[PS2] Legaia 2: Duel Saga

posted 5 Jan 2011, 00:33 by Thomas Vale   [ updated 5 Jan 2011, 00:33 ]
I just completed this game, and I can say for sure that this review is going to be pretty scathing. Legaia: Duel saga is a sub par Final Fantasy wannabe in my opinion. 

The Graphics in the game would have been good if this had been a release game for the PS2. There is a lack of FMV.... in fact an absence of it completely. This in itself is no bad thing, as all the Kingdom Hearts 'cinematics' are done in real time barring the opening and ending. The real issue is the the fact that there are psx rpgs out there that look better. The character models themselves have less polygons than an npc from Final Fantasy 8. The textures are very low resolution, and the architecture in general is lacking.

The sound.... Oh dear. The voice acting, where there is any, is dire at best. The voices don't fit the characters at all, and the dubbing is completely off, even in pre-set battle animations! There isn't much plot based voice acting in the game, so you'd think they could at least spend a little time getting it right. There is literally no saving grace to be found anywhere within the voice acting. If anything it detracts badly from the game and there should be an option to turn it off.

The music was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda of Chrono Trigger fame, and as such I was expecting some kicking tunes. I was sorely disappointed. It wasn't that the music was bad.... it just was lacking. It was occasionally misplaced, but by about 10 hours in to the game, I had switched off the sound on my PS2, and was listening to my MP3 collection. No game should make you want to do that.

The plot hasn't really been done before, but somehow they make it seem like it has. It contains many overused rpg clichés, which really lower the quality of the storytelling. At some points you're not sure if they are trying to make a humorous statement, or trying to be serious.
The main characters have a reasonable amount of story, and development, but nothing like Fei's problems in Xenogears. The 'bad guys' are very bad, none of the ambiguity that makes some rpgs interesting. When you first meet them you know: That's the bad guy. Problem is, other than about 10 seconds of back story each there is no development there. You don't spend the game chasing him around, finding out bits and pieces of his past.......

The gameplay itself is like the bastard offspring of Final Fantasy 9 and Chrono Cross with a twist. On paper, that sounds good. It does the job. You have 4 basic options: Attack, Origin (magic), Item or Guard. Attack allows you to use Arts, which is one of the things I like about the game. Basically, you start of with 2 attacks per round, and as you level up eventually you get more. Specific combinations do normal attacks, normal arts (which raise your AP), super arts (more powerful, but drain AP) and Hyper arts (loads of damage and AP drain). You can also do powerful combination attacks. All in all it works very well.

The game features a number of mini games. I suppose it either says something about the plot or the minigames that I spent more time searching for cooking recipes than playing the game proper. They are a good distraction, and the bonuses got are reasonably good. All in all tho, the game shouldn't last you much longer than 30 hours tops.

An rpgs staples these days are plot, music and gameplay. Longevity optional. Legaia 2 fulfils only one of those criteria. Nuff sed?

Graphics: 4/10
Belong before Dead or Alive 2
Sound: 2/10
The Voice acting was so dire I killed the sound.
Plot: 6/10
Could have been so much more with a little work
Game-play: 8/10
Good battle system and nice minigames.
Longevity: 5/10
Won't keep you going long.
Overall: 54%
Seems nothing more than a showcase for the battle system. Give me back ffx and Kingdom Hearts