Aug 23, 2012

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Legasista Review

Legasista Review

NIS America is known for their Disgaea series among other quirky titles. One such title, Legasista, hasn’t really received a lot of advertising. This is a shame for those who are fans of the company and dungeon crawlers who might miss out on a pleasant title.

You follow the journey of Alto Straiter as he makes his way through the dangerous Ivy Tower in search for a cure for his crystallized sister. As he delves deeper into the Ivy Tower, he meets new characters. Each offers an unique personality from the tower manager Ms. Dungeon who selectively breeds bean sprouts to resemble all kinds of food to the human-like weapon Melize who is vital in Alto’s search for a cure. Their personalities fit with the characters. Though there were just a couple I had trouble liking no matter how hard I tried. The story tends to get repetitive; this isn’t such a bad flaw as I felt that the main focus of this game is devoted towards the gameplay.

Legasista offers an easy to understand tutorial that explains most of you will need to know to progress through the many dungeons. The things that you don’t learn during the first dungeon can be found within the menus. The dungeons start off as easy with enemies who don’t take much to defeat. As you progress to the higher levels of the Tower or through any of the random dungeons, the enemies get tougher and you have more traps to worry about. The one plus side to this is that the items found on the floors tend to get better as you go through the game.

In order to find certain dungeons, you will need to send out bean sprouts. These cute plants (creatures?) provide a few different purposes. The only real purpose, however, is the ability to send them out to find some new dungeons and musical tracks. My main gripe though is how frail they seem to be. An example would be how I sent the three same ones out to explore numerous times, only to have them all shrivel up each time. Granted, they do eventually build back up if you lose any and all.

One of my favorite aspect to most forms of RPGs is the customization. You unlock the ability to create new characters fairly early in the game. Creating a character is more than naming it, choosing a job class, and slapping on a pre-made character design. Those who have some artistic skills can even design how their character will look. For the rest of us, you can use one of the few pre-made designs available straight from the game or uploaded from other players. You can give each character their own set of abilities depending on the job class you assign to them. Job classes can be changed once you reach a high enough level. However, the traits you chose when creating the character can’t be changed. The equipment you find within the dungeons hold a chance to carry various main and sub titles. If you find a weapon or piece of armor that boasts gets stats but no titles, you can transfer titles to it as long as you have the ones you want stored. Storing titles is an easy process but will result in the loss of the item carrying the titles you plan on storing.

The characters in Legasista are colorful and really stand out from the environment. Cutscenes consist of a “breathing” portrait of the characters talking to one another. The character sprites are small and cute in a limbless way. While there is many different weapons and armor within the game, the sprites only show a basic image for a weapon and the armor never changes from the outfits wore by the characters. This could prove to be a turn-off for those who like being able to see their characters decked out in the finest equipment you’ve found.

The soundtrack is pleasant to listen to and the selection of tracks is plentiful. Mind you, you will have to send your bean sprouts out to find the many hidden tracks. Good news for the fans who prefer having the Japanese vocal tracks over an English set. Legasista only offers the Japanese voices. This did have me wonder if there was a budget reason behind it. If they begin to get on your nerves, you can turn the volume down for them or the music/sound effects.

The story portion of Legasista is relatively short. In fact, it’s possible to beat the game in under twenty hours. The meat of your time will be spent in traversing through all the random dungeons you come across and farming for items with the best titles you can find. It’s easy to lose oneself as you attempt to clear a dungeon to the very end. The replay value is quite high for not only those who want to unlock every trophy but those looking to spend some time clearing dungeon floors.

Despite the few flaws found within Legasista, the game is possibly one of the better PSN titles available. This gem is worth the $29.99 price tag, more-so for fans of this genre. It has been mentioned as a HD successor to NIS America’s ClaDun series so fans of that series will definitely want to pick this up.

Platform: PS3 (Only Available via PSN)
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Developer: System Prisma
Publisher: NIS America
ESRB Rating: T
MSRP: $29.99