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Legasista Review

Nippon Ichi Software yet again delivers a fantastic JRPG, and this time in the form of an old school dungeon crawler. Legasista is a great game for the PS3 to be released August 21st 2012. The game is unique, and once you start playing the game, it is hard to put down as it is very addicting. The game offers nearly unlimited amounts of character customization with a great job system and much more. Players become attached to the characters as time progresses and delve deeper into the story and the mystery behind the Ivy Tower.

The story starts off simple; Alto Straiter’s younger sister Mari has been turned into a crystal due to a curse and he seeks the help from an ancient weapon within the Ivy Tower to change her back. As Alto enters the Railyard (the hub of the game) he meets Ms. Dungeon, an android who assists Alto in his quest. Partway through, Alto finds the ancient weapon he desires, but in the form of a young girl. Melize, the ancient weapon decides to grant Alto’s wish and save his sister, but at the cost of his life. As she is about to kill Alto, she malfunctions and loses most of her functions. Now in order to save Mari, Alto must enter deeper into the Ivy Tower to find lost files and restore Melize to her former self.

The game begins with the tutorial dungeon, which has 10 floors. The tutorial is actually very informative and a great opening to the story and actual gameplay. It explains everything you need to know about the early gameplay and is worth reading the entire thing. As with every dungeon crawler, players venture into dungeons and down floors, searching for loot and gaining experience to level. In Legasista, you do not level up inside the dungeon, but gain the experience at the end of the level. If your team dies during the dungeon floor, you lose all of the loot you’ve found, and half of the experience you’ve accumulated.  Loot is always unique and its properties are randomly generated and can be found as a regular item or sometimes have extra titles, and durability. The way titles work is there are Main Titles and Sub Titles. The way the bonuses work is that Sub Titles get added bonuses from the main titles. For example: If the Main title says Effect x 2 and a Sub Title has Attack +2, the added attack will be 4 instead. Every title is random on each item, and most items do not contain any. Main titles are completely innate on the item. Eventually as the story progresses, you have the ability to discard items to keep the sub titles and later add to another item for the bonuses.

There are multiple jobs your character can become, such as a thief or a warrior. At Job Level 20, your character can switch between the different jobs. As your character levels up in each job, you gain JP or “Job Points”. JP may be spent on bonuses such as extra mana for frames, or extra stats. Each job has its own frames and items available to it. Each frame gives your character a different weapon it can equip and different layouts for equipment. Each equipment slot has a set amount of mana in it. If an item has a total of 20 mana and an item requires 25 to equip, it may be equipped but not used. Each item has a set amount of durability. When your character takes damage, your items lose durability and get destroyed until eventually you have no more items to destroy and your character dies. Each item is repaired upon returning to the Railyard, so dying doesn’t have a huge penalty.

Eventually, players will acquire the ability to dig a hole in the Railyard. What this does is allow players access to the random dungeons (ran-geon). These are dungeons with a set amount of floors, but each floor is randomly generated with monster, loot and gates. The ran-geon isn’t necessary to complete the story, but it hold the greatest loot and experience. Each floor holds a random amount of gates and sometimes an exit to leave the dungeon early to gain the experience and items you’ve obtained. What’s special about the gates in a ran-geon is that some have extra effects. Depending on what the gate is, they may add a large number to monster levels for the rest of your time in the dungeon, or even add an extra chance to find rare loot and titles.

A minor part of dungeon exploration is the ability to send out sprouts to explore. Basically all this does is allow players to acquire music and possibly other bonuses.

The best part of Legasista is the character customization. Eventually, players get the ability to create their own character with nearly infinite possibilities. With the character customization, you get to choose their traits, voice, name, age, looks, etc. The game comes with set characters you can create by importing looks from others. These include the main characters, and even characters from past NIS games such as Laharl from Disgaea. What is amazing about the character customization is that you can export your character data to a flash drive and manually make your sprites on computer.

The characters of Legasista are extremely lovable and very memorable. The cast fits perfectly together and their relationships can relate perfectly to actual life. Some moments in the story are heartfelt and can even bring a tear to your eye. The humour in this game is much like every other NIS game. It’s full of nonsense and events that should not happen (like a sprout falling in love with Alto) but it is very unique and funny most of the time.

The art in Legasista is beautiful. The repeated art in the dungeons does get bland at times but the scenery is beautiful and the character art looks amazing. A few females wear skimpy outfit or have an outrageously large chest, but that of coarse isn’t a bad thing. The monsters mostly look cute and harmless but don’t let that fool you. A lot of the monsters are extremely dangerous and can pack a real punch. The music in Legasista is nice. It fits each area perfectly, is very light on the ears.

Overall, Legasista is a fantastic game. The game is very addicting and a great way to kill some time. It has a large amount of replayability and a good amount of content. Once you get the ability to create your own character, it’s a hard choice if you want to stick with the main cast, or create your own. Legasista gets a 9/10 and is a definite buy for fans of NIS games and old school dungeon crawlers alike.

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