In 2010, NIS and System Prisma had created a portable dungeon crawler that was addicting, creative, and enjoyable – that game was called Cladun. With a portable success, NIS and System Prisma hoped to bring the same survival action RPG formula to home consoles with, Legasista. So does Legasista deliver like Cladun or should this idea stick with portable platforms.
The story starts off where people have come to fear technology for being ancient magic and curses. The hulking “Ivy Tower” rests within the area intimidating the people by housing that still feared technology, but someday a boy by the name of Alto Straiter will enter the ruins to save his crystal-encased sister facing the challenges of the tower along the way.
Gameplay wise, Legasista will have some similarities to Cladun, but with noticeable differences in certain elements and mechanics. Legasista offers multiple predetermined dungeons, a variety of loot, complex micromanagement, solid combat, character creation and random dungeons. There is more than meet the eye with these features.
There are two types of dungeons. The story based predetermined dungeons and the randomly generated dungeons – “Ran-Geon”. Both types of these dungeons will offer a mix of loot to discover and enemies to defeats. The story based dungeons will, of course, progress the story in more of a linear fashion, but the Ran-Geon is where the real action hides its head.
To do a Ran-Geon dungeon players will have to unlock the dig ability first, after that players can dig anywhere around the main camp. Each hole will basically be the starting point and will differ in levels, difficulty, and floors. Once in a Ran-Geon, players will have to survive each floor, while collecting rare loot and surviving the enemy onslaught. Those who are familiar with Cladun will find that heaven, hell, and other gates make a return. These gates are a blessing and a curse. These gates can dramatically increase monster level or how rare loot is dropped, depending on which gate you go in. These dungeons offer some good thrills and experience for those looking for a hardcore experience.
Combat wise, Legasista is similar to Cladun with its simple hack and slash combat system. Players will attack, use magic, defend, switch party members, and, most importantly of all, survive. While that is the norm of action RPGs gameplay, it will get a little more complex than that. If you played Cladun, remember the complex magic circle system. Legasista does have a similar system called “Energy Flame“. The energy flame system will change the character weapon, armor, skills, and accessory usage. Depending on which energy flame the player uses that character’s HP bars will differ, along with that the equipment that the character uses also depend on how many hits each HP bar gets. On top of that, character at level 20 can switch jobs to add more variety to that character. In the end, this combat system is easily to use, but the multiple micromanagement options – like the energy flame and more – may become overwhelming in terms of complexity, but will offer a great variety of experimentation and near-limitless customization.
Another of Legasista includes the returning robust character creation. Character creation will allow players to setup a detailed character with a name, gender, job, personality, voice, and look. The visual editor on the other hand is pretty deep and detailed, allowing the player to easily customize the face, clothing, and more. If the player isn’t art savvy, players can import images for character creation. Those who are art savvy will enjoy this feature to the fullest.
Presentation wise, Legasista is simple looking and the music is infectious. The character’s portraits during cutscenes are detailed, but limited to a few motions. While the in-game graphics have a HD feel to it, much of it looks like it’s capable on the Vita but using home consoles is basically overkill. VO is in complete Japanese and there is no option to change, so it hard to tell if the English VO is good or not. While the music offers infectious tunes that NIS fans will enjoy, along with some remixed tunes from Cladun.
Those that enjoyed Cladun or Cladun X2, will love Legasista on their home consoles. Legasista offers much of the same deep action RPG elements with a great variety of replayability, customization, and micromanagement. Sadly the story in Legasista isn’t as creative like Cladun, but is still enjoyable to the very end. Legasista offer much in terms of gameplay from randomly generated dungeons to a complex equipment system. Presentation wise, Legasista is a simple-looking game for home consoles and the music is great to listen to during your dungeon crawling runs. Like I said before, those who enjoyable the portable and successful Cladun series will love Legasista for what it has to offer on home consoles.
Audio/Visual 3/5: Legasista has great detailed character portraits, but the in-game graphics are far too simple for home consoles.
Gameplay 4/5: Legasista gameplay is unique and complex to those who haven’t played Cladun yet, but it’s still enjoyable to experiment on energy flames and customization on equipment, along with fluid and simple combat.
Innovation 4/5: Legasista does have a unique feel in terms of story, gameplay elements, and presentation, but it might not hold up to other NIS titles or Cladun for that matter.
Value 5/5: There is a great amount of content to keep any player busy from Ran-Geon dungeons, long story, tons of equipment options, character creation, and more.
Final Score: 4/5