The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered - PS5 Review

The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered  by developer FURYU Corporation and publisher NIS America Inc.Sony PlayStation 5 review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher. 

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes.

The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered is a treat for fans of hardcore turn-based combat and exploration. Originally released in North America for the Nintendo 3DS in 2015, this predecessor to The Alliance Alive is now available for those looking to return to this adventure or to dive into it for the very first time.

For some, there may be a sense of familiarity when starting up this adventure. While displayed in a 3D fashion, there are some shared aspects with the Etrian Odyssey series such as the exploration and creation of maps. For others, there are some shared aspects with the Saga Series, or, Final Fantasy II now that it's easily available under the more recent Pixel Remastered Collection, which is how skills are developed. In either case, while there's familiarity there is still a shiny new adventure just waiting to be explored with its own twists and turns.

To start off the adventure, you have the choice from one of seven characters. Each has their own starting bonuses in the form of Attack, Defense or Support. Each also has their own starting weapons and skills learned. From there, two others will join up for your starting party of three and the introductory mission that serves as a tutorial for the adventures ahead. 

The Legend of Legacy is very, very, gameplay heavy. There is next to no dialog short of a few quick speech bubbles here and there. It's truly about a group of adventurers who are exploring this mystical island and mapping their progress as they move along. And if you're not sure how you feel about a character? Don't worry. It won't take long to recruit the other 4 and as for their skills? That won't be an issue due to the grind.

As you explore this wonderous island, there are a few things for certain. The first is that the world you're exploring is pretty. Not only has the cell shaded world aged very well with time, but there's an almost popup book artistry to it. As you move through the environment the elements of the world pop up around you revealing their secrets if you know what to look for.

The second thing for certain is that you'll be fighting. A lot. A part of this is because you need to in order to become stronger. Another is where I have an issue with the world’s design. Because everything pops up as you go, if you move too fast you won't have the chance to see the enemies and you'll run right smack into them. Sometimes you'll want this. Other times? You just want to be able to explore that glorious map for some very much needed cash money dollars.

Combat, unlike a lot of JRPGs, is not financially lucrative in the long run. Sometimes you'll pick up a decent item to sell, but for the most part? It's what it can do for you that matters. The Legend of Legacy does not run off of experience points. Instead, it runs off of some mystical math of the gods that will deem whether or not you're ready for their blessings.

Going back to the three character attributes of Attack, Defense and Support, each of these can be increased over time as you fight against the horses of enemies between you and exploration. Starting off with only one formation, you can easily create more to help in these increases. Attack, attack, defense. Attack, defense, defense. Triple support. Whatever works for you in the moment as there are no wrong answers depending on what your personal growth plan is.

Doubling down from those, every character skill has the same three attributes and will also increase in power as they are used. Some can be done with zero cost, while others will need some SP to perform. Finding that your SP is too low to use your skills? That's ok! Your SP, like your HP, will also increase over time as you use it. The only catch? You need to hope that whatever math is behind each’s growth actually kicks in and increases the values.

To the side of a character’s skills, there is also a form of magic that can be learned. Split between singing and whispering shards, elemental contracts can be made in order to swing the balance of power on the field of battle. Starting off with the singing shard of water, you can make a contract that will mildly regenerate your HP while also allowing you to cast a variety of other abilities. Water shields can better protect your party from damage, Healing Hands can be better than the normal medicinal boxes and a Hailstorm can rain on your enemies parade. Literally.

Each of these abilities can be immediately used through a shard but over time can also be learned to cast without the shard in question. You’ll still need a shard with the element in question to cast, but it allows for a higher range of abilities as long as the element is in your favor. Just be careful however as enemies can steal the contracts for themselves costing you a valuable turn to rain hell down upon them, or, heal and defend yourselves.

And this is what makes this adventure a bit tougher. You can't really plan around the growth, it needs to happen. So for it to happen, you need to fight. So it all meshes together rather well at times as long as you are patient about it and try not to run faster than the map will uncover itself. Because as mentioned above, while some monsters pop up in front of you? Others are mere shadows on the ground circling the skies above just waiting to end your life. And your progress.

So here’s the fun part. If you need to run away, run away. It’s not a chance to run away and you wasting turn after turn trying. You simply run away. The catch, because there is always a catch, is that you are returned to the entrance of the area. Not the map that you are on. The bonus with this is that you can easily use this feature to get back to the entrance and head back to town to rest and save as there’s no other way to save your game. So every time you go out, just be prepared that you can easily lose progress on just a bad roll of the dice with enemies that you weren’t prepared to deal with. 

Finally, as a bit of help, when in town, you can sell your maps for money. The more detailed the map, the more money you’ll be given. This seriously helps you figure out if a map is truly complete or if you missed an area. If you sell it early, you’ll earn less and you won’t be able to sell an updated version for the remainder of the balance. Side to that, there’s a ship that you can commission to sail out and bring you back some goodies. This will cost you either 400, 1,000 or 5,000 dollars and take more time to come back. The longer the time, the higher potential value of the items that can be brought back. The great thing with this feature is, it’s designed to work on an actual clock and not the in game time counter. So let them set sail for 5 hours as you are calling it quits for the night and check the spoils once you jump back on the next day. 

Overall, having played the Legend of Legacy years ago on my 3DS and playing it again on the PS5, it was nice to come back to this adventure. While perhaps a little less portable this time around, there is definitely a higher comfort factor as you sit back with a controller in hand and play on the big screen. It may not be for everyone, as it’s on the harder side of things, but it’s well worth the adventure as it unfolds itself under your feet as you explore the island to see what secrets it has been hiding. 

Score: 8 / 10



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