Remakes, remasters, continuations, spin-offs and just new Japanese role-playing games in recent times goes so much that it all looks like some crazy epidemic, arranged nyashnymi lupoglazy boys and girls with purple hair. However, not always these games are done by the Japanese themselves. Here, for example, Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds has developed the Indonesian studio Semisoft - as a declaration of love in the genre of JRPG, but with a fresh look at some aspects of the gameplay.
Setting, the plot, its submission - everything is quite usual here. There is peace, the title Legend, frozen in anticipation of the local apocalypse - a circle of disease, wars, terrible prophecies, curses and some hanging stones in the sky, which do not promise anything good. And there are heroes who this world, of course, must save.
The protagonist Tale of the Fatebounds is a young man named Finn, who, as expected, remembers nothing of his past. He turned out to be a slave and got to the gladiatorial arena, where, when he was dying, he suddenly threw out an unknown force, simply squeezed into the powder of the local champion.
Impressed with this, Finn bought a strange old telepath, communicating with a young man with the help of thoughts, and asked to accompany him on a dangerous journey through the desert, in time to reach the sick daughter and give her the right medicine. Naturally, everything will go wrong then, as planned, and will eventually result in an epic adventure.
The plot develops, as it should be in JRPG, strictly linearly, and yet it is interesting to follow it. In everything there is a constant drama, even an upsurge, the future is covered with fog for a long time, and the mystery of Finn's past is intriguing. In addition, Legrand Legacy has a well-written world inhabited by different, sometimes very unusual, races, including upright lions and the same telepaths - it's a trivial thing to learn about it something new, communicating and moving along the plot.
And there are still indifferent characters who, by the will of fate and the local god, Lear, now and then join us. They differ from each other in character and sometimes quite persistently show them. For example, a strict and very important blonde Aria first, almost by force, makes Finn help her, and then turns to him at all other than "Hey, peasant, you'll carry my things!". Erica, the daughter of that same old telepathist, on the other hand, is modest and seemingly fragile, but can incinerate all life if she is out of her mind.
This immediately introduces a special peppery in the relationship between local rescuers of the world. An amazing thing, but in the game from independent Indonesian developers, conversations between characters and the characters themselves are more interesting than in the Lost Sphear of Square Enixwhich came out around the same time. They can even discuss the problem of virginity - someone probably will humble it, but personally for me it is a sign that the characters have turned out to be alive and nothing human is alien to them.
However, more often than to communicate, the heroes have to fight. Battles unfold in a rather interesting step-by-step mode - during their turn in the first phase, we choose the action that we want to perform (attack, use of a spell or object, defense), and in the second, actually, we carry it out. At the same time during the attack, QTE is turned on, when the arrow is running in a circle. If you press the button, when the pointer is in the right zone, then the blow will be more powerful, more effective and it will be more difficult to interrupt. Something similar was in Shadow Hearts on the Playstation 2, but with a few other conditions.
The blows in this case are of three different types (cutting, pricking and crushing), and spells are related to the seven elements. And all this must be taken into account: the elements and types of damage correlate with each other according to the principle of the game "Stone, scissors, paper", and the opponents are resistant to something, and, on the contrary, vulnerable to something.
Another highlight of the local combat system is the ability to move soldiers across the field. Initially on a separate screen you define the construction of subordinates, putting forward, conditionally, swordsmen, and behind - magicians and archers. After all, here, just like in the series of Disciples : "Truckers" can not be attacked near. And directly in the fight, you can move someone to another position, given the specific situation.
It is also interesting that, by winning battles and "pumping", we do not automatically raise the characteristics of the characters, as it usually happens in JRPG, but manually distribute two free points between strength, agility, stamina, intelligence and luck. This is important, because new special techniques and spells require a certain level of this or that parameter, that is, you determine what you potentially want to learn.
In addition to promoting the story, dialogs and battles in Legrand Legacy, there is more to do. Traveling between important locations on the global map, we constantly visit more or less large cities. And there, besides merchants and hotels with cozy beds, there is always an alchemist who can make potions according to the available recipes, and a smith capable of forging new weapons. To all this, there are various materials that we get mostly from the results of battles. The main thing is to remember that you can not shove everything into inventory - it has a weight limit, so often something must be left to the storage of special characters.
There will also be a couple of NPCs offering a side quest, which is already a pleasant surprise against the backdrop of most of the genre's representatives. Of course, in the main these are simple instructions for delivering or destroying something, but there are exceptions. All the way, for example, we communicate with a strange person who seems to be following Finn, appearing in all cities and telling various facts from the history of the world. After communication he always leaves ... nut. Who is this and where does the nut - an intrigue that lasts a long time.
In the Legrand Legacythere are many more mini-games - and fishing, and the simulator of a duelist, and throwing knives. There are even battles with endless waves of opponents in the arena, taking place in the style of the usual action, without any phases and step-by-step. But the most interesting is the simulator of the commander, when the heroes, having broken into groups of different types, move on the cells on the map and fight with the enemies. This takes into account both the type of terrain (the cavalry, for example, receives fines in the city), and the vulnerability / stability of the units in relation to each other.
In Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds has its own problems: the graphics for the most part looks obsolete (although art, videos and painted views in cities really pleases the eye), control when moving the hero in the locations seems crooked, and the battle with the constantly resurgent opponents can tire , even in spite of the possibility to dilute them with mini-games. But in general, this is a complex JRPG, which in someone will cause nostalgic memories of your favorite games from childhood (first of all about Shadow Hearts and Suikoden), but for someone it will be a pleasant discovery, allowing you to touch that very classic. At the same time there was a place for their own ideas, and for the original, well-designed world. Well, to the recurring battles and to the fact that without the "grind" (it is, by the way, not so severe) in such games can not survive, the connoisseurs of the genre should have long been accustomed to.