid enemies) by pressing the square button. Dashing is a great way to avoid being hit, but it reduces your character’s DEF by 50%.
Certain monsters, foods, and even medicines (when found inside the dungeon) can poison the player. It’s not possible for a single poison to kill Alto, but if you end up with all three levels of poison – Green, yellow, and black – he will die. The only way to cure the poison is to drink a potion of the same color or to consume a bean sprout with the Detox effect. If you happen to perish inside the dungeons, all items collected during your journey will be lost. The only items that will not be lost are the ones that were already returned to the Railyard and equipped. This may seem unfair to some gamers, but it’s not nearly as unforgiving as some role-playing games where you lose items and your equipment sustains damage at the same time.
The graphics resemble an Anime with intriguing SD (Super Deformed) characters with large heads and brightly colored backgrounds. Intermissions are animated and dubbed with convincing voice actors. The dungeons have some of the most soulful music ever heard in an action role-playing game.
Legasista offers solid gameplay and plenty of depth. Reviewers who deemed the game ‘an uninspired mess’ didn’t give it a chance. While the story leaves little to the imagination, the gameplay happens to be on par with other games in the action role-playing genre. The game is addicting, very challenging, and worth playing especially if you’re a fan of the genre. When you’re a gamer, this is all that matters at the end of the day.
Platform: Playstation 3
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software, Inc / SYSTEM PRISMA
Publisher: NIS America
ESRB: T (Teen)
|Beautiful 2D sprites and colorful dungeons.|
|An enjoyable soundtrack full of emotion.|
|Fun and challenging, Legasista offers countless hours of dungeon crawling.|
|Action RPG fans will enjoy playing Legasista.|