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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: NIS America
Developed By: System Prisma, Nippon Ichi Software
Genre: Survival Action-RPG
Players: 1
Rated: T for Teen (Partial Nudity, Fantasy Violence)
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Screenshots: Link
Price: $29.99 (PSN)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

October 15, 2012 - RPGs; whether they be JRPGs, Action RPGs or MMOs, have always found ways to entice gamers to experience the epic tale. This is done via over-the-top characters, enriched storylines and even heartfelt moments; all of which is something we long for within every single gaming experience. While not all RPGs are made equal, each has brought something interesting to the table and helps expand what is to be expected from the might genre. The latest and greatest RPG to hit the scene is a digital release for the PlayStation Network known as Legasista. Based off the name alone, you canít discern what the game is about, so continue reading to know why this dungeon-crawling RPG is a sight to be seen.

Legasista is different from typical dungeon-crawling RPG games that have come before it in many ways. One of the biggest differences comes within the customization options within the game. Each character can equip a multitude of different energy frames. You start out with one, but as you progress through the game and level up your fighters, you will come across several different frames to help diversity your comrades. In traditional RPG games of a similar nature, you equipment has a health bar alongside your actual heal bar. Within Legasista, your character(s) has a multitude of health bars alongside hear bars for each piece of equipment on your person(s). While you can heal yourself through via many different options, when it comes to your equipment, you have to return to town from the dungeon in order for it to return to normal.

Not stopping with just the equipment, you can also customize the job-related skills that are assigned to your roster of characters. In the beginning, you are able to assign one job to your character(s), however once you reach level 20; you can select and assign different jobs. This allows you to further diversify your roster beyond the equipment on their persons, and build the ultimate team to face almost any obstacle placed before you. The final level of customization comes in the form of changing how your characters look. Each character to join your rag tag band of good-doers can have their physical appearance altered to suit your tastes. While the depth isnít as deep as the weaponry and special skills options, itís a welcome addition for those looking to make the game their own.

With makes this game unique out of the way, the story of Legasista puts you into the shoes of a young Alto Straiter, a boy whose sole reason for living is to restore his sister to her human body after being turned into a crystal. In order to achieve this, Alto must travel deep into the ancient ruins of the Ivy Tower in order to gain access to an ancient weapon in order to break his sisterís curse. Not knowing what heís getting himself into, Alto comes across said ancient weapon and is in disbelief. Wondering if this so-called weapon was indeed what he was looking, Alto reaffirms his commitment to freeing is sister from her curse at any cost. This is the moment where Altoís epic journey begins and you are introduced to the core mechanics of Legasista.

On his epic journey throughout various dungeons, Alto comes across a varied cast of characters, some of the likes you have never seen before; unless of course you have played JRPG games before. First and foremost, your first partner in crime is actually a talking been sprout that goes by the name Sprout. Iíve played many a JRPGs in my lifetime, but this was the first time I had a talking been sprout as a companion. Your first run into Sprout when you meet Mrs. Dungeon, your informant and savior when investigating the various dungeons. The craziness doesnít stop there as you will also come across a giant stone robot named Shout, a well-endowed treasure hunter named Leina Mindel, and of course the ancient weapon, known as Melize. There are additional persons you will come across, all with unique personalities.

The basic premise of this dungeon-crawler is to traverse through each floor of the dungeon, defeating enemies, avoiding and/or deactivating traps in order to gain access to the next level and ultimately completing the dungeon. Each dungeon has its own theme and is hand designed to look different from its predecessor(s). After completing a certain number of the dungeons, you gain access to what are known as ran-gens. These types of dungeons are very similar to the initial batches, however are on a much larger scale and take longer to complete.

The first couple of levels you traverse in the game are utilized to get you familiar with the combat system and what to look for in order to complete said level. Once you complete the tutorial levels, you are thrust into the action. Slowly, but surely the intenseness of the enemies ramps up to keep the game interesting and challenging. Along the way you will be introduced to the various mechanics of the combat system, which are simple to grasp. You will be able to utilize a single weapon as your primary attack method with the option to use magical spells for support. In the beginning you will be a lone soldier, but as people join your cause, you will be allowed to control up to three players in your main party. Just like typical JRPG fashion, when in battle, you will only be able to utilize one of your party members at a time. Just like I touched on earlier, you will be able to customize each one of your characterís combat makeup in order to provide a varying attack/defensive strategy.

The visuals within Legasista are simplistic, yet stylized and very detailed. Characters designs are unique and very detailed; benefiting from the HD capabilities of the PlayStation 3 console. As the first HD title from developer System Prisma, itís a solid effort. The Cutscenes utilize static details drawings of each character. Each character has around 5-7 different poses to help convey the different emotions the characters will display when engaged in dialog segments. Levels sport crisp visuals with a simplistic flare. Enemy sprites are recycled within the game, however are given a new coat of paint and different abilities to spice things up.

While I would have loved to have English-voiceovers for the characters, the in-game dialog is rather solid. You can sense the emotions within the voice-actors as they are delivering the lines. This is especially present within the character Alto, when discussing what he would do to see his sister again. One thing that Legasista did perfectly when it comes to the sound design is the subtle sound effects you here throughout the game. Iím talking about the ones that you ear when you trigger a trap; swing your sword to attack your enemies or even simply walking through the game. The developer made sure that you get a total experience; both visually and audible.

The nature of the beast in Legasista will require hours upon hours to be spent in order to reach the more difficult levels/dungeons. You will often find yourself revisiting completed levels/dungeons in order to beef up your characters before taking on the onslaught of new enemies in the latter levels. Whatís intriguing about the level design of the game is that if you are on a time constraint, you can traverse the shorter levels, bulking up the abilities of your comrades. If you have time on your hand, you can traverse the more difficult levels; including the ran-gens, allowing you test new equipment, abilities and skills developed along the way.

Legasista isnít for the faint of heart. If you are not use to level-grinding or donít have a fascination within Japanese only games, then you wonít find this title interesting. If you are looking for a challenging experience which will reward your hard work and dedication, look no further than Legasista. I believe this is the first time that NIS America and developer System Prisma have teamed up for an epic JRPG that brings new light to the genre. From the solid production values and emphasis on blending the old with the new, Legasista is a solid performer and a worthy addition to your gaming collection.


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