Posted on August 22, 2012 AT 02:00pm
Legasista takes gamers back to the days of dungeon exploration games. This game type was fairly common back in the early console days but it has become something of an endangered species now. Game companies seem to be more concerned with multiplayer and hyper-realistic graphics and less concerned about games that are simply fun.
Legasista follows the journey of Alto as he endeavors to find a way to cure his sister of the curse that has turned her into a crystal. Yes, your sister is a rock you carry in your pocket. He has heard rumors that a cure could be found in the Ivory Tower. Upon entering the Ivory Tower he meets Ms. Dungeon, the tower guardian. She’s a robot and has been there for one thousand years. During his exploration he finds the “ancient weapon” Melize. Melize could help him with his sister but she breaks down and loses her memory. So begins a second quest to restore Melize’s memory so she can help you. Along the way you will encounter many more characters and some will join your party.
The controls are pretty simple and straightforward. They really took me back to my NES days and the old dungeon crawlers. The game gives you an overhead view of the characters. You can jump, move, attack, and in some cases use special abilities. Switching between party members is easily done with just a flick of the analog stick. Your party is fairly small though, only about three to four characters total but with the ability to switch on the fly, it’s easy enough to dispatch enemies quickly and efficiently.
As with all games, you gain experience by defeating enemies and clearing dungeons. Experience will level up your character and abilities. However, you will also gain JP (Job Points) and those can be assigned to each character to unlock bonuses, like stronger attacks. Combat is easy and not turn based. Just attack or run but keep in mind as you go deeper into the dungeons, enemies get more powerful so use a bit of strategy too.
Your life is not just limited to your HP bar. All your equipment items have a durability bar. Once your HP is gone, these durability bars will start to go down with each hit you take. Your weapons can break and leave you with nothing more than your fists to fight with. If all your bars reach zero, you die. Don’t worry though, with each return to the Ivory Tower, your bars will all be fully recharged and your weapons will be repaired. If you do die, you will lose all the items you found and experience you gained in that dungeon.
That brings me to something that bothered me a bit about Legasista. I was forced to return to the Ivory Tower entrance after completing each individual floor in every single dungeon. While it’s nice to get everything boosted back up to full strength, sometimes I didn’t need it. I could get through a dungeon and still be at full health but I couldn’t just continue on. I was brought back to the Ivory Tower entrance, then had to talk to Ms. Dungeon, and then had to pick the dungeon and floor I wanted to go to next. It can really take you out of a game when you are distracted like that. This isn’t a game killing defect but I would have liked to have the option to continue in the dungeon or go back to the Ivory Tower.
Legasista has a neat little feature, creating your own character. You can either do this through your PS3 or you can create one in Photoshop and then transfer it to your PS3. Being able to completely customize a character like that is pretty awesome and not something that you see very often. There are promised of a website in the future where players can share their creations and plans for the release of “pre-created” characters online.
While I was not entranced with the story, I did find playing a game genre that I loved so much back in the day made me enjoy Legasista. Maybe it is due to the nostalgia factor or maybe it is because was a simple, straightforward game. The graphics were appealing and and animations were charming. It really took me back an older era of gaming.
SSUMMARY: Legasista is a dungeon crawler and you will find yourself grinding away for experience but it is not done in a way that will make you want to throw your controller. You can advance through dungeons at your own speed, repeat dungeons for better time and more experience, or you can go back and unlock the ran-geons (locked areas of the dungeons) once you unlock Melize’s digging ability. If you want to try to outrun enemies that are 20 levels stronger than you are, go for it. Just make sure you beat them to the exit because you will get slaughtered.
In short, if you like dungeon crawlers now or were a fan back when they ruled the gaming world, this is a must buy. You will enjoy it, flaws and all. Legasista is available for download on PSN for $29.99.
- The Good: Custom character creation, simple gameplay, nostalia factor
- The Bad: Story is weak
- The Ugly: Having to go back to Ivory Tower after each dungeon level is repetitive and annoying
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